Kingsford Charcoal

This is just a quick heads-up about a killer deal on Kingsford® charcoal. Throughout most (if not all) of the country you can get two-packs of 13.9 pound bags for under six bucks at Home Depot! Here in Boise the price is $5.88. My local ad says "while supplies last", and it generally goes quick. The deal ends 05/30 here.

If, like me, you burn a bunch of charcoal, this is the time to stock-up on the best. Last year I bought something like 300 pounds during this sale.

Note: If you don't have a Home Depot nearby, or they're out of stock, Lowe's also has a good deal on two-packs of 20 pound bags.

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Pork Torta

Well, my Cinco de Mayo recipe is better late than never, right? Things have been crazy busy of late, so I apologize for the delay. If you've never had a pork torta, I have two pieces of advice for you. One, remedy that situation ASAP. Two, try this recipe as said remedy.

Torta is simply Spanish for "sandwich". As with most recipes, there are many different traditional versions. My version starts with a split bolillo roll. The bottom of the roll is smeared with a thick layer of my Funky Refried Beans. I then add a pile of tangy shredded marinated and grill-roasted pork. To that I add some quick-pickled red onion, lettuce, and sliced tomato. I smear the top of the roll with a simple guacamole.

This is essentially a Mexican incarnation of a pulled pork sandwich, and it's incredibly good!

Ingredients
7 lbs Boston pork butt, cut to 1 1/2" across the grain by your butcher (or country-style ribs)
1 batch Marinade (recipe follows)
1 batch Funky Refried Beans (or standard refried beans)
1 batch Pickled onions (recipe follows)
1 batch Simple guacamole (recipe follows)
8 Bolillo rolls
1 head Green leaf lettuce, chopped rough
8 ripe Roma tomatoes, sliced to 1/4"

Marinade
4 Navel oranges, juiced (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 Limes, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup Canola oil
6 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp Ground cumin

Pickled Onions
2 medium Red onions, sliced to 1/4"
1 1/2 cup Distilled vinegar
2/3 cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Black pepper, ground fresh

Simple Guacamole
2 large Ripe Haas avocados (Calavo, of course), peeled and chopped rough
1 Lime, juiced
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper, ground fresh

Method
Combine all of marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk well until all of the ingredients are combined. Divide the pork into two gallon-size zip-top bags. Add half of the marinade to each bag, seal (removing the excess air), and refrigerate in a lipped pan (to catch any leakage) for a least 2, but no more than 4 hours.

Make the pickled onions by combining all of the ingredients, except the onions, in a large bowl and whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the onions, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

About 3-4 hours before you want to serve, start your grill and prepare for direct and indirect cooking over a medium fire (325-350º).

Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving as much of the marinade as possible. Grill the pork over direct heat for 30 minutes, flipping at 15 minutes.

Pork Torta

While the pork is cooking, bring the reserved marinade to a boil in a small sauce pan, reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.

After cooking 30 minutes, move the pork to a large foil pan, pour the cooked marinade evenly over the pork, cover with foil, return to the grill and cook indirect until the pork is fork tender, about 2-3 hours, depending on the thickness.

While the pork cooks, make the Funky Refried Beans and keep warm.

Remove the pork from the grill, uncover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Shred the pork by hand or with forks.

Split each roll and smear the bottom of each with about 2 tablespoons of beans, add about 1/3 cup of shredded pork, add some pickled onion, tomato slices, lettuce, then smear the top of the roll with about 2 tablespoons of the guacamole.

Serve and enjoy!

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Discovery: Rub Storage Cans

As you might imagine, I have a lot of barbecue dry rubs here at Daddio Central. In addition to my usual homemade rubs, I have countless samples that I receive for review and as gifts. Storing all of these mass quantities of rub is something I deal with often.

Well, as I was tooling around our local Tuesday Morning store the other day I spied these clear plastic gallon paint cans (from stampendous.com). I had the immediate epiphany that I could use them to store rub. I picked one up and checked the price ($2.99, regularly $5.99), then I thought that they are probably not food-safe. I flip the can over and, low and behold, they are indeed food-safe!

Discovery: Rub Storage Cans

I was almost shocked. Of course, they're made in China, so who knows if they are really all that food-safe, if you know what I mean.

To properly store herbs and spices for the long-term they need to be in an airtight container and in a cool dark place, and these cans are pretty airtight. Them being clear it makes it easy to see how much you have left, and it shouldn't be a problem because it's dark where I store my rubs. I think I'm going to use blank magnetic business cards to label them.

So, there you have it. I just wanted to share my epiphany with y'all.

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I apologize for being away so long, but we've had a death in the family. My dear sweet mother-in-law passed into eternity late last month and, as you'd expect, we've been attending to family matters.

Charlene was such a great wife, mother and grandmother. She had a sweet and gracious Southern spirit that was occasionally mixed with a touch of her Scotch-Irish feistiness. She was the best mother-in-law and grandmother to our girls that a guy could possibly ask for, and she's already greatly missed.

As the Bible states, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, and our life is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes. I praise God for the vapor that was Charlene's life.

I've got a lot of catching up to do, so please bear with me. As always, I greatly appreciate your readership and I look forward to bringing you some goodies very soon. I cooked up some killer Mexican tortas for Cinco de Mayo, and I've got a great book review coming up.

Stay tuned...

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