Chili-rolled smoked pork loin April 15, 2011Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Charcutepalooza, Pork.
I’m currently travelling overseas for a few weeks. I will have access to the internet but I will probably be a little slower to respond to comments than usual. In the meantime, here’s something I’ve scheduled…
As mentioned previously, the April challenge for Charcutepalooza was to hot smoke something. I began my experiments by smoking some mushrooms and other things, and while that worked for the smaller ingredients, I did not think that technique would work for a piece of meat. I purchased a 1.5kg rolled pork loin to smoke, and began by preparing my spice mix. I added chili flakes, cayenne pepper, black peppercorns, salt, coriander, brown sugar and oregano into my mortar, and pestled them into submission.
I was expecting the final result to be spicy, but I didn’t expect it to make me start sneezing as I was pestling it (as an aside, yes, I have decided that ‘pestling’ is a word…)!
I put a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and tipped the spice mix over it, placing the pork on top of it and rolling it to coat it.
After it was evenly coated, I wrapped the whole thing up and left it overnight in the fridge.
The next day, I felt like I was running all over the place. I had a number of errands to run – including picking up a smoke box from the hardware store – and was planning to take over my in-laws’ barbecue to smoke the meat. Of course, the errands took longer than I expected and I was feeling harassed and behind schedule by the time I arrived to smoke the meat.
But then I set up the barbecue to smoke, placed my chips in the smoking box and put my meat on the other side. And I sat. The meat cooked away and I chatted with family members as they wandered in and out, played with the dog, and checked the meat from time to time. After a couple of hours, the meat was done and I felt far more relaxed than when I started.
I served the pork simply, with a salad made of avocado, and red, green and yellow heirloom tomatoes.
As for the taste – it was wonderful. The spice rub had penetrated the pork, and it had a spicy, salty flavour. The meat was juicy and tender, not dried out at all. I was concerned that the smoke might be overwhelming but it added a nice element without overpowering the other flavours. The outside had crisped up nicely so we also had some delicious, spicy crust/crackling to eat. I loved this dish, and the tastes contained in it. But I am also grateful for the meat forcing me to slow down, relax, and have a lovely afternoon outside while it was cooking.