Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Posts Tagged ‘pork’

Your Guide to Heritage Meats

Your Guide to Heritage Meats

Left two photos by Edsel Little via Creative Commons. Right photo by Jim Richardson. If you’re a fan of the TV show Portlandia, you’ll remember the first episode where Peter and Nance pepper a restaurant server with questions about the chicken they are about to order. The waitress obliges them with the chicken’s photo and curriculum vitae—the fowl’s name is “Colin”—and he was raised, we learn, on a farm just south of Portland. Peter and Nance put a hold on the table and excuse themselves to check...

Read more →

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 3: How to Cook It

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 3: How to Cook It

The pork shoulder may be the world’s simplest cut of meat to cook. Simpler than steak. Simpler than brisket. Simpler than ribs. In a nutshell, you season the hell out of it (for tips on buying and seasoning pork shoulder, see Parts 1 and 2 of this series) and cook it at a low to moderate heat for 3 to 6 hours (2-1/2 to 3 hours at 350 degrees; 5 to 6 hours at 250 degrees.) What emerges from your smoker or grill gives you a bodacious blend of crisp crust, luscious fat, and meltingly tender meat. But simple doesn’t mean simple-minded....

Read more →

High on the Hog Holiday Dinner: The Ultimate Pork Loin Rib Roast

High on the Hog Holiday Dinner: The Ultimate Pork Loin Rib Roast

In Tuscany, they call pork loin roast arista (from the Greek aristo, literally “best”). It’s an aristocratic hunk of meat, to be sure, and it’s about to take your holiday feast over the top. I like to think of it as the pork equivalent of beef prime rib—but with an eminently friendlier price tag. Essentially, a pork loin rib roast consists of conjoined pork chops—lean, tender, moist, sweet loin meat on bones you will gnaw...

Read more →

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 2: Season It Like You Mean It

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 2: Season It Like You Mean It

Photo by David McSpadden. In Part 1 of this series, we gave you tips on buying pork shoulder, sometimes called pork butt, even though it has nothing to do with a hog’s hindquarters. Now you’ll learn how to coax the most flavor from this indispensable hunk of meat. When it comes to seasoning pork shoulder, remember that a faint heart never won a poker—err, porker—game. You have options: Rub: We Americans use rubs with greater imagination and with a freer...

Read more →

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 1: How to Buy It

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 1: How to Buy It

The pork shoulder has everything a grill or smoke master could wish for. Heft. Flavor. Affordability. And remarkable ease of preparation. Although a whole pork shoulder tips the scale at 14 to 18 pounds and a Boston butt (the top half of the shoulder—the cut most commonly sold at the supermarket) at 5 to 7 pounds, this large hunk ’o meat always comes out tender. And that’s true whether you smoke, indirect grill, or spit-roast it—methods commonly used by hog-o-holics around Planet Barbecue. But not all pork shoulders are equal, and to get the biggest bang for the buck, you need to know about anatomy, animal husbandry, seasoning and grilling techniques and gear. We’ll cover all those topics in this three-part...

Read more →

“Secreto”: The Best Kept Secret in Barbecue

“Secreto”: The Best Kept Secret in Barbecue

There’s an old saying: “Even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while.” It came to mind when I chanced upon something unexpected while searching for duck at my local supermarket recently. It was an appropriate metaphor given that my find was a package of pork labeled “Secreto Ibérico de Bellota”—the “secret” cut from one of Spain’s acorn-fattened pigs. (Bellota means acorn in Spanish.) I first heard about secreto when Steven blogged about eating (make that devouring) it at the Imperial restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Chef-owner Vitaly...

Read more →

In Praise of Pork Chops, Part 2

In Praise of Pork Chops, Part 2

First the good news. In the last 30 years, pork has gotten a lot leaner. This means that from a fat and cholesterol point of view, today’s pork is a lot healthier. Remember the “other white meat” campaign, comparing lean loin cuts of pork to white meat chicken? Now the bad news. In the last 30 years, pork has gotten a lot leaner. That means less marbling and less fat, and an increased tendency for those same lean cuts to dry out on the grill. Well, here at BarbecueBible.com, we try to be...

Read more →

How to Make Bacon from Scratch

How to Make Bacon from Scratch

If you live in Miami’s Little Havana, you may remember a day last summer when you awoke to an aroma decidedly different than the cumin, garlic, and sour orange scents that normally emanate from the lechón asado (roast pork) parlors in this Cuban neighborhood. It was a pork smell, alright, but mingled with the smoke of slow smoldering hickory and apple wood. It was a smell you’d associate with a smokehouse in backwoods Tennessee. Which was no accident, because when James...

Read more →

In Praise of Pork Chops

In Praise of Pork Chops

Good things come in small packages? Maybe true for jewelry, but certainly not on the grill. If you want to know how good big can be, order the pork tomahawk at Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. I’ve written about this Italian chop house before and I’ll tell you a lot more about it in a future blog. But for the moment, all you really need to know is that to cut the pork tomahawk, Chi Spacca’s chef starts at the top of the backbone and ends at the bottom of the belly, giving you a...

Read more →

Barbecue University

Boston Butt Basics, Part 2

Boston Butt Basics, Part 2

In the last blog, Boston Butt Basics, Part 1, we discussed the anatomy of pork shoulder. So now you know the difference between a Boston butt and a picnic. You know what to look for when buying pork shoulder and you read how to season it with a mustard rub, smoke it, and serve it, South Carolina-style with Mustard Sauce. So it’s time to, er, bone up on pork shoulder grilling and smoking techniques and some basic prep before you fire up the grill. Prepping a pork shoulder: Keep...

Read more →