Smoking Miss Piggy on Father’s Day

While Dan and I would have preferred a large T-Bone steak on Father’s Day, we have had to settle for Pulled Pork sandwiches to accommodate family eating “issues” (Editor’s Note:  “Issues” were referred to as “disorders” when I went to school, but I now understand it is no longer fashionable or politically-correct to use that term.)

Sandwich from Lillie Q?

Sandwich from Lillie Q?

In any event, I like a slow-cooked pork butt, but I hadn’t realized that I would be smoking it all day in the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill  (Editor’s Note:  I guess this is what you get for living so close to Chappaqua).

We purchased a great looking 10-lb pork butt and “Pit Bull” Dan is soaking three handfuls of hickory chips overnight. Also,  I have selected some colorful new potatoes for potato salad (no mayo as per Dan’s instructions) and we will have a nice cole slaw for the pulled pork sandwiches.  Grand-mommy (aka Sheila),  is making a raspberry pie and I do hope that Dan and Miranda have vanilla ice cream in the refrigerator.

The dry rub (see recipe below), will be applied this evening by yours truly.

Sunday (Father’s Day) Pulled Pork Cooking Timetable:
  • 0230 hrs – Papa awakes to take Ms. Piggy out of refrigerator to bring to room temperature;
  • 0715 hrs – Papa takes Ms. Piggy to Broderick house (Hopefully, someone will be kind enough to give this Old Father a coffee and say “Happy Father’s Day!”);
  • 0730 hrs – Papa at Broderick’s to light fire;
  • 0750 hrs  – Papa places drip pan with water in center of grill;
  • 0755 hrs – Papa adds a handful of hickory chips that have been soaked the evening before;
  • 0800 hrs – Ms. Piggy strategically placed by Papa for ideal smoke;
  • 0810 hrs – Papa departs Broderick’s for a bit of exercise and a long steam bath;
  • 1000 hrs – Papa returns to check temp and to add more chips (possibly more charcoal to keep heat level at around 200º F);
  • 1130 hrs – Papa adds more hickory chips and possibly charcoal;
  • 1300 hrs – Papa wraps Ms. Piggy in aluminum foil and adds more coals.  Maybe turn up the heat up a bit more by opening the top vent to halfway;
  • 1600 hrs – Papa removes Ms. Piggy from Weber;
  • 1640 hrs – After Ms. Piggy has been allowed to rest, discard layer of fat and with two forks shred pork;
  • 1700 hrs – Pulled port sandwiches with cole slaw and German potato salad

Dry Rub Recipe (reduced heat element for palates of children)

  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 3 to 4 Tbs of cooking salt
  • 1 to 2 Tbs of ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 Tbs of cumin
  • 2 tsps of oregano
  • 2 to 3 tsps of ground chili powder
  • 2 to 3 tsps of garlic powder

As mothers can attest, “A father’s work is never done.”  Happy Father’s Day.

Tom “Sleep with the Fish” does Game

Demonstrating his great artistry and versatility in the kitchen, Tom “Sleep with the Fish” C. served us a delightful lunch of game that had been “harvested” from one or more of his latest hunting trips.  Tom is a dear family friend and former Chase colleague who now has traded his 3-piece “power” banking attire for wading boots and a shotgun.   The world is a better place now that Tom has decided to forego trading in sub-prime debt and join “happy hunters anonymous” where you never have to apologize for killing deer that spread lyme ticks.

Hunter's Anonymous

Tom is one of a handful of loyal Gourmay readers who actually contributes to the well-being of gourmands from around the world with his insights into Italian cuisine. I would like to share his delightful “light” lunch menu that was brilliantly executed at his home near Philadelphia. Photos of Bambi are not included for fear of offending some of our more rabid vegetarian readers.

Tom’s “Light” Game Lunch

Starter:  Cup of lentil soup with wild boar bits.   A great way to kick off the meal.  Both Sheila and I love lentil soup and the “bits” of wild boar provided a delightful upgrade from the traditional ham hock.

Salad:   Fresh mozzarella topped with his Mom’s basil pesto recipe (with walnuts rather than pine nuts).   Here, Tom went the extra mile and actually made his own mozzarella from fresh cheese curds purchased locally.  Most exciting and very tasty – the pesto sauce was not overpowering and complemented the mozzarella perfectly.

Entree:  Venison straps with cranberry apricot chutney and pheasant and teal sausage with sweet pepper jelly.  (Editor’s Note: Tom had planned elk sausage, but a family member had chowed down before us).  Delicious fare that was tender and not at all “gamey”  (Editor’s Note:  Jamie Oliver would have spelled it “gammy,” and I agree!)  We loved the chutney that accompanied the venison.

Veggies:   Kale with extra virgin olive oil.

Dessert:  Cannoli (purchased) that were simply delicious.  Tom had befriended some cooks from the old-country (Croatia) that definitely knew how to make these authentic beauties.

Cannoli

Home cooking doesn’t get much better than this and both Sheila and I deeply appreciate spending a few quality hours with a friend willing to share his cooking passion.  Tom, thanks for your gracious hospitality.

Roast Lamb with Artichokes and Lemons from bon appetit

Eze Village

While some of my most memorable meals have featured lamb – carre d’agneau at the Chàteau de La Chèvre d’Or in Eze Village springs to mind – I am not a huge fan of lamb.  Furthermore, I am rather picky on how the lamb is cooked:  I like the rack of lamb cooked medium rare and a lamb shoulder or a leg of lamb cooked well done.   Now Sheila considers me crazy and has tried to reform my eating habits for 40 years or so, but I have so few other vices that I believe she can cut me a little slack when it comes to lamb.

In any event, we had some guests over this weekend and Sheila decided to test her hand at a delightful new recipe from the latest bon appétit for roast lamb with artichokes.  While the artichokes are great, the lemons provide the perfect counter-balance to the rich flavor of the lamb.  We didn’t think the anchovy fillets oil added anything to the recipe and suggest doubling the amount of mint.  In any event, this recipe is delicious for those craving a different taste experience with lamb.  I reproduce the recipe from bon appétit:

 Roast Lamb with Artichokes and Lemons

INGREDIENTS

LAMB AND ARTICHOKES
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 5–7-lb. bone-in lamb shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 14-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • 6 baby artichokes
ANCHOVY-HERB OIL AND ASSEMBLY
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, drained  (Gourmay recommends skipping these little beasties)
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (Gourmay recommends doubling this)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt

PREPARATION

View Step-by-Step Directions
ANCHOVY-HERB OIL AND ASSEMBLY
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Generously season lamb on all sides with salt and pepper and cook, turning often, until well browned, 12–15 minutes. Transfer lamb and oil to a roasting pan.
  • Carefully add wine to skillet, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 2 cups water and pour into roasting pan. Squeeze lemons over lamb; add to pan. Roast 3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, remove tough dark outer leaves from artichokes. Using a serrated knife, trim 1” from top. Trim stems and remove tough outer layer with a vegetable peeler. Halve artichokes lengthwise. Toss to coat with pan juices and tuck under and around lamb. Roast, turning artichokes occasionally, until artichokes are tender and meat is falling off the bone, 1½–2 hours. (Remove artichokes if they become too soft before meat is done.)
ANCHOVY-HERB OIL AND ASSEMBLY
  • Pulse oil, anchovies, garlic, parsley, mint, and red pepper flakes in a food processor until smooth; season with salt.
  • When done, place lamb in a large bowl, then transfer artichokes, lemons, and garlic with a slotted spoon to bowl. Pour anchovy-herb oil over; tent with foil. Transfer pan juices to a glass measuring cup. Let sit a few minutes, then spoon off fat from surface. Serve lamb with artichoke mixture and pan juices.

Enjoy!

Editor’s Note:  I see that Chèvre d’Or has 2 stars in the Michelin Guide.   I know they had at least one star when we spent a delightful lunch there in the early ’80s, but this restaurant/hotel is the “real deal.”   It should be on everyone’s “bucket list.”  I recommend cuisses de grenouille as a starter.