Made these gorgeous pork belly tacos tonight and would love to share how I did them. I was going for some Mexican and Asian flavors, and couldn't have been happier with the result. The only issue at all was a light spot on the pork due to liquid pooling there during the cook because the belly was a bit big for my standard Joe and I had to scrunch it a little.
1. I brined it for about 14 hours in a mix of pineapple juice, teriyaki, and soy sauce after scoring the fat sight relatively deeply
2. Dried the belly and rubbed it with Killer Hogs BBQ Rub on all sides
3. Smoked on Kamado Joe at 240 with some cherry wood to add a light fruity smoke favor (no wrapping because I wanted some meaty bite in the taco)
4. When I had internals around 185, I glazed the belly and cooked for another 20ish minutes
5. Broiled the belly inside for 2 minutes to tighten up the glaze and crisp the fat even more
6. Rested the meat for about 40 minutes (should have gone longer but people were too hungry :D )
1. Mix together raw honey, soy sauce, salt, worcestershire sauce, peach preservers (wanted pineapple to go with the brine but couldn't find it), apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper, hot bone sucking bbq sauce, and some secret super hot scotch bonnet hot sauce I bought in Anguilla. All of this is unmeasured and I mixed to taste.
2. Simmer on the stove until the mixture reduces a bit and thickens up, allow to cool off the heat
1. Home made guacamole (avocado, lots of lime, onion, kosher salt, pepper, cilantro)
2. Home made Chipotle Crema (sour cream, heavy cream, lime juice, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, adobo sauce, kosher salt)
3. Grilled pineapple on the same grates I cooked the pork on
4. Cojita Cheese
6. Home made pickled onions (red onion, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, sugar, water)
Please enjoy the pictures, and as usual, ask any questions!
Unreal weather today. 55 degrees at 10:00am. This upcoming week....last year.....we had an ice storm that knocked the power out for several days in the surrounding area......followed soon by an earthquake.......not on this day, however. Today is beyond excellent.
Morning coffee had while getting the grill up to temp with some Toby Keith playing on the deck. Good morning to the neighbors. Using some great looking FoGo lump. Ginormous pieces. Added several large chunks of cherry wood on top, too. @BOOMSTICK069 was spot on with his recommendation about this stuff ! Giant 35 lb bags. Doing some ribs today....it's been ages since the last batch. Going to use a different rub on each slab. Cimarron Docs has been my family's favorite rib rub for the past couple years. Great stuff. The look of that Kamado Joe Peach rub is enough to make me want to eat a spoonful of it right now. I've never tried the John Henry's Pecan rub but it came highly recommended so I'll give it a go. Just getting started. In efforts to save time.....I went ahead and put them bone-side down on the grate and hit the top sides heavily with the rub. I was going to do a couple butts, too.....but didn't get up in time this morning and was going to be pushed for time. Tossed 'em in the freezer and will cook them next weekend.
Mama Smokehowze’s BBQ Sauced Chicken with Grilled Roma Tomato and Marinated Cucumber
This meal was a labor of love. I have been working on recreating my mother’s BBQ sauce recipe. What we have to go on was a “supposed” written down version of the recipe. Now, my mother was a great cook and she cooked by divine inspiration coupled with smell, sight, and taste along with the pinch of this, dash of that approach -- very seldom was anything written down. (Humm… wonder where my cooking style and my kids techniques came from.)
So tonight, my son and I built a 6 cup batch of our next variant of “Mama Smokehowze’s BBQ Sauce” I have to say I think I am getting really close to the sauce I grew up eating (at least what is in my memory bank) . Maybe a few more tries to get it zeroed it. When I get it right, I will probably post it in the recipes. It has a great flavor balance and a nice touch of pepperiness.
Since we like chicken thighs grilled on Big(Red)Joe that was what was cooked tonight - 5.5 lbs bone-in and skin-on. The sides were grilled roma tomatoes and marinated cucumbers.
Here are the pictures and details. All in all a very nice meal that brought back some good growing-up family time together memories.
A Great Tasting Meal Full of Flavors
Cooking Up “Mama Smokehowze’s BBQ Sauce”
Prepping the Romas - brushed with grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, dried organic basil and oregano
Tomatoes on Big(Red)Joe – 375 degrees direct for about 5 minutes total turning often and moving around over the coals
Time to Make a Turn - note the charring on some of the tomatoes that is coming on and fast!
Fantastic Tomatoes - set them aside and cover with foil while cooking the chicken
The Cucumbers - marinated in ¼ c red & ½ c white wine vinegar, 3 Tbs sugar, touch of water, pinch of salt
The Chicken Taking in the Sauce in Mid Cook – reset Joe for 350 degrees indirect, 10 minutes sauce and turn, 10 minutes sauce and turn, then sauce and turn every 5 minutes until 175-180 internal (probably about 35 min in all) with some good hickory wood smoke during the whole cook. About 3 cups sauces glazed on these16 thighs.
Chicken is Done - These Pretty Things Are All Ready for The Plate and the Palate
By John Setzler
Here it is folks... a really great Eastern North Carolina Style BBQ Sauce Recipe!
4 cups apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup brown sugar 4 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon hot sauce Mix the ingredients together and make sure the salt and sugar has dissolved completely. Store in the fridge for 12-24 hours before use. Serve at room temperature! This sauce also makes a fantastic mop/baste for pork while it's cooking. Video: