[Sponsor Note (via Seth): Lantana’s CEO Matt Gase is an avid MGoBlog reader and is going to be in town this weekend to tell us all about how they came up with the idea of making hummus without kittens. If you want to try some test flavors come on by. If you want to try some crazy good hummus, find the striped lids in your local grocer.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed firing up the smokers for our weekly meetings. I was afraid I was going to waste away in this Texas heat with nobody to cook for. Well…problem solved. Matt at Lantana Hummus has given us the blue & yellow light to carry on and put some of my weight back on. Challenge accepted Matt. Today’s recipe is one we tested 2 weeks ago up in Toronto at the Dickson BBQ Smoke Show. It was a huge hit and will become a regular at our tailgates.
- 4-6 lb Pork Belly (Skinless)
- Your favorite Sweet Rub (I used Meat Church Honey Hog)
- Queso Fresco
- Pineapple chunks
- Ancho Chili Powder and White Sugar mixture (50/50)
- Chicken Broth
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
- Pineapple or apple juice
Let’s start by firing up the smoker to 225 - 250 degrees. Once your grill/smoker reaches your desired temp, toss on a few chunks of Pecan or any fruit wood. I love me some pecan on pork. I purchased my belly at Sams Club and seasoned her up with some Honey Hog.
[After the JUMP: Taco taco taco taco taco]
Check out this new grate I had made for my Kamado Joe. This thing is super cool.
Once you’re seasoned up, place the belly on the center of the smoker and let it ride for awhile. I go fat cap down on my kamado as the heat source is directly below the meat. If you have an offset or pellet grill, you can go either way. The fat cap will act as a heat shield if the temp spikes for any reason. Same rule applies with briskets.
The belly will go until it hits 150 degrees internally. This is the range when the proteins stop taking on smoke. This should take about 3-4 hours.
As the belly is smoking away, we can prep the other ingredients. Make sure and do this in front of the 2 creepiest cups you own. That’s very important. I think these 2 guys need names. Any suggestions?
My vote is Down G and ol’ Manslaughterface.
I took 1 container of chicken broth and combined with 2 cans of pineapple nectar. You can use apple juice, apple cider, beer, ETC. We’re just looking for some flavorful braising liquid for this. Use your imagination. I then added a few chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce for some heat. 3 peppers worked great for this sized belly. Add a little oregano and your ready to go. Once your belly reaches 150’ish degrees internal, place in the pan along with the braising liquid and foil tightly. Place back on the heat until it reaches 185 degrees internal. This belly will go from 150 to 185 in about 2 hours.
For the cheese topper, just crumble the wheel of QUESO FRESCO into a bowl and add some chopped cilantro. The main thing to remember here is to choose a cheese from any state that doesn’t rhyme with Disconsin. Any state at all. Once again under the watchful eye of “The Creepers".
I love Queso Fresco. You can find this in the back of the supermarket with the rest of the cheeses. It crumbles easily and has a mild flavor. It looks great when you add some fresh cilantro. If you’re one of those that thinks cilantro tastes like soap, you can leave it out.
He follows you where ever you go.
Now we can start the Ancho Chili Pineapple Salsa. The flavor on these is insane. This goes great on anything. I tossed some canned pineapple chunks on a screaming hot griddle and added a mixture of ancho chili powder and sugar. It was a 50/50 mixture. Add as much or little as you’d like. Feel free to add more or less of each ingredient and make it your own. As the pineapple was sizzling, I just sprinkled it on top and let it go. This will start to caramelize after a few minutes and become kinda dark. The whole pineapple process took about 10 mins. The griddle was really hot! Once done, pull off the heat and mix with onions, cilantro, jalapeños and any other salsa ingredients you like. Or you can just leave it as is. The pineapple really is good on anything. I love that sweet heat.
Another great topping or even side dish is this Hatch Green Chili Hummus Elote that Lantana CEO Matt fixed up. Elote is Mexican Street Corn and is FANTASTIC. Char some corn on the grill and cover with a mixture of mayo and Hatch Green Chili Hummus. Add some lime juice, queso fresco, tajin (Great spice) and lime juice. You can use chili powder if you don’t have any tajin laying around. Either eat it right off the cobb or shuck it and mix. I love how Matt rolled his in spicy cheetos and gave it little hot sauce drizzle
Once the pork belly hits 180-185 degrees internally, remove from the braising pan and let cool for a bit. DO NOT TOSS the braising liquid away. Keep that sexy gold for later. Once it’s cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces. If the belly carried over to 195-200 degrees internally, it’s going to be hard to slice. You can just pull it at that point. If it’s sliceable, toss it on the grill to add some char. Just grill it like you would anything else. My griddle was still hot, so I fried it like bacon. I love that char. It only wakes about 2-3 mins a side. We just want to add some color and crust.
Once charred, cut into 1 inch cubes and toss it back in the braising liquid until your ready to serve, I added the pork belly to a street taco shell and topped with the pineapple, queso fresco, a few pickled red onions I had laying around and the best taco topper ever!!! I took a bag of Hot N Spicy pork rinds and crushed em up. Sprinkle them over the top of the taco for a nice crunch. We called it "Pork Epidermis Dust”. Look who was there to help make sure I crushed them correctly. Creeper alert.
Sexy Taco indeed.
I have deleted my website as I just don’t have the time to keep up with it. You can follow me on Instagram at @gobluebbq or send me an e-mail if you have any questions or just want to talk BBQ. I am at [email protected]. I also did a limited run of GOBLUEBBQ T-Shirts and hats if you are interested. Please email me your size and I will get it out to you in a few weeks. They are $25.00 each plus shipping. (Add $2 for XXL and larger) The new batch of shirts are MGOBLOG and LANTANA specific and may include a “KITTEN” reference. :)