The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Pork

Tue Jan 6, 2015

MOINK Balls

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Moink Balls

As I start to write this post, I can't decide if it will have a negative or positive impact on my barbecue cred. Those well versed in their barbecue blogs are undoubtedly already well acquainted the MOINK ball—a food concoction attributed to Larry Gaian of Embers and Flame that consists of a frozen beef meatball wrapped in bacon and then grilled or smoked (seasoning the MOINK with a rub and finishing with a brushing of sauce is common, but not required). It's a fun, simple bite that's proliferated through the barbecue world on blogs, message boards, competitions, and backyards, so why would I want to mess with it?

I'm a total DIY guy, so in my eyes, the use of frozen meatballs actually inhibits the MOINK ball from true greatness. Why settle on a semi-dry packaged meatballs when you can make your own supremely beefy, tender, and flavorful ones from scratch? So, whether it's wrong or right in the eyes of MOINK ball purists, that's exactly what I set out to do.

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Tue Dec 16, 2014

Coke and Pineapple Glazed Ham

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Coke and Pineapple Glazed City Ham

I'm a ham fiend, but this sweet swine is usually relegated to a once-a-year occasion, when it takes center stage at my in-laws Christmas party. In that one night, I bask in the ecstasy of the cured and smoked meat, stuffing myself well beyond reason.

While I'm pretty well versed in ham consumption, when I was plotting to prepare one myself last fall, I realized that my experience cooking it was limited to a single prior attempt. Although it's a seemingly simple prospect—hell, the thing is already cooked—I learned that the devil is in the details and decided to do a test run, which led to this amazing Coke-and pineapple-glazed ham.

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Thu Sep 18, 2014

Planked Figs with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

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Figs with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

I'm creeping into the mindset that planking is b.s. Well, at least the flavor enhancement part is. Wood flavors food through smoke, and with little to no smoke created when planking, there is little to no benefit in that area, at least in my (changing) opinion. However, I do see a distinct advantage to planking in the realm of convenience—the plank can serve as a great medium for delicate or small foods that would otherwise be difficult to grill, plus it then makes an attractive serving dish (assuming you didn't scorch it to death) that adds the aura of outdoor grilling. So when approaching this recipe for figs with pancetta and goat cheese, I saw the plank as almost essential to be able to grill and serve these small delicious fruits with ease.

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Tue Jun 10, 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Skewers with Pineapple and Teriyaki Sauce

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Bacon-wrapped Chicken Skewers

Although not one of my top foods, skewers do tend to be one of my favorite things to do at the Meatwave. They're an awesome party food and especially apt for the medium-sized get togethers I frequently host. For one, the small cubes of meat on a stick cook fast and are easy to manage, shortening my time by the grill and increasing my ability to socialize. Second, I can prepare them ahead of time, so it's just grab and go from the fridge when guests are here. Third, I can grill up a variety of different skewers at once as opposed to the singular focus on one recipe at a time that's required for more complicated dishes. Finally, the ease of eating meat on a stick makes skewers just a better experience for all involved.

For all the pluses, there are an equal amount of minuses like they tend to put more limits on creativity, they require a more watchful eye to ensure they don't overcook, and all too often are just comparatively dull compared to other backyard staples like burgers and ribs.

So I'm left balancing my desire to make skewers, but continuing the tradition of delivering only the best to my guests, and that's where these bacon-wrapped chicken skewers with pineapple and teriyaki sauce really hit the mark.

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Tue Jun 3, 2014

Inihaw na Liempo

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Inihaw na Liempo

Going to my in-laws is like stepping into pork heaven. I didn't realize what an asset to my swine consumption marrying a Filipino would be, but now that I know, I highly recommend it—or at least befriending a Filipino family, especially around holiday time. My time spent in the muggy days in Houston are filled with tangy crispy fried spare ribs, crunchy pork belly, sweet tocino, tangy longaniza, and so many more gifts from the pig that the Filipinos have worked their magic on. So when looking for new pork adventures for myself, I tend to turn to Filipino dishes for inspiration and guidance. That's how I found Inihaw na liempo—grilled pork belly—which was another win for Filipino pork.

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