Adventures in Pork, pt. 2

Adventures in Pork, pt. 2

Part two in the series contains the center cut chops, tenderloin, and St Louis style ribs.

Chops

First off, those chops..yeah unfortunately when I cooked them I didn’t even anticipate (or had started) a food blog :/ Yes they were good. Simple medium- high heat on the grill, followed by a light slather of Korean BBQ sauce. Pretty good stuff. Not spicy.

Next time I do this full cut I’ll make sure to capture some pics of the finished product. Also, I’m going to try an Asian style marinade.

Tenderloin

Next off is the tenderloin, which has been marinading in pesto sauce for last two days. These went indirect heat, looking for internal temp ~140 F. I really like having a meat thermometer in something like this, because I can catch it before it dries out.

Now I realize some may think ‘geez that’s pork, you can’t serve it medium and still pink!’. Well here’s the thing – this isn’t our grandparents pork! It hasn’t been pumped full of strange chemicals and hormones, and it doesn’t come from a huge factory farm. Also, it hit the 145 F mark.

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To be honest the pesto marinade didn’t really take. And I should have sprinkled a few grains of Kosher or sea salt right before serving. However, these were some of the most tender, juicy morsels of pork I’ve had. Ever.

St. Louis style ribs

Ribs come from the same local farm as all previous cuts, Pastures a Plenty. I’d really love to visit the farm and do a features post on them.

Same dry rub as we used on the sirloin roast for pulled pork. This is definitely my go-to dry rub for pork.

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For ribs I’m looking same internal temp as the pulled – around 190 F. For smoke I’ll be trying Apple wood from Kitchen Window. They have a great variety of different hard woods. Check them out if you’re in Uptown Minneapolis:

http://www.kitchenwindow.com/

I set the vent around 1/3 open as I’ve done before.

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Got the coals started using the gas burner – credit for that idea goes to Baby Back Maniac. Check out some of his vid’s, he does a really good job – Baby Back Maniac

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Stepped away for about an hour, came back and my buddy had taken them off. Apparently the temp was ready over 210 F for a while and was concerned they would burn. I adjust the bottom vents to barely open, let the coals chill for a bit, and put the ribs back on. At this point they were done, but they didn’t quite ‘bend’ they way I was looking for. After ~15 mins that Lynchburg BBQ sauce was added:

See how dark they are? Definitely a sign these were too hot, too long. Here’s finished product:

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I like the smoke ring on the one, but you can see the one behind it has lost most of it’s moisture and fat. There were a few really good one’s in the bunch, but overall I wasn’t super happy with the results. A few thoughts come to mind, including more incentive to purchase a ceramic cooker.

The spice level also seemed a bit high for a few friends. Perhaps next time I’ll either try a lighter amount of rub, or something more basic.

Beverages

Our friends provided some really nice wine. Everyone seemed to like the option of a red and white. I’m no wine connoisseur, but have always enjoyed New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. This one is from the Marlborough region in New Zealand. Bright, crisp and has that wonderful grapefruit flavor I’ve come to love.

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Future Modifications

Chops

  • Asian style marinade for at least one day

Tenderloin

  • change out the marinade to something that resembles more of a brine
  • dust some salt just before serving

Ribs

  • cut back on amount of coals
  • cut back on vent opening
  • buy a ceramic cooker!

I hope some these experiences can help give some insight. It’s interesting to share the not-so-perfect aspects of my cook as well, and go through a process of refinement. Hope you enjoyed and until next time, enjoy this season of grillin’ and chillin’!

 

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