New safe guidelines for pork doneness #USDA

Apparently, I’m a month or two slow on the uptake, but last night as I was prepping the grill to gill a pork tenderloin my wife, Stacie, mentioned that the USDA had recently updated their minimum safe temperature for pork down from 160°F to 145°F.  I can’t explain just how happy this makes me.
For years, ever since a spectular dinner at The Pink House in Savannah, GA, I’ve been “underdoing” my pork.  The dish I had at The Pink House was a medium rare pork loin dish with a disclaimer on the menu that the USDA does not recommending pork cooked to a medium-rare doneness.  I ate it, I didn’t get sick, and I’ve been doing it that way since then.
My dinner guests often scoff and ask for the “done” pieces of a loin and I have gotten away with hogging (pun intended) all the pink pieces.

Local this, local that, why aren't we getting it?

localI know some of you are doing this, so take this as a kudos to you and not a criticism. Myself, I try, but I know there are areas where I could improve. Feel free to drop comments below for other ideas of things others (and myself) can do to improve…
I recently moved from Blacksburg, VA where there was a big push for local shopping and local dining (buy local. eat local. be local.). We took that to heart and while living in Blacksburg we dined at local establishments rather than chains (Blacksburg has actually been pretty successful (in the past) at keeping the chains at a distance). We shopped at the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market on weekends and we tried to keep it local for shopping when we could (we’ve been boycotting Wal-mart for years and my wife can claim not to have been in one for at least 5 years while I had to cheat once).
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BBQ Sauce is like religion…

zzsauceMy mother recently told a friend of hers that I made great BBQ sauce (and BBQ to boot).  Her friend sent me an e-mail and asked for the recipe so I responded with this e-mail.
Sorry this is late.  I hope I didn’t miss the BBQ.
I love BBQ.  It’s a passion of mine.  My father and I have our disagreements regarding BBQ, and everyone I know thinks I’m right (of course).  For instance, I did a pork shoulder (boston butt) for pulled pork last weekend when he was in town.  I put it on the grill at 8pm on Friday night and we had it for dinner at 6pm the next day.  I do it low-and-slow as to slowly cook the meat and make sure it’s not dry.  I don’t peek at BBQ when it’s cooking, it’s BBQ, not a peep show.  I don’t baste it.  Just a bit of rub and 220 degrees for 20 hours or so until it’s done.  In fact Julia said, “This is the best BBQ I’ve ever had.”  My father said, “But it’s too moist.”  Now, any BBQ connoisseur would laugh at that (as we did).  I think he’s just jealous that I cook my BBQ for 20 hours to perfection while he is in a rush and his is a bit dry after 6 hours in a blast furnace.  Now, I will admit that his pork is pretty damn good….but my pork is better!
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Black Pepper Pork Loin

wishboneChalk this up to musings of someone who has had two G&Ts who is also suffering as a bachelor for a few more weeks (while his wife is in Kentucky at some giant vet clinic or other) and he may or may not feel like he’s in need to find some topic or other to post on his blog or facebook or twitter or something or like that….
Consider this scenario: Have you ever purchased something at the store that you were really looking forward to? (eating)? Like you recalled picking it off the shelf and thinking, wow, garlic black pepper pork loin, “that sounds damn good.” So it is in the fridge overnight (or three) and you decide to fire up the grill and have you some garlic black pepper pork loin.
Meanwhile, you’re on the phone with your wife (from Kentucky) and you pull the pork loin out of the fridge just thinking how good it will be for dinner. You casually read the package that says, “? portabelo mushroom ?” pork loin and you literally say (into the phone), “Oh, Snap!”
Why? Because you don’t much care for fungus. Thank you very much.
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BBQ Ribs in January (in the freezing rain)

bbq-ribsI love ribs and sometimes I just can’t wait until summer for some damn good BBQ. That’s where my Big Green Egg comes in.  I’ve made pizza at 600°F when it’s below freezing. I’ve smoked turkeys on Christmas day in crazy freezing windy weather. I’ve done a 18 hour smoke on a brisket in the snow and a 13 hour Boston Butt in single digits.
I just figured earlier this week that Saturday would be a good day for ribs. So I bought 4 racks of Baby Backs and followed a modified 3/2/1 method:
I started by pulling the silver membrane off the back of the ribs. I then marinated the ribs overnight in the fridge by applying liberal dusting of Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust and some Turbinado sugar wrapping in foil and forgetting. One rack in particular has one side that was quite thick.
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