Monday, April 25, 2011

Pulled Pork Tacos

Finally got myself a tortilla press. Couldn't wait any longer to make a batch of nice and soft corn tortillas. For the filling decided to go with pulled pork.

I marinated these two 1,5 kg (3 lbs) pork shoulders overnight in the fridge with the southern succor rub. In the morning fired up the pit and barbecued them for about 8 hours with cherry wood.

Basted them every two hours with the Southern Sop as usual. Towards the end raised the heat and basted them more often with apple juice.

Let them rest for two hours before pulling the meat. Shredded them with two forks. Should be enough pulled pork for a day or two...

Tacos need a salsa, so made Pico de Gallo as well. Got these ripe tomatoes, an onion, lime, jalapeños and fresh coriander (cilantro).

Mixed Masa Harina with water and a dash of salt. Made little balls and pressed them in to nice little tortillas with the new press.

All they need is about one minute each side on a hot dry skillet.

Ready! Tastes absolutely fantastic!

Had them for breakfast, had them for lunch. Guess what's the dinner gonna be?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ribs and Rubs

I made ribs again the other day and they turned out really really good. I was wondering how did they turn out so good this time compared to the previous attempt. Well, it's all in the rub.

After experimenting with the rubs last month, I have definitely gone back to my original rub. The extra spices really do the trick of creating the rich and complete flavour. The sugar which melts on the ribs creates the beautiful bark and gives the needed sweetness to go with the heat of the cayenne or the chili powder.  Actually, for quite some time already, I've added paprika powder to that rub too, as it goes so well with the ribs and just about anything in the BBQ. Sometimes a little bit mustard powder too.

And then there is the glaze. To glaze, or not to glaze, that is the question?

Well not any more!  I have tried more than enough times glazed and non-glazed ribs.  I have made up my mind: I  prefer the glazed ones, every time. Even my wife and little Jr. seems agree with that.

Nothing wrong with plain ribs and serving the sauce on the side, but glazed ribs are just ultimate to us. Pick your favourite BBQ sauce and mix it with some nice running honey. Glaze the ribs with it and let it properly stick on the ribs in the heat of the smoker for about 15 minutes - that's a glaze to die for!

That's all I had to say for now.  Phew, I feel better!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Armadillo Eggs Part Deux

Got this lovely cranberry cheddar and a bunch of nice and fresh jalapeños. Didn't have to think twice what to make with them - Armadillo Eggs of course! Last time I made them I wasn't 100% happy with the result, so I made a few tweaks now which worked out great.

Removed the seeds of the jalapeños and lightly roasted them on a cast iron skillet to soften them up a bit. Once they cooled down, I filled few of them with cranberry cheddar and the rest with traditional cheddar.

This time I used a mix of ground beef and pork which should make the eggs a bit juicier. Seasoned the meat with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and a dash of BBQ rub. As bacon makes everything better, I wrapped two eggs in bacon.

I ran the smoker a bit higher at around 150 °C (300 °F) and smoked the eggs for about 1,5hrs with lovely apple tree smoke.

Ready! Juicy and delicious Armadillo Eggs.

Using pork definitely made them juicier and roasting the jalapeños beforehand made sure they came out soft and well cooked instead of hard and crunchy. Bacon is always nice but the eggs without bacon were very tasty as well. So, the experiment was successful and I'll be doing my Armadillo Eggs like this in the future.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Beef Rouladen with Parsnip and Carrot Mash

Beef Rouladen, or Rinderrouladen is a great traditional German dish. As I had the Rouladen meat, I decided to make my own version of it. I didn't follow any recipe, but added a French twist with a bœuf bourguignon style flavoring for the stew.

The meat laid out on a chopping board.

For the filling I went German style, as it's excellent. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper on the meat, add the bacon strips and some julienned pickled cucumbers.

Add sautéed onions and as I nearly forgot, the Dijon mustard, which could have been put first on the meat.

Rolled the meat up and used toothpicks to hold it together. Browned each side of the Rouladen in plenty of butter on a skillet. In the background reducing some veal stock to about half.

Put the meat aside. As there is all the goodness left in the pan, got rid of the excess fat and deglazed the pan with red wine to collect all the flavors and the caramelized meat juices.

Need some aromatic vegetables for the stew. Carrots, celery, onion and garlic. For herbs I used fresh thyme and rosemary.

Got a few shallots too and more onion. Chopped it all up roughly.

In to the pot with some olive oil to brown the vegetables. Season with a little bit sea salt, ground black pepper, a dozen of black peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves and fresh rosemary and thyme.

Added the reduced veal stock, the reduced red wine from the deglazed pan, 3/4 of a bottle of a nice Bordeaux red wine and of course the Rouladen. Put it in to a 160 °C (320 °F) oven for about 3hrs.

After two hours I sliced up a half a dozen of fresh mushrooms and added them to the stew.

Once it was all starting to get ready I prepared a parsnip and carrot mash as a side dish. Potatoes, dumplings or spaetzle would be a traditional side dish with the Rouladen, but I wanted something a little bit different this time.

Boiled the carrots for 15 minutes and the parsnips for about 10 minutes. Mashed it all up together with a large knob of butter using a potato masher. Seasoned it with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Rouladen is ready! Smells absolutely gorgeous!

The sauce was absolutely rich and full of flavors, meat lovely and tender and the mash was excellent with it.

So good, I will definitely cook this again.