Leftover (YUM) BBQ Pork!

8 Dec

Tonight was a no-cook night – well, sort of – no cooking in the Grill Garden. Luckily, I cooked a Boston Butt over the weekend for a friend and had retained a some of the cookin’. So tonight’s dinner was BBQ Pork and roasted sweet potatoes.

The BBQ was cooked on my Kamado Joe ceramic Kamado-style cooker. The KJ is a red-headed first cousin to the ubiquitous large-sized Big Green Egg. It was given to me as a gift about two years ago, and I have cooked on it at least once a week – oftentimes more – ever since then. The KJ comes with a nice sturdy “nest” with large wheels for easy movement and two teak wood fold down shelves. The cooking grate, which is the same size as the large BGE, is stainless steel and hinged to allow the adding of additional smoke wood, if necessary, during the cook. The Kamado Joe Company, based in Georgia, doesn’t yet offer as many accessories as there are “Eggcessories” for the BGE, but the heat deflector set up is creative and the pizza stone is sturdy. Luckily, “Eggcessories” designed for the large BGE also fir the Kamado Joe. I’ve run the KJ for as long as 20 hours on a single load of Wicked Good lump charcoal, starting with grilling steaks, then cooking a Boston Butt, and finally, finishing with a spatchcocked chicken. The Kamado Joe is my all-purpose workhorse cooker, handling all cooking parties with ease – from 14 hour briskets to 8 minutes of searing steaks to 3 minutes or so of Neapolitan-style pizza.

Although the Kamado Joe holds temperatures rock steady for hours on end, I admit that on my overnight cooks, I cheat. That is, I use a BBQ Guru Nano automatic pit temperature controller to help the Kamado Joe maintain a steady cooking temperature. I start the fire in the Kamado Joe, attach the Nano, and set the temperature on the Nano. When the pit gets to temp, I go to bed and sleep well, knowing that when I get up to check on the fire after four or five hours, the temperature will be right where I left it, and when I get up in the morning, the temperature will be in the same place. Actually, it does that without the Nano, but hey, its a great gadget!

I think that BBQ pork often is as good or better a day or two after it’s cooked than it is when it’s pulled off the pit. The heavily-seasoned, bark-covered, smoky outside meat has a chance to hang out with the tender inside meat and all the flavors meld together. Since pork reheats so well, the BBQ sandwiches, pork empanadas and other leftover creations are often as good as the first plate of pulled pork.

Tonight was not exception – a nice plate of  moist, tender, smoky, sweet BBQ pork tossed with a healthy dose of Saw’s BBQ Sauce from Mike Wilson’s Saw’s BBQ in Homewood, Alabama was a perfect main dinner event for a cold, damp night.

The side-kick for the pulled pork was a cubed-roasted sweet potato, topped with olive oil, salt, pepper and a rub I made a while back for pork tenderloin that has a flavorful dose of cinnamon and nutmeg in it. I had been saving it, waiting for something that I thought it would compliment, and the sweet potato seemed like a natural match and it was.

Great cold weather dinner – tasty, satisfying and, best of all, sensible enough to keep me in my calorie goal for the day! Great meal, even if I didn’t get to go play in the Grill Garden tonight. That’s OK, I’m already planning tomorrow night….

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