We started the year with our semi-traditional New Year’s Day get together. The menu included 11 pounds of greens (turnip, mustard, and collards) prepared largely according to Emeril’s excellent recipe from Real & Rustic, 3 pounds of blackeyed peas, an 11 pound pork roast, grilled quail, cornbread, corn muffins, and delicious, potent ZingZang Bloody Marys.
I brined the pork overnight in a mild brine and then cut the roast into 2 pieces and prepared each slightly differently. I butterflied the halves, and stuffed the first with some housemade Italian sausage from the freezer. I stuffed the second with aromatics- garlic slices, chives, sage leaves, parsley, green onions, etc. I tied the roasts up with twine, salted and peppered the outside, and then grill smoked them. I seared the meat on all sides over a very hot fire, and then turned the center burners off (4 burner grill) and left the outside burners on. I also added a little pre-soaked wood to the smoker box. The roasts were both very good, but the garlic slices didn’t quite cook enough to become soft and mild. In the future, I’ll try roasting or partially cooking the garlic before placing it in the roast. I cooked the roasts to about 150 degrees, although I think I could have gone a little less.
I love my Weber Summit grill. It’s my second Weber gas grill, and I have found both the be outstanding, and superior to the Vermont Castings grill I inherited at our last house. The Summit was expensive, but is full-featured, and it was significantly less money than similar grills from DCS, Viking, etc. I’m sure they are nice, but I couldn’t ask for much more than what my Summit delivers. Now, for a Big Green Egg...
I used Donald Link’s cornbread recipe. It was good, but I still haven’t found a ‘go to’ recipe for cornbread. I made the peas and greens with schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) instead of bacon grease, but I couldn’t tell much of a difference.
We had 25-30 guests, including lots of kids, and enjoyed a relaxing day of watching the SEC pound the Big-10 into the turf in their bowl games.