This was pretty easy. And since my grill is so big, I also grilled chicken thighs (bone-in) – recipe in a later post – and naked baked potatoes (on a skewer to heat evenly, no foil).
I put a pork shoulder into my little electric smoker the other day but the outside temps plunged and the heating element just couldn’t stay ahead. It spent 24 hours in there before I gave up and brought it inside to the oven.Another few hours at 350 finished it. I have a light dry rub on it, and a few cloves of garlic poked under the rind.
The slaw for the sandwich was a variation on one of the many copycat recipes out there for KFC slaw.
And lots of garlic – two heads in the pan with the other odds and ends of veggies, and one head’s worth of cloves inserted into slits cut into the shoulder. I had some sprouts, a little bit of cauliflower, onions, carrots, celery, and a few dried red chilies. I added potatoes cut into largish chunks after taking this photo.It all cooked, covered, in a 350 oven until the internal temps hit 195. I took everything out and made gravy with the addition of broth to the drippings, using corn starch as a thickener. I discarded the celery because it was all yuck. The sprouts were edible but soggy. The gravy was excellent.
This duck spent all day outside in my small electric smoker (12 hours!) and only managed an internal temp of 155 degrees so I moved it to my 350 oven to finish. When the thermometer beeped 165 I took it out and brushed the glaze on and put it back in after boosting the oven past 400. Just a few minutes set the orange/honey/ molasses mixture. Now what do I do with it?
I started out just wanting the fat to cook potatoes with, duck fat being all the foodie rage some years ago. News tends to filter slowly into the Heartland. There are a few places to order duck fat online but they seemed uniformly too expensive – and I’m Cheap. I did get a cup of fat out of this, a cup and a half , max. This web site has good info, and lots of pictures, it gave me some good ideas for how to go about cooking this thing. Not that I followed the instructions, of course. I did see the utility of crosshatching the skin so I did that. Cut my thumb, too, but I didn’t get much blood on the bird.I think I’ll dismember it and serve it along with rice and a roasted veggie or two. I can picture thinly sliced breast atop a bowl of noodles, or in an upscale taco.
Tacos are always fun. I smoked a pork shoulder yesterday and had some pork handy for them.The shoulder was rubbed with black pepper, kosher salt, garlic, and ground coriander seeds with a bit of brown sugar just for fun. It spent all day in the smoker that I stoked with apple wood chips and a little wild cherry. I still had to bring it in to finish in the oven, ending late enough I just tossed the whole thing into the fridge overnight. I pulled it apart this morning, sending the dogs into a tizzy. A final few chops with a big knife and it was ready to bag and freeze. I kept out plenty for immediate (tacos!) use.
After a long talk with my local butcher Friday, I decided to try a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for a while. A garlic and pepper butter spread used on an inexpensive cut of beef.
The butcher kindly picked out a nice sized roast he thought would be good for what I was trying to do. It was about 5.5 lbs, enough to feed 4, with leftovers.
It was pretty simple and the results were incredibly tender, juicy and flavorful. The menu was simple, as well, I made garlic mashed potatoes, trying something new, I sautéed the garlic in the butter while the potatoes steamed, added milk and let the whole mixture get good and hot before adding to the well drained potatoes. They mashed up nice and fluffy while staying nice and hot. The gravy was simply roast drippings made into a quick roux and added enough water to make a nice thick gravy. We all wished I’d made more. Alton (not that one) made green beans with bacon and sun-dried tomatoes, which were excellent.
Here’s the recipe for the roast:
Cracked Pepper Garlic Roast
- 5 lbs or more of tri-tip or similar roast
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 4 tbsp cracked pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
The roast I had was three pieces held together by connective tissue and fat. It was well-trimmed, so I didn’t need to trim. Mix together butter, pepper and garlic, spread 1/2 in between the layers. Then coat the top of the roast with the remaining mixture. Tie together or skewer the roast. Let sit for at least an hour at room temperature. You can make it the night before and store in the refrigerator, lightly covered in plastic. Remove and bring to room temperature before cooking.
Pre-heat over to 475 degrees (a bit lower than the technique Kirk Spencer taught me) because I didn’t want the butter to burn. Place roast in the oven at this temperature for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees. You want it to be about 130 degrees when you remove it because it’s going to rest for 15 minutes, at which time it will reach about 145 degrees. This will give you a medium rare roast in the center and the outer ends will be more medium. If you prefer a rare roast, pull it out at 125 degrees. It will reach about 140 degrees after resting.
It seemed like a good time for a roasted chicken. Easy enough to do. This was a 5lb bird. I washed and dried it, seasoned it with some garlic, salt, pepper…oh, wait I’m out of rosemary. What to do? Grab the Old Bay Seasoning and see what that will do. I loosened the skin on the breast, put the spices both under the skin and on top. I roasted it covered, in a roasting pan at 375 degrees for 1 hour, then removed the cover and roasted it for an additional half hour uncovered. I basted it 3 or 4 times throughout, using the pan juices. Internal temperature was a bit above 165 degrees when I removed it from the oven and 170 degrees 5 minutes later when it was ready to be carved.
Temperature was taken at both the breast and in the thigh to assure even cooking throughout. I served it with brown rice and tossed salad. I didn’t make gravy, but I strained and cooked down the juices to serve on the side. I saved the remainder of the juice, plus the broth from cooking the giblets, for soup later in the week. I think the Old Bay seasoning added a nice overall flavor to the bird, without overpowering it.