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

Pork

Tue Dec 22, 2015

Barbecue Ribs with South Carolina Mustard Sauce

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South Carolina Mustard Ribs

Part of my holiday planning is mapping out what I'm going to bring to three different potlucks that happen annually between Christmas in New Years. Being at my in-laws in Texas without a smoker has forced my hand to look towards braised meats and baked pastas in the past, but I've helped remedy that situation by somewhat-selfishly gifting my brother-in-law with a kamado cooker as a housewarming gift, which is now ready for use. While I've loved all the chilis, barbacoas, and lasagnas I've made, I'm finally opened to explore my true calling and great pot luck fare—barbecue. In testing the waters for what might make a suitable dish, I tried out a few racks of pork ribs finished with a golden South Carolina-style mustard sauce.

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Tue Oct 20, 2015

Mojo-Marinated Pork Kebabs With Mango

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Mojo Pork Kebabs

If you ever find yourself married to a Filipino, like I do, you'll quickly learn how proud they are of their nation's mangos—a trip to the Asian market rarely ends without us bringing home at least one bag of dried mangos from the Philippines. So it's a point of contention in our marriage that I'm just not that keen on this one particular fruit. As much as my wife would love a steady influx sweet, orange-fleshed mangos, I hardly ever cook with them. That means when I do, it's considered a treat, which may have been one reason these mojo-marinated pork kebabs with mango went over pretty well.

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Tue Sep 15, 2015

Sweet Glazed Pork Belly and Grilled Pineapple Sandwiches

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Sweet Glazed Pork Belly and Grilled Pineapple Sandwiches

Inevitably the Meatwave comes to an end each season—while I'll grill all year long, I have to face the fact that once you hit around or below the 60°F mark, it's not sitting outside and eating weather any longer. Luckily in my new home in North Carolina, the Meatwave season is extended, but back in New York this put a cap on things around early to mid-October. Last year was the first year I scaled back my ambitious every-other weekend Meatwaves to a more reasonable once-a-month affair, and when it came time to close down shop, I was left feeling like I didn't get all my normal summer grilling in. This led me to the idea of keeping that summer feeling alive and I ended the 2014 season with a Tiki-themed menu that admittedly would have been better suited for early summer festivities. I stocked up on pineapple, sugar, and meats and put together a menu filled with sweet and savory items that included some real stand outs like these tiny glazed pork belly and grilled pineapple sandwiches.

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Tue Sep 1, 2015

Apricot-Glazed Barbecue Ribs

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Apricot-glazed Ribs

Ever since taking up competition barbecue, I've become obsessed with finding a way to make the most consistently perfect slow-smoked pork ribs that can elicit awards from faceless judges. In the process, my rib method has grown to include all sorts of meticulous steps, like wrapping the ribs in foil at just the right time, adding a braising liquid to get them perfectly tender, and monitoring the temperature more closely than doctors keeping tabs on patient's vitals in the ICU.

The resulting competition ribs have earned me a few trophies, but they're honestly not the kind I love most. You see, I'd rather use a simpler method and push the flavor with additional spices and heat, but that can be risky in a competition setting, since I don't want to take that chance on judges with sensitive palates.

So at the beginning of last summer, I decided it was time to get back to my barbecue roots and smoke up some racks of ribs using a less intensive method, instead focusing on hitting those bolder flavors that can make barbecue so incredible. Of course, going with my standard sauce and rub would have been a little too easy on me, so I came up with a new apricot barbecue sauce and complementary rub to make these glistening beauties extra special.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015

Orange and Leek Loukaniko

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Loukaniko

One thing I'm missing from my old base of Astoria, Queens is all the great loukaniko. Now strictly speaking, loukaniko is a Greek term for pork sausage, but it most commonly refers to orange-spiced sausages, for which every restaurant in the neighborhood seems to have its own unique recipe. These variations span a spectrum of seasonings like fennel, coriander, oregano, thyme, and marjoram; some are made from pork, others lamb, and still others, a combination of the two. You'll find loukanika either fresh or cured, partially dried, or even, occasionally, smoked. But one common thread between all their magnificent iterations is that they're almost always grilled, usually until they develop a nicely charred, crispy casing.

With so many top-notch loukaniko choices around every corner, I never saw much point to making my own. But eventually, inspiration struck, and I became determined to make a sausage that would capture my favorite traits of the very best loukaniko sausages in Astoria. To kick things off, I took some cues from cook and writer Hank Shaw to get me started on the right path.

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