Sauerkraut and Pork Shoulder Butt
Sauerkraut and Pork Shoulder Butt - I can't believe that it's been over 3 years since I made a big ole batch of Latvian Sauerkraut and Pork Shoulder Butt. I double checked and sure enough, November 2013 was the last time we enjoyed this traditional delicious family meal. It's a recipe my Mother cooked often when I was growing up here in the United States since my family and I immigrated here in 1959.
You say you're not a big fan of sauerkraut? Well, this isn't your pappy's run of the mill sauerkraut condiment where you open a jar and toss some on a hot dog. Rather this is an entrée that's sure to please anyone who loves pork butt and is willing to expose their palate to a succulent tasty Latvian recipe of sauerkraut with a side of steamed red potatoes.
Actually, the word Sauerkraut is not a good label for this recipe cause there is nothing sour about this kraut! The rinsing of the sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, seasonings, and the pork butt simmering for hours gives you succulent results. Even if you're in the camp that says they hate sauerkraut you'll positively fall in love with this recipe cause it doesn't taste like sauerkraut as you know it.
- 1 gallon sauerkraut
- 4 pound pork shoulder butt roast
- 20 cups of water
- Large yellow onion, diced
- Large head of cabbage, shredded
- Celery bunch, diced
- 3 to 5 carrots, diced
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 7 tablespoons Knorr chicken bouillon
- Using a cullender, rinse the sauerkraut thoroughly with water
- In your largest pot combine all ingredients and bring to a boil
- Turn the sauerkraut and pork butt down to a hard simmer
- Simmer 4 to 5 hours until the pork butt shreds easily
Serve with a side of steamed buttered red potatoes
Pulled Hickory Smoked Turkey
Pulled Hickory Smoked Turkey - We've all heard of pulled pork, beef, and/or chicken so why not pulled turkey? On Wednesday my local Grocery store's weekly ads came out and they advertised 49¢/lb frozen turkeys. I like to stock my freezer with 3 to 4 14 to 17 pound birds to smoke every couple of months during the year. It's hard to beat the deals you can get during the holidays on turkeys.
I got there around 9 AM and just like Old Mother Hubbard - I found the cupboard to be bare!! Not a single gobbler was available. I had a few words with the person behind the counter about the situation and he told me that they should be getting a shipment on Saturday. Needless to say, myself and another shopper were not happy customers. As I was leaving a woman in the meat department offered to sell me a fresh Foster Farms Young Turkey which was priced at $2.49/lb for the advertised 49¢/lb. I took her up on her offer and selected a 14½ lb bird. She let the cashiers know and also took my phone number so she could contact me on Saturday when the turkeys come in. She offered to set aside 4 turkeys for me. Now, that's what I call 'customer service'!!
Enjoyed a delicious plate with all the fixings (more gravy was added after the photo) ... pulled the remaining turkey off the carcass ... set aside an ample portion to graze on for the next couple of days and vacuum sealed the rest for future use in casseroles and/or soups, etc.
Yesterday we received some much needed rain here in Northern California. My MAK 2 Star is under a covered patio so it's not a big deal and the ambient temperature was around 60ºF. Rubbed roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil on and under the skin before rubbing Jan's Original Dry Rub. Wrapped in plastic and refrigerated overnight.
Smoked the 14½ lb turkey at 200ºF with Hickory for 2½ hours before bumping the pit temperature to 350ºF. Cooked at 350ºF until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reached 170ºF. Rested the smoked turkey for 20 minutes under a foil tent while fixing the sides. For planning purposes only: The entire cook took 5 hours - 30 minutes preheat/smoke for 2½ hours/1¾ hours at 350ºF/15 minutes rest. Always cook to internal temperatures.
Smoked Boneless Pork Butt
Smoked Boneless Pork Butt - I can't remember the last time I smoked a boneless Pork butt but I know it's been too long! Pulled pork is so delicious that I wonder why I waited so long. As you can see from the photo above a mixture bark, smoke ring, and pork makes for a strong luscious visual impact of the true beauty of pulled pork. I will say that IMHO there is no difference between a boneless and a bone-in pork butt. I've read and heard that some pitmasters claim that bone-in pork butts are better but I have not known that to be true. Those same pitmasters often rely on manually pulling the bone out to check when the butt is done. If the bone comes out easily and is clean then the pork butt is done and ready to Foil, Towel, Cooler (FTC).
Pork Butts are probably one of the most forgiving pieces of meat. As I often say ... "You can't hurt it cause it's already dead!". Started out with an 8 pound boneless pork butt from Costco which I trimmed a few months ago and vacuum sealed and froze. Gotta love the beauty and simplicity of vacuum sealers these days. Months later I can enjoy products with no freezer burns and the quality of the meat is just as good as the day I bought the meat.
Rubbed the boneless pork butt with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil to act as the glue for the heavy application of Jan's Original Dry Rub. The rub creates a bark on the butt to kill for. Before wrapping the seasoned pork butt with plastic and refrigerating it overnight I used Cooking Bands to keep the roast in one piece.
Preheated my wood pellet smoker-grill, a MAK 2 Star General, to 225ºF with hickory pellets. It's really hard to beat Hickory when smoking/cooking pork. Apple pellets are also a good choice to use with pork. For planning purposes only: Took 6½ hours from turning the MAK 2 Star ON to turning it OFF ... Add another 3 to 4 hours of FTC on top of the smoking/cooking time.
- Place the seasoned pork butt on a Frog Mat and smoke at 225ºF with hickory for 3 hours
- After 3 hours, increase the pellet grill pit temperature to 325ºF and roast until the Internal Temperature of the pork butt reaches 160ºF
- Remove the pork butt and double wrap in heavy duty foil
- Return the foil wrapped pork butt to your wood pellet grill and cook until the Internal Temperature reaches 205ºF
- Remove the smoked/cooked pork butt and wrap it in a towel
- Place the towel wrapped pork butt in a cooler for 3 to 4 hours
- This procedure is better known as FTC - Foil, Towel, Cooler
- Smoked boneless pork butt is now ready to be pulled
- Be careful as the pork butt will still be extremely hot at this point
I highly recommend you consider foiling your wood pellet grill grease pan. As you can see from the photo below each cook usually ends up with grease, oil, and residue. It's easier to replace foil than to scrape the gunk off!
Leftover Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf
Leftover Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf - Don't get me wrong, I dearly love leftover meatloaf sandwiches but it's also great as a entree. Raided my freezer and opted for half a Cheese Stuffed Smoked Meatloaf I cooked in September. Barbecue is the gift that keeps on giving! I like to vacuum seal my leftovers and enjoy them down the road here at home or in our RV on the road.
Last night's dinner consisted of leftover cheese stuffed smoked meatloaf, a side of corn, and steamed sweet potatoes. Course you must have brown gravy when enjoying meatloaf and yesterday was no exception. Took the Money $Shot photo with some brown gravy drizzled on the meatloaf and potatoes ... but once I put the camera down I drowned the meatloaf and potatoes with a ton of brown gravy. Can't ever have too much gravy!!
The key to safely vacuum sealing leftovers is to make sure that it's important to remember that cooked food must be cooled down to at least room temperature before vacuuming or you run the risk of bacterial growth.
So the next time you smoke your favorite meatloaf make sure to vacuum seal the leftovers ... if there are any!!
Leftover St Louis Ribs and Pinto Beans
Leftover St Louis Ribs and Pinto Beans - The beauty of leftover ribs is that if you vacuum seal them properly you can enjoy them many months later. When I do St Louis ribs I always smoke 3 racks since I'll use the same amount of pellets for 3 as for 1. But seeing as there is only the two of us left we'll do good to eat half a rack between us. I therefore vacuum seal the rest in half rack increments. This half rack was from September and as you can see these ribs looked as inviting now as they did when they first came off the MAK.