Ready for the Fourth of July June 29 2016

Time to celebrate summer and the independence of our great nation.  Even if it rains, I’ll be ready for the Fourth of July with a feast that is a True-Blue, All-American Tribute to the bounty of this country. I just tried my hand at indoor smoking on my stove top. So easy and the results are delicious. 

Grab a big pot with a tight fitting lid.  I used a nice stainless steel stock pot which I think I have just found an entirely new use for that is amazing.

Soak some wood chunks for a couple hours then put them into the bottom of the pot on a nice layer of foil, or do as I did and use a disposable foil pie plate. I used Small Apple Wood Chunks from Bob's Smokin' Hardwood, Apple wood brings out some great flavors on pork!

Next place another layer of foil or another foil pie plate on top of the wood layer and load in your meat.  I rubbed a 2+ pound piece of Pork Loin with my own spice blend (recipe follows).  You can use fresh Garlic and Onions and just about any spice blend which you like.  I serve a sweet BBQ sauce on the side instead of putting too much moisture into the smoker. 

I washed up a bag of Red Fingerling Potatoes and placed then in a mesh colander and that went in right on top of the pork.

Put the lid on the pot and then wrap the lid gap tightly with a good heavy foil, with the intent being to seal the smoke inside the pot.

Turn the burner on your stove to Medium High for 10 Minutes.  This will bring the temperature of your wood layer up to produce smoke. 

Turn the burner down to Low and walk away for 2 hours.

Turn off the burner and carefully unwrap the foil from your pot.  Lift the lid slowly away from you with your exhaust fan running and carefully remove the colander of potatoes.

Re-wrap the pot lid with foil and turn the stove back on to Medium High for 10 minutes and then turn things down to Low for an additional 2 hours.  While you are waiting, you have time to make all your side dishes and desert.  Recipes follow.

Repeat the process of turning off the heat, unwrapping and taking the lid off with an exhaust fan running and this time you will have the most tender, juicy, smoked pork that will simply fall apart and be ready to load onto nice buns or right to the plate.

I paired my pork with Smokey Potato Salad (as a nod to our supporters in achieving independence from England I did a twist on a tasty French Potato Salad) and a crisp Spinach Salad and for dessert: Berry Shortcakes with fresh Whipped Cream.

Now all we need is something cold to drink and a great fireworks display to make the day a real celebration! 

Happy Fourth of July!

Lori Coates

 

RECIPES:

Pork Spice Rub

  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • a large pinch of fine Sea Salt. 

Simply blend and rub into the surface of the pork.

Smoky Potato Salad

Combine:

  • 1 Tablespoon Grainy Mustard
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup Rose or White Wine (Nothing to sweet)
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon fine Sea Salt
  • 6 Green Onions, sliced up to a nice size (not to small but not huge), green portion only

Stir this together and when the potatoes come from the smoker, slice them into the mixture while still warm and they will absorb the liquid and taste amazing.

Berry Shortcakes -  Combine 4 cups of the freshest fruit you can find at your local farm stand or grocery store or if you aren’t blessed with such offerings, you can even use frozen berries you have thawed.  Sprinkle with a little sugar or honey to get the juices flowing and let stand for at least an hour.  I used Strawberries, Cherries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Peaches.  Make sure to cut things up into nice bite sized pieces.  My shortcakes are essentially sweetened biscuits.  I have used Jiffy Brand baking mix and Bisquick both, but the trick is to add a bit of plain old sugar before you rub in the butter.  The butter should be really cold and you can even freeze it and then grate it into the dry mixture before adding your milk or even better, buttermilk.  I even use soured milk if I have it!  Here is my recipe: 

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.

Stir together:

  • 2 Cups Baking Mix
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 stick of Butter (4 Tablespoons)

Combine rubbing butter into dry ingredients till pea sized crumbles form.  Do not overwork it or it will get tough. 

Stir together:

  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • Or if you have actual soured cream use 1 Cup.

Combine with dry ingredients and form into a loose log.  Cut into 8 equal pieces and pat gently into rounds about ½-1 inch thick.  Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar or plain white sugar if it is all you have.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until just beginning to turn golden at the edges.

We like to slice the shortcake in half and put our berries in between and on top of the layers and top it all with a giant dollop of Whipped Cream.  Yummmmm!

Please send any feedback to lori.smokin@gmail.com.