We bid farewell to summer with a divine, twenty-four hour in the making, so-Southern BBQ feast.
We have been loyal Big Green Egg “heads” for over a decade now, thanks to Daddy-O, and you really just can’t beat it for anything from a hot dog to a full on slow smoked pork shoulder. Honey tended to the meat all day and much of the night while I made the slaw, beans and apple pie to go with it. We always follow a recipe from an old co-worker turned friend. It’s not for the faint at heart but is perfect for whiling away a long holiday weekend.
Jim K’s Big Green Egg Pulled Pork
15 lb pork shoulder (Costco – two 7-8 lb pieces are in the package)
3/4 C paprika (Costco)
1/4 C ground black pepper
1/4 C salt
1/4 C sugar
2 T chili powder
2 T garlic powder
2T onion powder
1. Mix ingredients for rub. You will have enough left for another BBQ later. We store it in a mason jar.
2. Trim some of the fat of of the pork to make it a bit leaner. Generously coat the pork with the rub and let it sit out from about 30 minutes.
3. Prepare the BGE – fill with charcoal up to first ring, add a generous amount of hickory wood, insert your plate setter (to deflect the heat), put a cheap aluminum pan (for drips) on top of the plate setter and under the grill plate, and heat to 225.
4. Place the pork on the grill fat side up when at 225. Spray/baste with Apple Cider Vinegar every hour or so in the beginning.
5. Let it cook over night. In the morning, you may need to add more charcoal. Take the pork off and wrap tightly in foil.
6. Get the BGE back up to 225 and let it cook until the internal temp is 200. This is the “fall apart” temp and it’s critical that you reach it. It will take about 24 hours total.
7. When it reaches 200, take it off the grill and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Pull apart with two big forks. We freeze half and eat half. It is terribly tasty just like that, but I do like to add just a tish of my favorite Savannah Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce.
Much like the pork, the beans are going to take a good long while to make. But y’all know what they say about good things coming to those who wait. Here is the recipe I use when I go all out and make them myself. It doesn’t happen often because I really don’t mind the kind that comes right out of the can.
Damon Lee Fowler’s Southern Style Old Fashioned Baked Beans
This recipe dates back at least a century, but there is no need to leave it cast in historical stone.
Makes about 3 quarts, serving 12-to-14
2 pounds (4 cups) red kidney beans
3 medium onions, 1 trimmed, quartered and peeled, 2 trimmed, split, lengthwise, peeled, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup unsulphured molasses
½ cup dark brown sugar
1½ cups of tomato sauce or catsup
1 teaspoon dry mustard, or more, to taste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ pound thick sliced bacon
Sort through the beans, discarding any that are discolored or damaged, and rinse them well. Put them in a large, stainless or enameled pot. Add a heavy sprinkle of salt to the beans and cover them by at least 2 inches with cold water. Put this over medium heat and bring the beans slowly to the boiling point. Turn off the heat and let them soak until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
If the water is no longer covering the beans, add enough to cover them by an inch and turn on the heat to medium. Add the quartered onion. Bring it slowly back to a boil, reduce the heat to a steady simmer, and cook until tender, about 1 hour, replenishing the liquid with simmering water if necessary (do not add cold or hot tap water). When almost tender, add a tablespoon of salt and simmer at least 10 minutes longer, or until completely tender. The old cooks would take up a small spoonful of beans and blow on them: when the skin blistered, they were ready. Remove and discard onion.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 250 degrees F or prepare a 4-quart slow cooker.
Mix together the garlic, molasses, brown sugar, tomato sauce or catsup, mustard and Worcestershire in a small mixing bowl. When the beans are tender, drain them, reserving the cooking liquid, and mix them with the onions in a bean pot, covered casserole, or the crock of the slow cooker. Stir in the seasoning mixture and, if the bacon is not very salty, a pinch of salt. Add enough of the cooking liquid to fully cover them.
Cut the bacon in half crosswise. Press a couple of strips into the beans and then completely cover the top with the remainder.
Cover and bake slowly at least 5 hours (some cook them overnight, for as long as 8 to 10 hours), adding reserved cooking liquid if the beans get too dry, or cook 1 hour on high in the slow cooker, reduce to low, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. For a crusty, browned top, uncover, and bake an hour longer or transfer from the slow cooker to a bake and serve casserole and bake at 350 for half an hour.
Look here for my Easy Slaw recipe.
There’s just nothing like apple pie for a sweet all-American ending to this type of meal. I was lucky enough to score the last piece for breakfast this morning. The early bird gets the pie around these parts. Find my recipe here.
Happy Labor Day, y’all. So long summer…
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