Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday : Something like barbecue

We haven't done barbecue in a long time; that just changed. When I saw big pieces of pork shoulder for half price at the Coop, I knew it was time to give it a try. It was clear that the stars had really aligned when Bittman did a barbecue post, referencing the Thrill of the Grill no less, on the day I was trying to decide what to do for a spice rub. The final problem - where to find appropriate wood - was solved by our dinner guests, who brought over a basket of mixed hardwood in the early afternoon. The rest was easy : set up the fire (hardwood charcoal for heat, a piece of fruitwood for smoke), put a container of beer in the bottom of the grill, cover the pork with the rub and put it on the grill, cover, and wait. After two hours I started basting with beer to keep the crust from drying out too much. After about four hours we had something amazing.

I did a sauce, just in case, from thinly sliced onions, vinegar, whiskey, water, salt, pepper, a dash of tobasco, and a small amount of ketchup. The onions were a nice complement, but the sauce itself was pretty superfluous.

We also did a potato salad with basil and tarragon (also long and low cooking for the potatoes) and a big green salad.

As starters, I did: quick pickles with cornichon cucumbers, salt, and thinly sliced young ginger; a couple different kinds of olives; and cashews toasted in the pan and then tossed with raclette spices.

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