Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Redneck Tacos

I often make day trips to Nashville for work.  When I do, I always try to arrange for lunch to be at Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint in nearby Nolensville.  

Martin's is relatively "new" in terms of barbecue joints, some of which are generations old.  But Pat Martin has wasted no time in establishing Martin's as a premier BBQ restaurant.  They have done that by smoking great BBQ day in day out, even going whole hog.  (Click for video of Martin's featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives)

One of the great things on their menu is the Redneck Taco.  It is a corn cake, topped with pulled pork, slaw and bbq sauce.  A couple of weekends ago, I decided to make my own version of the redneck taco.

The Pulled Pork
I seasoned a 9+ lb pork picnic shoulder heavily using Melissa Cookston's Quick and Easy BBQ Rub.

Smoked it on my Big Green Egg at 250f until it was tender at about 197f internal.  Normally this takes me a little over 1 hour per pound but this time it ran 17 hours and 45 minutes.  BBQ is funny that way.

I wrapped it in foil and stuck it in an empty cooler for 2 hours to rest. Then I pulled it and gave it a slight chop.

The Slaw
Instead of going with a traditional slaw, I made a fajita slaw that turned out quite good for something different.  

Fajita Slaw

  • 1/2 head cabbage
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 oz cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp fajita seasoning 
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt, sugar, pepper, hot sauce
  1. Whisk together the mayo, vinegar, and seasonings.
  2. Toss the veggies together and coat with the dressing.  I like to let it sit for at least a few hours.
The Corn Cake
Pat said to just take cornbread batter and cook it like a pancake.  I wanted to do something a little different so Alexis made blue corn cakes using this recipe.  I like blue corn nachos but wasn't sure how a blue corn cake would work but it was ideal for this taco.  Alexis said that they would also be great making silver dollar pancakes for "slider sized" mini tacos for a taco bar at a party.

The BBQ Sauce
I was lazy and used a jarred sauce.  I went with Weber's Kick'n Spicy BBQ Sauce and it worked well.

As you can see, I didn't pile mine as full as Martin's does and we were still STUFFED after eating just one. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Draft guest post for Griff

When my buddy, Griff, asked for a few folks to guest post while he is traveling I was glad to volunteer.  We Eggheads have each other's back.  

Last week was "back to school" week here and Trevor (12) asked if he could smoke bologna to take for sandwiches that week.  If you have not had smoked bologna, then you have never had bologna at its best.  The smoke and spices form a crispy outer edge that amplifies flavor.  

Yeah Oscar Meyer, my bologna has a first name, it's S-M-O-K-E!

Plus, it is the easiest thing in the world to smoke.  You can smoke it on a ceramic grill, a kettle grill, or even a gas grill set up with a foil pack of wood chips.  This was one of the first things Trevor learned to smoke back when he was 8 or 9 years old.
Trevor smoking bologna in 2009.

You should  not have a hard time finding a "chub" of unsliced bologna, most grocery stores carry them in their lunch meat section.  Some are whole and covered in red plastic.  Others are sliced into 1 or 2 lb chunks.  Either way works.  Note, the measurements given are approximate.  This is more of a "by sight" kind of thing, you are going for covering the entire outside of the chub.

Smoked Bologna

  • 3 lb chub bologna
  • 1/4 cup Yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp BBQ rub
  • 1/3 cup sweet BBQ sauce
  1. Set your grill up for indirect heat at 250f.  In a Big Green Egg, you'll use a plate setter or other heat shield.  For a Weber grill, bank your coals and wood to the sides.  For a gas grill, place your foil packet on the one burner that you'll turn on.  Add your wood (see notes)
  2. Use a sharp knife to score the bologna in 1" intervals.  Start at one end and work a diagonal line about 1/4" deep to the other end.  Move the knife 1" over and repeat.  Don't stress out on it being perfect.  You're going to slice it in the end anyway.
  3. Slather the bologna with the yellow mustard.  Nothing fancy here, you don't need dijon, coarse grain, or brown mustard.  Plain cheap mustard works the best for this.  We just squirt it on as we go and rub it all over.  I'd guess it is no more than a 1/4 cup.
  4. Apply the rub to the chub!  Trevor used a rub recipe called Wild Willy's Number Onederful rub but any general purpose BBQ rub should do fine.  You want to cover the rub all over and rather heavily. 
  5. Smoke it.  Place the rubbed chub on the grill and cover.  Let cook for 1 hour.
  6. Glaze it.  Use a pasty brush to lightly coat the chub with BBQ sauce.  We like to use a sweet sauce for this and today we used Blues Hog original BBQ sauce.  Let smoke for another 30 minutes and it is done.

  • For smoke we used a block of Mojobricks Hickory Mojo-cubes.
Firing up the Egg with a torch and wearing the required safety glasses and gloves.

Scoring the chub.  You don't have to cut off the ends, Trevor just likes it that way.

Cover it all over.  

He started seasoning it by sprinkling it with rub.

But then had the idea of sprinkling rub on the cutting board and just rolling it on thickly.

Before glazing.

Sliced and delicious!

I saved some of the shavings from slicing it up and I'm thinking of crisping them in a saute pan (like bacon) and then making carbonara...or is that "bolognara"?