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Pork fest with whiskey sauce

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    Pork fest with whiskey sauce

    You know, every now and then, some magic happens. The stars are aligned, your favorite charcoal is on sale, et.c., you get the point. Today was one of those days. I had the day off, and invited a friend over for lunch (think: ribs!), and some other friends for dinner (think: pork butt!).

    Little did I know I would blow myself away this Friday. Yes, I know, I’m biased, but this one sure hit home.

    So, time for an all day (12 hours+) bbq session. Well, it’s a dirty job…

    I figured this was a good time to put me and my grill to the test. If I got started early enough, I would be able to run a set of ribs, serve them at lunch, then continue with pork butt for my evening guests.

    Said and done, at 8 am I started the fire, put the ribs on at 8:30 am, then continued to watch over them for the next 3.5 hours. I did wrap them after 2.5 hours (I kinda like the extra juiciness). Then glazed them, put them back on the grate and just waited them out. My friend came over, we had a cold one, and enjoyed good ribs. It turned out to be a good way to start the day.

    Now to the magic. I had two 2 pound butts (slightly more than 2 pounds actually). I was thinking of what I should use for flavor, when I came to think of a dish I was served when I was a little kid: prune stuffed pork butt! I have only tried the oven-made version, but never barbecued. Time to go to work. I dry brined the butts the day before, then applied a 50/50 mix of Memphis Dust and my own rub one hour before grilling. The MD alone is a bit too sweet for me.

    The butts were fairly equal in size, and the only flavoring I applied (except for my standard rub) was to poke some holes with a small knife and stuff them with prunes.

    The butts went on my big green egg att noon. The egg was running a solid 225 deg F. I let them sit for a good four hours, then checked them, and sprayed some conc. apple juice on them every now and then. After 5 hours, when the internal temp was at 170 deg F, I decided to wrap them, as I had a deadline to catch (my guests arriving). I wrapped them for an hour, so all in all they were on the grill for roughly six hours. I wrapped them again in fresh alu foil, and then wrapped them in a towel, and let them rest for another hour.

    Side dishes
    I wasn’t really sure, but I have taken a liking to the sweet potato mash, so I made some. I also cooked ”Romanesco” (a hybrid between cauliflower and broccoli) in the oven, and (of course) corn on the cob.

    The Sauce
    I have always wanted to make a good whiskey sauce. Not that I’m a really big fan of whiskey (I’m more of a rhum man), but I figured it must be easy to make one. I scoured the internet for recipes, but 8 out of 10 weren’t that good, or even whiskey sauces, so I decided to do it my own way, kind of like how you do a red wine reduction. See recipe below.

    Sauce ingredients
    1-2 shallots
    1-2 tablespoons (liquid) beef stock
    2 cups cream
    5 ounces good whiskey

    Making the Sauce
    Chop the shallots. Fry them in a good amount of butter. Add the beef stock and whiskey. Let it simmer and reduce to about a fourth of the original amount. Add the cream and some brown sugar (and salt of course). Mix it to a smooth sauce. Thicken the sauce a bit if you like.

    When the guests arrive, i started carving the pork butt, and then we enjoyed really good food. The pork was just packed with flavor, perfectly tender and juicy, and the sauce really hit the spot. All in all, one big happy family!

    If theres one thing you should take with you from this recipe, it is the pork butt with prunes and the whiskey sauce. Those two were out of this world. The prunes are a perfect match for a pork butt.
    Last edited by Henrik; September 6, 2014, 07:13 AM.

    So, were you going for the world record smoke ring or what??

    Nice write up.

    I finally get to cook some briskets during the day tomorrow. Can't remember the last brisket cook that wasn't done under the stars, aligned or not.


      OH MY! Thats incredible!


        Nice smoke ring!!


          Looks awesome! Really interested in the sauce, the one I made based on info on this site was way too strongly flavored for my crew.


            Thanks guys! Yes, that smoke ring sure went deep. Two notes on the sauce:
            1. For some very odd reason I didn't search for a sauce recipe on this great site. Almost embarrasing. Will do my homework
            2. I forgot to mention that it should simmer for at least 10 minutes, so you get rid of most of the alcohol. And blend it so it becomes smooth. I did thicken it a bit with corn starch, but that's not necessary.
            If anyone tries the sauce I would love your honest feedback and suggestions for improvements.


            • richinlbrg
              richinlbrg commented
              Editing a comment
              Henrik, great recipe! Did a butt with the prunes - wonderful! Your whiskey sauce is both interesting and good. We liked it with some thyme added, and my wife thinks we should also perhaps add tarragon. I'll let you know how that works out. Just thought the sauce needed some additional complexity. I used 5 oz of whiskey.....was that what you used?

            • Henrik
              Henrik commented
              Editing a comment
              Great to hear you tried it! Yes, I used 5 oz of whiskey. Regarding in the sauce: it is a great "base" whiskey sauce, but it would definitely become better by adding complexity as you say. I love both thyme and tarragon (tarragon is just super with chicken by the way), but personally I think I would just pick one (either thyme or tarragon), as they are quite different in flavor. That kinda depends on what you are serving as sides of course. If serving oven roasted potato wedges, I would def use thyme. Anyway let me know how it turns out, I'm always eager to learn new things.

            • richinlbrg
              richinlbrg commented
              Editing a comment
              Henrik, I misunderstood my wife. She thought either thyme or tarragon. My apologies. But you are quite correct, your creation is a VERY good base!

            Two Q's in one day?!?! Brilliant! Pork looks awesome, makes me hungry for the lamb I put on at 3 am.


              Nice job Henrik!

              12 oz whiskey? I think I found something to do with that bottle of Candian Mist. I sure can't bear to use up that much of my Maker's 46.


                Maker's is for the master

                I agree, keep the best stuff for yourself. I had to correct the amount of whiskey by the way, I got the dl to oz conversion wrong last night. Might have been the sauce....


                • Huskee
                  Huskee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  LOL, that's more like it.

                Looking at that pork again, I would have to say that someone that spent a prolonged period of time at your house, would not have to develop Stockholm Syndrome in order to like what you cook.


                • Henrik
                  Henrik commented
                  Editing a comment
                  LOL, I hope not ☺

                Nicely done, Henrik! What was the temp when you pulled them from the grill after foiling? I've never actually done a butt for slicing but I'd guess you wouldn't want the 203 you'd normally use for pulling.


                • Henrik
                  Henrik commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, IrondeQuer! I pulled them at 195 deg F (90 deg C).

                Man that really, really looks good


                  That is a thing of beauty!! I'll have to pull out a picnic roast and do that. Did you put whole prunes in or cut up?


                  • Henrik
                    Henrik commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks! I put in whole prunes. Poked my finger in first in each hole I cut with the knife, to make room for the prunes.


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