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.