22 October, 2011

Tonight's dinner. (Post 2233)

Tonight, I tried my hand at something I haven't had in too goddamned long: Barbecue.
Chiefly because I don't have a grill nor do I ever buy barbecue sauce, barbecue is a sorely neglected part of my diet and sorely neglected portion of SD&A food posts. Tonight, I attempted to change that by saying, Fuck it. I want barbecue.
As I do not buy barbecue sauce, I attempted making my own. At first, I was thinking of doing a whiskey-flavored sauce but then struck upon an idea: I like whiskey. I like beer. I like boilermakers. Why not make a (wait for it) boilermaker barbecue sauce?
As I was doing only one pork chop, I started with a tablespoon of honey, a half dozen grinds off the pepper grinder, and a third teaspoon of mustard powder. I then added a splash of Seagram's 7 and splash of Schlitz before adding a clove of garlic and slice of red onion minced. I then topped it off with some catsup and lemon juice and blended until the consistency was juicy but not runny.
I set a pan to high heat and let that warm up before placing a loin chop in the pan and moving it around a bit to keep it from sticking. To the upper side (still pink and raw), I applied a dollop of the sauce and moved it around with the fork I had mixed the sauce with, then set aside the fork as it had touched raw meat.
I kept the lid on the pan, effectively steaming more than frying the chop, and turned the chop over after ten minutes, this time using a brush to apply the sauce to the cooked side. After another ten minutes, there was another flip and another application of the sauce. Ten minutes again, and I just dumped the remainder onto the chop.
The salad is one of my standard variants on the spinach leaves / tomato / parmigiano-romano thing with celery crescents and fried potato cubes (which I've found I like on my salads, really), the potatoes fried up in my much beloved olive oil / Old Bay / Tapatio combination. I also applied some lemon juice and found I much prefer lime to lemon on my salad. I also splurged on some Hidden Valley ranch. I've used Kraft on my last few salads; it's just not the same.
The barbecue sauce tasted great but wasn't what I had hoped for. It turned out closer to sweet and sour sauce - minus the sour - than I would've liked and the whiskey and beer flavors were over whelmed by the honey, not to mention that the kick from the mustard powder was absent. If I had bought this at a restaurant, would I be displeased? No. But it also would not be what I had expected. All in all, it was a good first run for making my own barbecue sauce and. like most things, will take a few more trials and errors before I get it down just right. Hey, it took me three or four months before I could get Julia Child's no-utensil omelette method down; since when am I in a hurry?
So be warned, my little illiterati: One day, my boilermaker barbecue sauce will be awesome. And none of you will be safe.

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