Sunday, May 19, 2013


My wife bought me an electric toothbrush the other day.  I’m not sure whether it was a gift or a warning shot.  Either way, my oral hygiene has been upgraded.  A couple minutes with that thing is like a trip to the dentist office, minus the flossing lecture.

I have to stay focused. That is, when using an electric toothbrush (let’s call it ET).  I’m so zeroed in while using ET I have to turn my back to the mirror like Miles Davis. Almost 50 years of staring at my mug while brushing. Done. Over.

It’s naturally unnerving to stick something electrical in one’s mouth. I was taught at a young age not to toss the blow dryer to my sister while she bathed.  So putting this miniature buzz saw in my mouth takes some getting use to.  My tongue is terrified. The minute he sees ET, he recoils to the back of my mouth like “Whoa, what the hell is that thing?”

Oh yeah, little warning.  Never let ET out of your mouth while still on. Otherwise, he will make your mirror look like the windshield after a 10 hour summer road trip in New England (meaning, lots of bugs, and lot of toothpaste, nevermind).  Just take my word for it, it’s a mess.

All this speak about tooth brushing has me thinking of BBQ, since nothing else south of Oreos will make a mess of your mouth like it. So I will share with you my recipe for Pulled Pork Barbeque. This is the one we use for the Pork Taco at Bang.

Full Disclosure.  I am NOT throwing my cowboy hat into the barbecue ring. Barbecue folks have to be the most passionate people in food, and the hostility over which is best (Carolina, Virginia, Kansas City….) is something I don’t need in my life. I’ve already lined up security for myself and my family once this blog goes out.  It wouldn’t surprise me if some Texas henchman appears at my front door with a sawed off special pointed at my boca.

You won’t need 12 hour slow cook for my BBQ, but I will ask you to do one small trick. Brine it.  It’s easy.

3 lb piece of pork shoulder

1 gallon of water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup Kecap Manis
1 2 inch piece of ginger
12 garlic cloves

Bring the water to a boil and add the rest. Simple.  Let it cool before you put the pork shoulder in for an overnight.

Place in the fridge. Now go to sleep.

Now if this too much for you, you can wave the white hanky now and head to Gordonsville to see my boy Craig Hartman at the Barbecue Exchange.  Craig is an elite chef from the likes of Clifton and Keswick who one day decided to go whole hog ( pun of the day) into barbecue ( a dangerous combination ( a real chef and BBQ) , albeit good for you and I). In business since 2009, Craig spreads the barbecue love by featuring different styles, kind of an ambassador of barbecue one might say.

If you are still with me and it’s the next day then pull the pork from the brine, set a skillet to high heat and liberally pepper the meat.

Sear it to a nice brown. This will take several minutes.  Then add the big 3. 

1 cup Kecap Manis
½ cup Sirachi
4 T five spice powder

It should look like this

Now, let’s get a little messy with our hands and rub all that goodness into the pork. Now we’re looking like barbecue.

Break out your foil and cover this love tenderly, then bake it at 325 for four hours.  After which, it should be fork tender and falling off the bone.

Pile it on a bun with your favorite slaw and you’ll be heaven.

Now that I've opened my mouth about barbecue, I might need to change my identity.  Anyone know where I can get a fake ID?

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