Sunday, July 3, 2011


photos, Dan Ryan

In complete contrast to last week's fine French food fête, we spent yesterday afternoon grillin', swillin' and chillin' with our pal Mr. Stubbs. We made a classic barbecue meal that took much of the day to cook. (Relax, Mr. Weber really did most the work, not us.) 

First we put a dry rub of spices onto a pork shoulder and put it in the fridge for a day so they could all get to know each other. Then Dan fired up the grill Saturday morning using Stubbs hardwood charcoal briquettes and put the pork shoulder on the grill, where it cooked in indirect heat (about 250 degrees) for six hours. Chunks of hickory provided added smoke and flavor. The neighbors must have been mad with curiosity about the heavenly aromas wafting through the air. Here's a link to the dry rub recipe.  We don't follow Cook's Illustrated's cooking instructions because they have the pork finished in the oven (as if!) Dan usually just finds some other recipes for cooking it all on a grill; this one's a good one (heck, we might even try their rub/injection recipe someday). 

Next come the ancillaries. A good barbecue sauce is a must, and we've been using one particular recipe from Steven Raichlen for years. It's the perfect combination of tangy-sweet-molasses-spiciness. The recipe uses the usual barbecue sauce suspects, plus some unusual ones, such as apple cider. And Martin's Potato Rolls are the perfect bun for this pulled-pork sandwich.

Side dishes included Boston baked beans (an amazing metamorphosis of the humble navy bean into an insanely rich mahogany-coated, slow-cooked wonder—canned beans are fine, just skip the salt); cucumbers and red onions in a sugared vinegar sauce; and a citrusy coleslaw. The bright and tart freshness of the cucumbers and coleslaw were a nice counterpoint to the rich beans and pulled pork sandwiches, slathered in that BBQ sauce. A $12 bottle of Cline zinfandel (red, of course) packed enough punch to go perfectly with the festival of flavors. There's plenty of summer left, so get out those checkered napkins and roll up your sleeves.

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