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Basic Pulled Pork

Photo by Ken Goodman

Adapted from “Wicked Good Barbecue” by Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, and Andrea Pyenson, Fair Winds Press, 2012.

Makes 10 servings

This pork freezes well, and you can use it for loads of different dishes. We like to stir it into a finished pot of greens or beans, add it to omelets, load it onto baked potatoes, and make pulled pork nachos or enchiladas. You’re really limited only by your imagination. You might want to freeze it in a few smallish portions, so you can pull it out and defrost just the amount you will need for whatever you are making.

8-pound bone-in pork butt

1 cup IQUE Dry Rub (recipe follows)

1/3 cup white grape juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

Rinse the pork butt, but do not trim any of the fat. Generously apply IQUE Dry Rub all over meat, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Unwrap the pork butt and let sit at room temperature for up to an hour.

Prepare smoker and heat to 250 degrees. Place pork butt on the smoker, fat side up, close the lid, and crack a beer. Smoke pork for 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees. Flip the butt fat-side down. Smoke until internal temperature registers 195 degrees, about 2 more hours. If the pork is not done after 2 hours, wrap tightly in aluminum foil until it reaches 195 degrees. It is helpful at this stage to monitor the internal temperature with a probe thermometer.

While the pork is smoking, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the grape juice, vinegar, sugar, and Worcestershire and barbecue sauces. Bring to a simmer; cool.

Remove pork from smoker and place into a pan fat-side up. Pour the marinade over the pork, tent with foil, and let it rest for 1 hour. Pull pork into large, thumb-sized chunks, mixing the meat with the accumulated juices in the pan. Serve immediately or refrigerate, wrapped, for up to 3 days.

 

IQUE Dry Rub

3 cups

Turbinado is raw sugar with coarse, blond-colored crystals. It has a light, molasses flavor. It is essential in this rub because it doesn’t burn as easily as white or brown sugar. We like to use mixed peppercorns—white, black, pink, and green—because they add complex flavors, hitting different points on your tongue as you eat. Also, look for fresh chili powder, such as Gebhardt’s, and paprika, which have superior flavor. They can be difficult to find at traditional grocery stores. We order ours online, but if there is a good spice shop in your neighborhood, that is another option.

1 cup turbinado sugar

3/4 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup high quality paprika (we like Spanish paprika)

6 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin seeds, freshly ground

4 teaspoons mixed peppercorns, freshly ground

4 teaspoons garlic granules

3 teaspoons onion granules

2 teaspoons MSG (or Accent), optional

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

Place all ingredients in a spice blender and pulse until it becomes a fine powder. Refrigerate in an airtight container. This rub will keep indefinitely, but try to use within one month to ensure freshest flavor.

 

Grilled Salmon Sandwiches

Reprinted from the Barefoot Contessa.

Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

Good olive oil

2 pounds fresh salmon fillets, skin-on

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the sauce:

1 cup good mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar

12 large fresh basil leaves

3/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped scallions, white and green parts

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 teaspoons capers, drained

To assemble:

6 fresh white or brioche rolls (4-inch rounds)

1/4 pound mesclun mix or fresh basil leaves

For the salmon, prepare a charcoal grill and brush the grilling rack with oil. Rub the outside of the salmon with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill the fish for 5 minutes on each side, or until it is almost cooked through. Remove to a plate and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Remove any remaining skin.

For the sauce, place the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, basil, dill, scallions, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until combined. Add the capers and pulse two or three times.

To assemble the sandwiches, slice the rolls in half crosswise. Spread 1 tablespoon of the sauce on each cut side. Place some mesclun mix or basil on the bottom half, then a piece of salmon. Place the top of the roll on the salmon and serve.

 

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Reprinted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

1 whole Recipe For Pizza Crust (see below)

2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce

Olive Oil, For Drizzling

Salt For Sprinkling

16 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thinly

1/2 whole Red Onion, Cut In Half And Sliced Very Thin

Chopped Cilantro, to taste

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Salt chicken breasts on both sides, then place in an ovenproof dish. Pour BBQ sauce over the breasts and turn them over to coat. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Remove from oven and cut into a fine dice. Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.

Roll/stretch out one pizza crust. Lay it on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Drizzle a little olive oil on the crust, then sprinkle on a little salt.

Spoon a couple of tablespoons of extra BBQ sauce on the crust and spread it evenly. Top sauce with half the sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle on half the diced chicken and thinly sliced red onion.

Sprinkle again with a little salt, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle on plenty of chopped cilantro. Cut into squares and serve immediately. Repeat with other crust and other ingredients, or save for another time.

Basic Pizza Crust:

Ingredients

1 teaspoon Instant Or Active Dry Yeast

1-1/2 cup Warm Water

4 cups All-purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/3 cup Olive Oil

Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.

In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.

Note: it’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

When you are ready to make the pizza, grab HALF the pizza dough (recipe makes 2 crusts) and squeeze the dough toward the bottom to form a nice, tight, pulled ball. You can roll out the pizza with a rolling pin if you’d like, but sometimes it’s just as easy to throw it around and pull and stretch till it feels right. And when the crust is nice and thin, lay it on an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and spread it with your fingers. Very lightly sprinkle some salt on the crust.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Top your crust with your toppings of choice. Then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.

 

Scott Hibb’s Amazing Whisky Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Reprinted from AllRecipes.com

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2 (2 pound) slabs baby back pork ribs

coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground red chile pepper

2 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup tomato paste

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 1/4 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring

2 teaspoons whiskey

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon dark molasses

1/2 tablespoon ground red chile pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degree F (150 degrees C).

Cut each full rack of ribs in half, so that you have 4 half racks. Sprinkle salt and pepper (more pepper than salt), and 1 tablespoon chile pepper over meat. Wrap each half rack in aluminum foil. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and Worcestershire sauce.

Season with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, liquid smoke, whiskey, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, dark molasses, and 1/2 tablespoon ground chile pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/4 hours, uncovered, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and set sauce aside.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

Remove the ribs from the oven, and let stand 10 minutes. Remove the racks from the foil, and place on the grill.

Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Brush sauce on the ribs while they’re grilling, just before you serve them (adding it too early will burn it). 

 

Thai-style Barbecue Vegetables
Reprinted from About.com.

Marinated in garlic, lime juice, and coriander, plain bell peppers and eggplant come alive with flavor and sweetness when grilled over the barbecue. Also try grilling cherry tomatoes and onions on a skewer. This vegetable recipe is so sweet and delicious, even your kids will want to eat their veggies! Plus, this recipe takes only minutes to make – superb as a side dish for a barbecue!

Ingredients:

1/2 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick slices

Several sweet peppers of different colors, cut lengthwise and de-seeded

Optional: other vegetables such as portobello mushroom slices, onions (quartered), or sweet potato slices

Marinade:

6 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp. salt

2 tsp. dark soy sauce (or 1 Tbsp. wheat-free tamari for gluten-free diets)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (or substitute lemon juice)

1/2 loose cup fresh coriander, including the stems, chopped

Garnish:

Handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves

Directions:

Place all marinade ingredients in a small chopper or food processor. Process to a fine paste-like sauce.

Place prepared vegetables in a long and flat dish or pan. Pour the marinade over.

Distribute the marinade over both sides of the vegetables. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes (while you prepare the barbecue), or up to several hours in the refrigerator.

Grill on your barbecue (or on an indoor countertop grill), turning several times. Vegetables are done when browned slightly and flesh has softened – about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill.

Serve the vegetables as is, or garnish with a handful of fresh coriander leaves sprinkled over.

FYI: If you want to grill cherry tomatoes and onions (these are marvelous on the barbecue!), try marinating them first, them skewering them. Wooden skewers can be easily purchased in grocery stores or gourmet food shops.

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