Shanalee left town today, and there was a leftover steak bone in the fridge so i took an opportunity to go feral and gnaw on leftover ribeye. This got me thinking of the ribeye steak we had at Cooper's BBQ in Llano, TX, and that reminded me of the pork loin we had there.
Cooper's was the first TX BBQ place we ever ordered roast pork from, and has quickly (2 bbq places later) become a new favorite in the shampton household. I decided that I'd get a pork loin and smoke it.
Since Shanalee is out of town, and because there was a pile of jalapenos in my fridge left by our housesitter, I decided to make it a spicy roast.
4 large Jalapeno peppers
1 3Lb Pork loin roast
Cooper's BBQ seasoning
I coated it in the seasoning I bought at Cooper's (which appears to be mostly just salt and black pepper - that's what I like about Texas BBQ, they keep it simple) and put it in the fridge for an hour.
while the salt was reacting with the meat in the fridge, I roasted jalapenos under the broiler (if I was clarivoyant or planned ahead, I would have roasted them on the grill yesterday with my steak)
once they cooled, I ran them through the food processor and turned them into dark green seedy spicy mush. i then brushed this mixture on to the pork roast and put it in the fridge overnight. my hope is that this gives the meat a good kick but doesn't penetrate the entire roast and make it super duper hot (although I won't mind too much if it does)
I also made some Texas Caviar based on a recipe in the Penzey's Spice catalog that arrived today. I used canned beans so it was pretty easy
1 onion chopped
1/4cup olive oil
3tbsp balsamic vinegar
some sugar (penzey's didn't specify this - I looked for brown sugar, i should have went with molasses)
taco seasoning (they said cajun)
a splash of orange juice (didn't have lime)
I mixed this up and it was tasty, I expect it to get better overnight.
I'll update this entry tomorrow when I cook the pork...
I fired up (turned knob, pushed button) the gas smoker around noon, and got the temperature stabilized around 300 degrees. Pork loin unlike pork shoulder does not benefit from a super long smoke as there isn't as much connective tissue within the meat that must be broken down, so a higher temperature is ok here.
I put some wet wood chips (mystery wood, i lost the label from the bag but I think they were mesquite) in the wood box over the burner and put the roast in the smoker.
In addition, I took the last of the jalapeno paste and added some cilantro and tomato to it and liquefied it in the food processor then put that in the smoker in a steel can to make a smoky sauce.
3 1/2 hours later (after checking the temp ever 30 minutes or so and keeping the water tray full and adding wood chips half way through) I pulled the meat and the sauce out of the smoker. I put the meat on a plate and covered it in foil to rest for a bit and set the sauce aside.
After 30 minutes of rest, I dumped the juices from the plate into the sauce and stirred and sliced up some of the pork. It was delicious. The bits of jalapeno paste had hardened into crispy spicy bits on the outside and the inside was tender and juicy. If you get a piece without jalapeno crust, you still have the jalapeno flavor, but it will not make you sweat in the least bit. Dip the meat in my afterthought hot sauce, and hoo-wha - bring on the tears...
I made myself a plate with some sliced meat, a serving of my Texas caviar (which turned out delicious) and a slice of sourdough bread that Shanalee baked before she left - a lovely meal that I'll repeat many times over the next few days...