This lunch came together with my first ever smoked pork butt and kwik kimchi I made with the leftover cabbage leaves from the attempt to make my grandmother’s cabbage rolls.
Smoke Some Butt
I’m a big fan of Alton Brown when it comes to the right way to prepare certain foods. There’s a science behind the method to execute it safely and make it tasty. A brine is one of those things I looked to Alton for. I used molasses, salt and water in a large stock pot to brine the piggy overnight (12 hours) in the fridge. The rub was my mix of favorite flavors: brown sugar, salt, cumin, garlic powder, and chipotle chili powder.
The smoker intimidated me slightly. My hubby is usually the one who deals with outdoor cooking. Although, it’s sad that I can’t do a better job of it after spending every summer growing up at Sylvan Lake where at least half of the cooking was over the fire pit. I also had to start a fire in the sauna house, in a little old-fashioned wood stove with rocks on top and a huge pot of H2O. The pork needed to get on the grill early if I had any hope of eating it before going off to bed that night. I tried to start it with sticks and paper. Paper and small branches. Small branches, charcoal and lighter fluid. Ah ha! I really don’t like to taste jet fuel on my food, so lighter fluid is always a last resort. Trust me, I had been trying for an hour before the big guns had to come out. By this time the sun was out and hot, and I was stinky!
All day I checked the pork and the coals. Added a few pieces of oak for added smoke. Ten and a half hours later, exhausted because somebody didn’t take her long afternoon nap as usual, the butt was smoked.
This hunk of meat didn’t look pretty, but OMG it tasted like bacon, smoky salty bacon. I had a flash back to my friend Jills’ parents’ house where I shared a dinner of salt beef (a Newfoundland dish). The salt beef was so far outside of my saltiness spectrum at the time because I had learned somewhere when I was about 7 years old that salt was “White Man’s Death” and refused to add it to my plate ever since. Silly girl – salt is GREAT in moderation 🙂 I digress…
The Kwik Kimchi
I had the center of the cabbage left over from making cabbage rolls and made a kimchi out of it.
- some cabbage, blanched, diced
- equal parts water and vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar), just enough to soak the cabbage, don’t make it soupy
- tsp sugar
- tsp salt
- red chili flakes
- minced fresh ginger
- slices of ginger (optional)
Combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar until dissolved. Add chili flakes and ginger. Toss in the cabbage and turn it all around to coat. Let this sit in the fridge for half an hour to pickle.