Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Creating Culinary Classics

Good evening everyone! Sometimes, you just have to get creative. This week, I was in the mood to cook up some form of roasted meat on the grill and turn it into pulled / barbecue sandwiches. I was looking for something that centered around brisket, but was open to pork or even chicken if necessary. The problem was, I couldn't find an exact recipe to match all of my needs. So, I adapted. Tonight's recipe is a hybrid of two partial recipes I've found and had been keeping in my 'back pocket' for future use. I combined a rub & BBQ marinade from Jamie Oliver that was intended to go on ribs (we're not huge rib fans) with a coleslaw and refried bean concoction that is meant for brisket (I'm using pork) to create my own version of slow roasted BBQ pork sandwiches. Just because the recipe you're searching for doesn't exist, that doesn't mean you can't MAKE it. Let's get cooking!

The Recipes: Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Original Recipe Inspired From: Daisy May's BBQ Ribs (Jamie's America) & Smoked Brisket Tortas (Bon Appetite, April 2013)

What You'll Need:
(Serves 8)

2.5 - 3 Pounds Pork Loin
8 Ciabatta Rolls

For The Iceberg Slaw 

1/4 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Sour Cream (light)
1/2 Head of Iceberg Lettuce (Shredded)
1/2 Small Red Onion (Diced)

For The Refried Beans 

15 Ounces Pinto Beans (Rinsed)
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1/2 Small Red Onion (Diced)

For The Rub (Scale according to size of roast) 

3 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
3.5 Tablespoons Paprika
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

For The Marinade 

1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2.5 Tablespoon Honey
1 Small Pat Unsalted Butter (Melted)
1 Beef Bouillon Cube

Stick with me on this one folks. The ingredient list is long, but it's not a very complicated recipe - I promise!

Begin by preparing your iceberg slaw and refried beans. Both of these dishes can be prepared the night before if you're tight on time.

For the coleslaw, in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and sour cream. Whisk until the mixture is evenly blended. Add in the lettuce, red onion and a pinch of salt. Toss the mixture until the lettuce is evenly coated in the sour cream mixture. If you're finding your slaw to have too much lettuce, add a dollop of sour cream. Conversely, too much sour cream - add another handful of lettuce. Once combined, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To prepare the beans, add the vegetable oil to a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions soften. Next, add 1/2 cup of water and the pinto beans. Using a small masher (or a spoon) mash the majority of the beans into a coarse pulp. Bring this mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens up. Set aside or store in the refrigerator if you're preparing this dish ahead of time.

About 1 hour prior to when you want to begin cooking, begin preparing your pork loin. First, spread the yellow mustard evenly across all side of the loin, creating a thin base layer - making sure to fill in all of the cavities. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, chili powder and a pinch of freshly ground kosher salt and black pepper. Toss until the spices are combined evenly, then carefully cover the roast in the spice mixture. Make sure to get even distribution across the loin, filling in all cracks and cavities.

Wrap the loin tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for one hour (at least) prior to cooking. This allows the rub to really penetrate the meat and will really boost the final flavor of the pork.

After an hour, preheat your grill to 400 degrees and begin making teh marinade. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar and honey with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Whisk well until everything is blended. Remove your loin from the plastic wrap and set it on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Carefully pour your marinade over the loin, making sure to cover all of the sides as best you can. Tightly wrap the loin the foil and place it on the grill.

The rule of thumb with pork loins is 25 to 30 minutes of cook time per pound. Our loin was 2.5 pounds, so we're looking at 62 to 75 minutes. Determine your cook time, then cut that number in half. The first half of that cook time, the loin needs to be wrapped in the foil. Once you reach the halfway mark, remove the loin (still in the foil) from the grill, and carefully pull off the wrapping (removing it from the grill prevents the juices from falling onto the grill and creating flare ups - not fun!). Return the loin to the grill (sans foil) and allow it to cook for an additional 35-40 minutes (again, this depends on the size of your pork loin). I'd recommend turning the loin halfway through to ensure that all sides of the loin have equal opportunity to form a nice crust.

Once your pork reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees (which you should have easily passed by now - but always check just to be safe) you're ready to serve. Remove the loin from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes (so the juices return to the center of the meat) prior to cutting or shredding (your preference here - you can choose to thinly slice the roast or simply shred it with a couple of forks).

Once sliced or shredded, you're ready to begin assembling your sandwiches. Spread a thin layer of the refried beans (reheated if you made them earlier) on the bottom of the bun (in this case, a ciabatta roll sliced in half). Next, add a helping of the pork and top that with a portion of the iceberg slaw we prepared earlier. Top with the other half of the ciabatta roll and enjoy!

The Results:

Superb! There's few things that can top a roast (of any kind) with a good BBQ rub. The pork is absolutely outstanding with the great, smoky and savory rub from Jamie Oliver's cookbook. Even though this rub is intended for ribs, the basic components compliment pork so well you'll never ever notice that it was designed for beef!

The iceberg slaw and refried beans add a nice element to the sandwich as well. The slaw provides a little brightness and fresh flavor while the refried beans add a great level of depth to the final flavor. The beans are rich, yet heavy and compliment the BBQ savoriness  very well. However, without the slaw, I think the final dish would be a little too savory (IE heavy) so I recommend at the very least to top the sandwich with lettuce - but this slaw is pretty great - so make it if you can.

That's all we have for you this week. We're back again next week with brand new cooking adventures. Until then,


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