...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Food journal number 23: Grilling

Windows of good weather have allowed us to go out and get grilling here at the countryside (FYI at Mat's and Margareta's place) where I write this entry. We have the house to our own for a whole week, so we invited our friends Kai, Lian, Estella and our friend Per to a grill party a.k.a. pork fest today.

If this picture makes your mouth water, wait until you see what we grilled yesterday! (at the bottom of this post)

We grilled karrékotletter (pork loins), onions with butter, and corn. We also baked new potatoes in the oven with some oil and salt, and made a fresh salad whose ingredients (romaine lettuce, cucumber, sweet peas, carrots, onions) were all plucked directly from the vegetable garden! The pork and potatoes --the stars of the show-- turned out just right too. Pork loin cuts are apparently great for grilling because the fat marbling ensures that the meat doesn't get too tough and dry. Since "Swedish grilling", unlike the American-style barbecue, requires faster cooking time under higher heat, the marbling gives the pork a mouthwateringly juicy texture. The potato wedges I initially put in 175 degrees C for 30 minutes, but because I put the oven to 200 just as the meat was getting ready, they developed a textured crust which was actually good. Served with decadent Béarnaise sauce (Knorr extrakryddad), both pork and potatoes turned out really super... The sauce is highly recommended!

Now to yesterday's dinner:

Pork ribs cooked in (almost) American barbecue style. Directions below!

Don't get the wrong impression; we don't eat grilled meat like this everyday. This just happens to be one of those weeks (usually when we're out here in the countryside) where we feel like splurging extra much on food to live the illusion of being millionaire-bums, or a retired couple who owns a bed-and-breakfast in southern France somewhere...

Anyway, since reading this site called barbeque.se earlier this summer, we've always wanted to try the author's method of grilling ribs. The author is more serious about his American barbecues, though. He has so-called "smoker," a barbecue grill that cooks by indirect heat for hours, on which it may even take most of the afternoon (3 and a half to 4 and a half hours) to "smoke" the ribs cooked. We have neither a smoker nor that much time in our hands (otherwise it might rain on us during the grilling period!), so we opted for putting the coals around the grill instead and placing the ribs over the coal-less hole in the middle. We covered the grill and cooked each side of the ribs for half an hour.

The tips we got from the barbeque.se site include taking away the transparent "skin" from the underside of ribs, "rubbing" for the meat prior to grilling, and "mopping" the meat in its last minutes of cooking:

1. Rubs
"Rubs" is simply the term for the spice mix rubbed into the meat to give it flavor -- like a dry marinade. The site author says that many rub recipes are available over the internet and that nothing hinders one from experimenting with his own rubs recipe. We're copycats, though. We halved his own favorite rub (good for 4 kilos of meat) which he put up in the site. It requires 3 T mustard seed, 1.5 T ground chili, 1 t salt, 2 T brown sugar, half a teaspoon ground ginger.

2. Mops
If rubs are the dry marinade, mops are the glaze. We had already bought pre-fab honey-glaze (which we used for today's karrékotletter instead) but we wanted to stay as true as possible to the descriptions at the barbecue site so we gave his recipe a try. I also halved this recipe: 1.5 deciliters apple cider vinegar, 25 grams butter, 1 T dark syrup, 2 T mustard, and some Tabasco -- all heated up in a little casserole and brushed on when a side has just cooked. If using a real smoker, you actually mop the ribs every thirty minutes after an hour of smoking, but if we had done that with our little coal grill the ribs would have turned way overcooked, so we brushed each side just once.

It's not often that I eat ribs, but this has got to be the best one I have eaten so far. The ones we usually buy have that transparent "skin" on and require some tooth-tugging action to get the meat. With this technique, I swear that the meat literally just fell off the bone when we get our teeth into it! We had grilled onions, grilled corn, and buttered mushrooms with parsley on the side. This might be the closest thing to a professional dish that I've ever made, and if I were a retiree with an restaurant-inn in southern France, I would definitely have this in my menu.


Blogger Christianne said...

Wow I have to try this! Was about to ask what some of the ingredients were på svenska but then I clicked on the barbeque.se link, nandoon na pala lahat. :D

12:29 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Yesh, try it, delicious! We're thinking of making them again this Wednesday as thanks to Marcus' godparents who allowed us to let loose in their house and eat them out of every edible thing in their pantry :-)

I noticed that the first grilling picture was down so I reloaded it again. Hope it's visible this time for good! I wonder why that happens...

9:40 AM

Blogger pj said...

it looks really good, joy! darn. nagugutom tuloy ako. :D

12:20 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Hi Peej! Long time no YM! Sana maabutan uli kita next time. How's school, and are you still baking cupcakes? :-P drool drool

9:48 AM


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