Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pork Roast with Bootlegger Apple BBQ Sauce

Brrr!  This weekends early cold front was a slap in the face to summer.  When life gives you last night we loaded up the fire pit and enjoyed its radiant glow.

Crappy phone picture....

The cool beautiful weather yesterday had me craving pork and apples so I decided to make a version of Grilled Pork Loin with Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce from Chris Lilly's book, Big Bob Gibson's Barbecue Book.  

I went to the stupidmarket to buy a roast but just couldn't do it.  I couldn't pay $3.99 a pound for a roast when I knew I could by a whole boneless pork loin for $1.99 a pound at Sam's Wholesale Club.  Even if you have absolutely no butcher experience, this is the easiest subprimal cut to break down. You just cut straight across it at whatever size cuts you want.  I cut mine into two 3 lb roasts and 6 1" thick pork chops.  Alexis sealed and froze the chops and one roast.

I score the fat cap before tying the roasts.

The "rib end" will have more marbling and actually be two different shades of color.  I save that end for roasts and if I am slicing pork chops, I start from the other end. There's nothing wrong with it, it would just give you chops that look odd.

The rib end - notice the line of fat cutting across the middle.

I won't divulge the bbq sauce recipe* but I'll show you what was in it. 

I substituted Dr. Pepper for the cola and Apple Pie Moonshine for the bourbon.  I also made my sauce thin instead of the rustic style Chris used.  Chris gave a "cheater version" of this sauce in Food and Wine that is quick and easy to make:  Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

I took one of the 3lb roasts and rubbed it with
1 t turbinado sugar
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 t salt
1/2 t onion powder
3/4 t dried minced garlic
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t chili powder
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t corriander
Tying the roast makes it cook more evenly.  Plus it looks cool.

I added a few chunks of cherry wood to the lump coal in my Big Green Egg and preheated it to 450f.  I cooked the roast with direct heat for 5 minutes per side, just long enough to get good color on in. 

Then I switched to indirect heat and lowered the temp to 400f (was trying for 350f but it's hard to cool a hot Egg down).  I wanted to finish with an internal temp of 150f after resting and wanted to apply the sauce in the last 10 minutes of cooking so my plan was to sauce it at 130f and pull it when it hit 140f. 

Something must have gone wrong because it went almost exactly as planned :)

Cooking temp
Internal Temp



Removed from grill




I posted the data because it shows how really important the rest period is.  After I sliced the roast, I poured the juices from the resting plate and served it with extra Bootlegger Apple BBQ Sauce on the side.

The hole in the roast is from the temperature probe.

You could probably replicate this in the oven by starting with a high temp like 450f-500f for the first 10 minutes (just to start the malliard reaction to get color) and then drop to a roast temp of around 375f. 

The roast was perfectly done and the BBQ sauce was exceptionally good, a taste of fall.  The apple flavor was subtle.  I'm glad I went with a smooth texture although I'm sure the chunky style is just as good.  It's a good thing the whole family liked the sauce so much because I have 3 cups of it left! 

Technical Aspects of The Stall (for BBQ freaks only)
Amazing Ribs is a leading authoritative BBQ website and Meathead has done it again.  If you are a BBQ techno geek like me, you will enjoy his latest article.  He works with Dr. Blonder to explain the technical aspects of the stall.  If you think you already know the reasons behind it, think again.  CLICK TO READ

*c'mon, just go buy the book!  Chris Lilly has graciously given me permission to reprint several of his recipes and I have sworn by this book for two years now. 


  1. I so enjoy reading you and looking at your pictures. I can't do most of what you do, but I'd hope that one day someone will do it for me.

  2. I finally unpacked the box with Chris Lilly's book in it yesterday, and after looking at this post I can see that I will be pulling it soon and trying out some of the recipes. Great looking pork roast!

    Oh, and thanks for the link to Meathead's article. It was a great one for us propeller heads.

  3. Ok, fine! If I keep coming here an reading your posts and looking at your awesome grilling pictures, I'm going to be tying my roasts and ordering that books sooner than later. Sure you won't share that recipe??? I'm loving those ingredients!

  4. Yum! That is a beautiful piece of pork. I'm one of those fools who pays more when I buy away from a sale because I don't do Sam's - not because I don't love it, I do! Simply because it is way on the other side of the Coast and about 45 mins to an hour one way interstate. Probably a good thing though because I'd likely come home with a carload of stuff with no place to store any of it!

  5. Very nice looking roast Chris and I was one who believed the stall was the collegen thing. thanks for the info

  6. I'm actually a tad bit envious that it's cool enough for a fire!! We think we're in heaven right now because it's finally getting under 80 degrees at night! lol
    The pork looks fantastic... I wish I had some of it right now...

  7. That looks incredibly awesome, I just love the glorious color! And that sauce sounds like it would be fantastic. Great stuff in there ;D

  8. You're totally not kidding about the cold front. I can't remember the last time we turned the heat on at the beginning of October. We must be in for a rough winter.

    This is a gorgeous pork roast, Chris. You just continue to outdo yourself!

    P.S. it:)

  9. Just the words "apple bourbon" turn off my appetite.

  10. I think I'm going to start following your advice about buying larger pieces of meat and cutting them down myself. My local market used to have a decent meat section with real butchers, but the last straw came when I sent my husband to the market to get a big piece of sirloin that I wanted to cut up into kebabs. The "butcher" sent him home with a freaking tri-tip.

  11. You always rock the pork recipes... this one looks killer. I guess I need to go buy the book so I can get that sauce recipe!

  12. This looks amazing, got me drooling! The stupidmarket..ha!

  13. I've never tried a piece of pork I didn't like! This looks super yummy!

  14. Chris, I'm going to go buy some of that apple moonshine just so I can make your sauce. This is awesome!

  15. Wow, the roast came out darn good looking and had to taste awesome.
    You are right about buying the whole loin at Sam's or BJ's, you get a few good meals out of one for a great price.
    I need to learn that tying technique, has to really hold it all together nicely for the cook.

  16. Still laughing over 'stupidmarket!' I ordered the book, but what I want to know is do you get paid to be Chris' stunt double?!? You should. I've printed this one off, it's on the menu for this weekend - can't wait! I wonder if I can buy apple moonshine in Seattle?!? Guess I'll find out!

  17. @Pots and Pans - isn't that funny? Chris - I'll be borrowing your "Stupidmarket" comment! The roast really did climb up a bit in temp post cook! Something many folks should pay attention to for sure. MeatHead's article on "The Stall" is phenomenal. Par for the course re: his stuff!

  18. What the heck is Apple Pie Moonshine? I want to try some... GREG


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