Long time no blog! Since my last blog, spring has arrived, then it went away and winter came back and then winter went away again but instead of going back to spring it sort of jumped straight to summer! By the time the warm weather returned the tulips in my garden were like a wound watch spring and came up, flowered and died in about 10 days… anyway the asparagus seems to like it and is cropping very well this year. I think I have the biggest asparagus spear ever!!
But I digress… this is supposed to be about my new acquisition for summer and maybe all year round. My new kamado grill by the Big Green Egg Co. Kamado grills are a Japanese barbecue and wikipedia tells me that they were brought back from Japan by Americans after the second world war where they became popular because they are much more versatile than an ordinary barbecue. The Big Green Egg Co. has been around over 40 years so they must be doing something right. Rob the Butcher had been going on about how brilliant they are so I decided to try it. He was right! If you don’t know what one looks like, it looks like this –
A large fire box that can take enough charcoal for up to 20 hours cooking (yes 20 hours!) and a hinged lid over the grill to keep the heat in and all made out of ceramic that doesn’t flavour the food. Theres a top vent with an adjustable vent and a draft door at the bottom to control the airflow and therefore the temperature. you cab be pretty accurate, within + or – 10C or so. You can see my old Weber behind it for size.
So I have tried a few things on it but so far my favourite has been good old pulled pork. You need a large piece of pork as its going to cook for a long time – maybe 12 hours – and a small joint would dry out. So here’s mine – about 3.5kg bone in shoulder of pork.
I made a dry rub of salt, fennel seeds, black onion seeds and smoked paprika and rubbed it in and let it overnight. I got up at 7am to light the Egg as this was going to take all day! When the temperature was up top about 130C (indirect not directly over the coals) The meat went in with some soaked hickory chips over the coals for an intense smokey flavour.
Lumpwood charcoal is preferred and mine comes with excellent sustainability credentials as the trees grow about a mile from my house!
And then you wait… and monitor the temperature, keeping the grill temperature around 130C until the the temperature in the thickest part of the meat is about 95C. As you see I have a fancy dual probe thermometer that measures the meat temperature and the grill temperature, or if you want, two different meats. The meat is currently 8C… long way to go!
The meat doesn’t rise in temperature evenly though and sometimes it may actually go down! All sorts of this are happening in there and its important that you don’t panic and just control the grill. The meat will look after itself 🙂 Eventually it will get there, the alarm will sound and your pork will be ready!!
Then all you do is take your lifting forks and gently pull the pork apart, it will fall off the bone, there will be no gristle or connective tissue and it will have a beautiful flavour! Some people put it in a bun but that would be heresy for me!! Just a simple salad from the garden for me, oh, and a bit more pork please! 😉
Here’s tonight’s experiment, belly pork with a crushed garlic rub. It’s cooking now. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂
More Big Green Eggventures to follow!!