This is an easy (but not quick) recipe for pulled pork. It takes just a few ingredients – a Boston Butt (I prefer bone in), an onion, some salt and a bottle of Abita Root Beer. I love the taste of Abita’s Root Beer but, even more importantly, that it is made with cane sugar and not high-fructose corn syrup.
Slow Cooker Root Beer Pork Butt
6 lb Boston butt
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 large onion, quartered
bottle root beer
Place the onion quarters in the bottom of your slow cooker. Cut off most of the visible fat off the outside of the pork and sprinkle with salt. Place it on the onion layer. Pour over a bottle of root beer.
Set your slow cooker on low and cook for 7 to 10 hours, depending on how hot your slow cooker gets. The pork is done when it reaches 200 degrees F. Remove from liquid and place on a rimmed pan for 20 minutes to cool slightly before pulling apart. Discard the liquid and solids left in the slow cooker.
Serve on buns with root beer bbq sauce (recipe follows) or any favorite barbecue sauce.
Continuing the root beer theme, I’m posting changes to my favorite homemade bbq sauce. This is a rich and spicy sauce that goes well with roast beef as well as pulled pork.
Root Beer BBQ Sauce
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 12 ounce bottle root beer (I prefer Abita)
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon hot sauce – I used Louisiana hot sauce
Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Keep at a boil for about 15 minutes until reduced and thickened.
Remove from heat. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator for several months or use immediately.
I soaked 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters overnight in a rosemary buttermilk brine:
2.5 quarts of buttermilk
4 tablespoons of fresh rosemary leaves, lightly crushed
2 tablespoons kosher salt.
The next day I put on a dry rub that harkens back to that 16th century English folk tune – as the main ingredients are sage, rosemary and thyme. The parsley is added as a final step while the meat rests.
I grilled my chicken over indirect heat for about an hour. The chicken can also be roasted in the oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour.
Scarborough Fair Chicken Rub
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground sage
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Sprinkle over both sides of the chicken. Store any unused in an airtight container.
Grill or roast the chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Sprinkle on the parsley after the meat comes off the fire, while it rests for at least 10 minutes before serving.
I’ve been getting a lot of use out of my Soul box from Penzey’s Spices. This is a box with 8 different spice mixtures the company puts out. As Bill wrote, “The blends make up much the soul of American cooking and each represents those souls brave enough to find their way to American and whose courage has always made America great.”
I’ve already used the Ozark style seasoning on brined, grilled chicken:
the Galena Street Rib Rub on some ribs;
and, the Cajun Seasoning in my Cha Cha Cha Cajun Shrimp.
Now it is only fitting, I use the Adobo seasoning on more grilled chicken. It is a little spicy, so I needed to make a rub with brown sugar and salt first.
4 black tea bags (I used orange pekoe)
1 quart boiling water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 quarts water
10 lb chicken leg quarters
3 tablespoons Adobo seasoning (I used Penzey’s)
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Steep the tea until good and dark. In a large pot mix the tea with the sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add in additional water and stir to mix. Place the chicken in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Mix the rub ingredients together and set aside in an airtight container until ready to use.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and coat with the dry rub. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.
Prepare your grill for indirect grilling. Remove chicken from the refridgerator and let sit on the counter until the coals are ready. Grill meat side down for 15 minutes, then turn over and grill until done about 40 to 50 minutes more.
South of Hattiesburg, in a gas station on Highway 49 is Rose’s Bar-B-Q (here is the link to their Facebook page, as it looks like their domain has expired). We had heard about it from friends and it was on the way back to New Orleans. The parking lot was packed with pick up trucks and sheriff vehicles. There was a heavy scent of hickory smoke in the air, so we pulled up on the curb and went inside.
We bought a pound of the smoked brisket, some chicken on a stick and potato logs. The chicken on a stick was a first for me – chicken, dill pickles, potatoes and onion speared on a stick, covered in batter and deep fried. Not sure I’m a fan but I can now say I’ve eaten this unique Mississippi delicacy.
The potato logs were like wedges on steroids. While the batter could have used a little more seasoning, the potatoes were incredibly fluffy.
The brisket was very tender, with a lovely bark. While it comes with their house made, very good barbecue sauce, the meat was so flavorful, it didn’t need it. We just ate it with our fingers, forgoing the bread.
The prices were reasonable and they got the food to us fast, so we were back on the road in no time. They have even more on the menu than we were able to try (ribs, chicken – bbq and fried, pulled pork, etc), so we’ll be swinging back by soon.
Swung back by for more brisket on September 29th. Also got the pork sandwich (a little too much sauce but piled high with meat) and more potato logs. Still worth the trip!
I think I’ll be trying the ribs next!
This is a milder take on a dry rub and it is perfect for ribs. After giving them a good rub, I grilled the ribs on my Weber over indirect heat for two hours with some hickory chips before moving them into the oven for three hours at 225 degrees F.
Memphis Style Rib Rub
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients. Store any remaining in an airtight container.
When coming through Mobile, Alabama, it is worth the while to pull off I-65 and get yourself to Dreamland Bar-B-Que. We could smell the woodsmoke as soon as we got on the service road and, no wonder, their pit is big and beautiful:
I had the pulled pork sandwich with house made BBQ chips. The sauce is tangy and, as they say, “Ain’t nothing like it nowhere!”
Michelle had the rib tip wrap with jalapeño slaw. Very good combination of tender meat and spicy slaw.
We ended the meal with banana pudding but it was so good we inhaled it without waiting to take a picture. Lots of big pieces of banana in every bite
The prices are very reasonable and the staff is super friendly and very fast. Give it a try next time you’re nearby or call for them to ship you some directly.
I have a very large rosemary bush in front of my house that desperately needed pruning. I didn’t want to just throw away the branches, so I decided to use them to add flavor and smoke to a pork loin I’m grilling for Labor Day. I took a few of the newer growth branches and tied them together to make an herby basting brush for the glaze. The rest I spread over the cool side of the grill grates, so they would be under the meat for the final ten minutes or so of cooking.
I choose a boneless pork loin and cut my own pork chops, as I can make them thicker than the grocery usually sells them for a lot less cost. I served these chops with grilled sweet potato fries.
Rosemary Smoked Boneless Pork Loin with Honey Glaze
3 lb boneless pork loin roast
5 cups water, 1 cup ice
1/2 cup coarse salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine the brine ingredients in a saucepan over medium low heat with 2 cups of the water. Stir until the salt and honey dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in remaining water and ice. Allow to cool completely. Cut the loin into 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick chops (around six to eight). Cover the pork chops with the cooled brine and put in the refrigerator for one hour.
Combine the honey glaze ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
Prepare the grill for two zone cooking by putting the hot charcoal on one side of the grill. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Let them sit on the counter while the coals get ready.
After sprinkling a little salt and pepper on the chops, place them on the hottest part of the grill, directly above the coals. Sear all the chops for about three to four minutes per side, rotating them about 90 degrees after 2 minutes if you want cross hatch grill marks. Once you turn the chops over to cook the other side, baste with honey glaze.
When both sides of the chops are seared, move them to the cooler (indirect heat) side of the grate on top of a layer of rosemary branches. Baste again with the glaze. Close the top and allow the fragrant smoke to flavor the chops. After five minutes, flip the chops and baste again. Grill for another 5 minutes. The chops are done when they reach an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F.
Remove to a serving platter and brush a final time with the honey glaze. Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before serving.