OK, here’s a bonus recipe-set for the Great American Grill-Out. You can serve this as a meal, then add some slaw and sweet corn, perhaps some potato salad, and you’re done. Easy. This is a great meal for 6–8 people—just convince someone else to bring the other sides and let your crazy aunt clean up the mess.
I am a nut for grizzled onions, and this salad is a killer. The pork is my fave version of the classic BBQ dish, the granita is without peer, and the peach cobbler (though you may have to make it without Colorado peaches now) you’ll soon be making twice a week.
Grilled Sweet Onion and Arugula Salad with Shaved Grana Padano
4 large Vidalia or 10–15 sweet onions
3 T. olive oil
12 oz. farm-stand, fresh, small-leaf, young arugula or other peppery
cress or green
1 pt. cherry tomatoes
4 oz. block of Grana Padano or Reggiano parmesan cheese, shaved into
Cut the onions in half at the waist and peel off the skins. Brush with the olive oil, season with sea salt and ground white pepper, and grill over medium direct heat, cut-side down until the onions are almost blackened. Finish cooking the onions for 10 minutes on the cooler edges of the grill to remove any offensive raw flavors.
Pop the ‘rings’ of the onion out and arrange over the washed and dried arugula on 8 plates. Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange them around the greens. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve. Serves 6–8.
Shallot and Red Wine Vinaigrette
4 T. minced shallots
1 T. minced parsley
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. sugar
1 t. minced garlic
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. brown mustard
Place a small sauté pan over high heat and add 2 T. of the oil. Add the shallots, garlic, and sugar. Swirl pan briefly—you are only cooking for 30 seconds after you hear any sizzle at all. Promptly scrape the pan’s ingredients into a work bowl and whisk in the mustard followed by the vinegar, parsley and remaining oil. Season with sea salt, ground white pepper, and fresh lemon juice. Serve with the salad.
Barbecued Pulled Pork
1 bone-in pork shoulder, about 5 lb. in weight
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. paprika
3 T. ground black pepper
3 T. kosher salt
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. celery seeds
1 t. cayenne pepper
The Basting Sauce
1 c. cider vinegar
1 small onion minced
1 t. hot chile flakes
1 T. kosher salt
1 T. brown sugar
1 t. ground black pepper
The BBQ Sauce
2 c. cider vinegar
2 T. molasses
2 T. dark corn syrup
1/4 c. Heinz ketchup
1/3 c. Heinz chile sauce
3 T. brown sugar
4 t. kosher salt
2 T. Crystal hot sauce
2 t. red chile flakes, or more to taste
2 t. ground black pepper
Combine the rub ingredients, or use your favorite store-bought rub.
Combine the basting sauce ingredients, whisking until sugar and salt are dissolved, then set aside.
Combine BBQ sauce ingredients over medium heat in a small pot. When simmering, pull from heat and let cool. Refrigerate for later use. The longer you simmer the thicker your sauce will be.
Massage pork shoulder with the rub and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
‘Grill’ the shoulder over indirect medium-low heat, using smoking chips, if desired, to establish a smoke flavor. Remember, a little goes a long way. You will want to keep adding wood or charcoal every 40 minutes or so to maintain a medium-low heat of roughly 300 degrees. For gas grills you want to maintain a temperature of roughly 275–300 degrees. Baste every hour with the basting sauce.
Pork is done when the meat is fork tender, usually by this time the meat has an internal temperature of 175. Let pork cool for 30 minutes, shred meat, and discard the bones.
Toss meat with the some of the BBQ sauce, mound on toasted rolls and serve with cole slaw.
Strawberry Granita with Balsamic Vinegar
3 pt. quartered, cleaned strawberries
1-1/2 c. sugar
3 c. of the best rose champagne you can get your hands on . . . don’t
use pink champagne, but do drink what remains while granita sets up
1 T. lemon juice or more to taste
Combine half the berries, the sugar, and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the reserved berries, and process until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, stir in the champagne and lemon juice. Scrape mixture into a shallow metal baking pan (8 or 9 inches is fine) and freeze.
Every 20 minutes, stir and scrape the granite. After 3–4 hours the granite will be ready to serve, "shaley" and roughly frozen.
You can also freeze completely and pulse the frozen granite in a food processor. Or you can scrape the granite with a spoon instead of processing it. Serve granita with fresh berries and pass drops of 50-year-old balsamic vinegar . . . .
10 ripe, free-stone Colorado peaches, peeled, stoned, and quartered
5 t. corn starch
2 t. fresh grated ginger
1/2 c. sugar
Toss, place in a buttered baking dish, cover with cobbler topping, and bake for 45–50 minutes at 350 until hot and bubbly with a browned top. Serve warm. Serves 6–8.
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
3-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. sliced toasted almonds
1/4 c. sweet almond paste
Mix the dry ingredients and reserve. Beat the butter, almond paste, and sugar until well-blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. While stirring, add the nuts until just combined. Crumble/dollop over the cobbler.