By Nancy Smorch
Mike’s birthday was last Friday and when I asked him what he would like for his birthday dinner, he said he would love to have pulled pork cooked on the Big Green Egg. That was our first meal we prepared on the Egg and it was AMAZING! No complaints here - Lindsey and I were excited for his birthday dinner as well after that choice, and Mike’s mom, in town to celebrate, was also looking forward to it.
Unfortunately Florida weather didn’t cooperate on his birthday and it was cold and rainy, so figured we would wait until the next day. The next day came and it was cold and rainy - again! So finally, Easter Sunday came, and although it was cold and cloudy, there was no rain, so I made sure I had the rub made for the pork butt. Mike got the Egg going and we put it on around 9:00 a.m. (it takes a good 6-8 hours to slow cook).
As it got closer to the time to take the pork off the Egg, I started in on the BBQ sauce. I wanted to make a homemade recipe - last time I did that it was such a great and pure complement to the pulled pork.
Unfortunately so many recipes called for ketchup, and although I thought I had a couple of jars, when the girls looked at the expiration date (they are really sticklers for that), they both had expired a few months ago. I should have checked that out a little sooner than that morning, but nevertheless, some adjustments were now called for.
Fortunately Lindsey found a couple of BBQ sauce recipes that didn’t call for ketchup. Based on the ingredients, this recipe from Yummly is the one I chose. I’m glad I did - it was a big hit. Mike says best BBQ sauce ever!
I made a couple of changes (as always):
Instead of 2 Tbsp. butter, I used 4 Tbsp.
I used a large onion instead of small (the smell of the onion sautéing in the butter was soooo good!).
Instead of 2 cups tomato sauce, I used 2 15-oz. cans of organic tomato sauce.
Instead of 1 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce, I used 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce.
Leftover pulled pork this morning with breakfast was great. Lindsey added some apple juice while the pork was heating up, and that gave it an extra little punch. The pulled pork recipe already called for apple juice - about 2 hours before it was finished, you put the pork in a double layer of aluminum foil and pour about 1/2, to 1 cup, apple juice in with it and seal it up. It adds a nice flavor and added moisture as well. So, adding a little apple juice while reheating the pork seemed natural.
As we go into the spring and summer months it will be fun to experiment with the fresh produce and ingredients and tweak this and other BBQ sauce recipes. My mind is racing now with ideas - cherry BBQ sauce, red pepper and onion BBQ sauce, maybe even a peach cilantro BBQ sauce? Endless possibilities!
Any ideas you would like to share?