IMBB#8 – report

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recipe: hickory smoked pork (marinade: ale/thyme/pepper) with caramelized onion gravy

And now for the report on what we made for IMBB #8: “Lift Your Spirits High”: At about 17:00, we turned on the barbecue and put in some hickory wood chips that had been soaking in water since the morning.

The chunk of pork roast was lifted out of the Gritstone ale marinade (reserving the marinade in the fridge) We added some thyme and more ground pepper onto the meat and put it on a slow heat for about two hours. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, in a large frying pan, we caramelized a ton of thinly sliced onion, then browned a little flour and added the marinade to make a gravy. When the gravy was done, we covered the pan, turned off the heat and waited til the roast was ready. At about 19:00, we took the beautifully smoked piece of meat off the barbecue and added it to the gravy. The heat was turned back on, pan covered and left to simmer for about ¾ of an hour. While the pork was simmering, we sat on the porch with predinner aperitifs – small glasses of Wiser’s DeLuxe Whisky “aged to distinction” (Canadian rye whisky – not quite as vanillaed as Bourbon, but quite nice – neat, thank you very much!) and admired the evening. Then it was time for dinner; we thinly sliced the pork and served it with the gravy, steamed broccoli, oven roasted potatoes and Italian Farnese Sangiovese Daunia 2002 (we decided the Temprenillo would get lost). Dessert? Just a couple of squares of dark Belgian chocolate… we were too full for anything else.

The verdict? Well, it was good; it was tender; the gravy had a lovely smoky quality; it was very rich; it was a bit on the sweet side (all those onions and the beer). We think maybe we should have added some apple and cinnamon to the gravy. Or maybe not. I’m not sure that we’ll do it again. Chicken in dark beer is much more successful. If we do this sort of thing again with pork, it will be with red wine rather than beer.

But it sure was fun! Many thanks to Donna (There’s a Chef in My Kitchen), for deciding to host the party.