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Slow-Smoked Flavor

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Mesquite Pork Sandwiches

(Family Features) - Barbeque lovers are embracing a savory twist on grilling this spring and summer - smoking. Smoking refers to grilling food at a low temperature for an extended period of time, which adds flavor and tenderizes even the toughest cuts of meat. The unique blends of natural wood options used in the smoking process can intensify the taste and add extra flavor to everything from fruit, nuts and cheese to meat and fish.

Try these easy, step-by-step directions for smoking foods on either a charcoal or a gas grill with this Mesquite Pork Sandwich recipe, courtesy of Joan C. Hanson, test kitchen director for Hormel Foods.

When using a charcoal grill:
  1. Soak it in: Soak wood chips in water for at least an hour. Beginners may wish to start with hickory, apple, or maple wood chips. Other wood chips to experiment with include pecan, alder, oak and cherry.
  2. Rid water: Drain wood chips and shake off excess water.
  3. Get in position: Arrange charcoal briquettes on either side of a heavy foil plan. Do not use "instant-start" charcoal briquettes during the cooking process. Fill pan with water. The water prevents flare-ups that occur when fat and meat liquid drip on coals.
  4. Go time: When the charcoal is covered in ash, add the drained wood chips.
  5. Add food: Place food on grill rack over foil pan.
  6. Smokin': Cover the grill to allow heat and smoke to slowly penetrate the food.
  7. Review and replace: Add 5 to 7 briquettes to each side every hour. Replenish water as needed.
  8. Check in: Check food, temperature and water once an hour, adjusting as needed. Don't peek more often. Opening the grill allows smoke to escape. The temperature should be maintained at 225°F. to 300°F.
When using a gas grill:
  1. Soak it in: Soak wood chips in water at least an hour.
  2. Rid water: Drain wood chips and shake off excess water.
  3. Heat up: If equipped with smoker box, fill water pan on attachment with hot tap water before starting the grill. If an attachment is not available, use a foil pan filled with water.  Place pan directly over heat source.
  4. Add wood: Place drained wood chips in compartment as directed in manufacturer's directions.
  5. Place food: Place food on grill rack over foil pan.
  6. Cover it up: Cover the grill to allow heat and smoke to slowly penetrate the food.
  7. Check in: Check food, temperature and water once an hour, adjusting as needed.

Mesquite Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients
  • 1 Hormel Always Tender boneless pork loin (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin rings
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin rings
  • 8 sesame seed Kaiser rolls, split and toasted
  • 6 (1-ounce) slices sharp Cheddar cheese

Preparation
    1. Prepare grill for smoking. Smoke pork 11/2 to 3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
    2. Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet, sauté onion and red pepper 8 minutes or until softened and the onion is slightly golden.
    3. Slice pork into 1/4-inch slices. Top bottom half of rolls with cheese, sliced pork, onion and red pepper. Cover with roll tops.

Total Time
More than 1 hour

Serves
Serving Size 12

SOURCE: Hormel Foods



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