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Posts Tagged ‘smoked pork’

Farmer’s Market season officially kicked off this past weekend, and I couldn’t be happier. While it’ll still be some time before the best produce is available (peaches, carrots, etc.), there are some great veggies ready for the taking. With Sunday not only being the first Wicker Park Farmer’s Market, but also being an absolutely beautiful day, Yuki and I took Otis out for his first taste of the fresh produce Michigan has to offer.

Jakes Country Meats was there some beautifully smoked pork products. All of their pork is smoked with wood and vegetables like beets and celery that contain natural nitrates. They hit me up for a couple of smoked chops and a package of kielbasa as I am a lover of kielbasa. Haven’t had the kielbasa yet, but I salivate every time I open up my freezer and see them sitting there just waiting to be thawed and thrown on my grill!

I also picked up some River Valley Kitchens asparagus ravioli, some beautiful purple asparagus, and a few butterball potatoes. Along with the smoked chops these ingredients were to become dinner.

I also used 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 onion diced, 3 garlic cloves minced, and a handful of parsley chopped.

In my large skillet I melted the butter and then sautéed the garlic, onion, and asparagus for about 6 minutes. I added the ravioli (since they were not frozen I did not boil them) and let the fry in the butter for about 5 minutes or so on each side. Then I tossed in most of the parsley and seasoned with some salt and pepper. I set it aside until my grill was done.

For the grill I cut the potatoes into wedges and drizzled them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I grilled them on the top rack for about 8 minutes on each side. Since the chops were smoked they just needed to be heated, some nice grill marks were also in order. So, I just let them cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

On the side I made a very simple salad with iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, and a lemon vinaigrette I made with the juice from 1/2 lemon, twice as much olive oil as lemon juice, salt, and pepper (emulsified into a smooth texture).

I will say this, the chops, while very delicious, were more like breakfast ham than dinner meat. They were a tad salty for the way I prepared them. If I were to buy them again, which I would in a heartbeat, I would serve them with a vegetable hash and a nice runny poached egg on top. Otherwise everything was fantastic.

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My buddy Nick has been harping on me for a while to check out this rib place next to his apartment. With no real dinner plan last night, combined with my ride home from a haircut, I took advantage of having Honey 1 BBQ in my crosshairs. On a cold night made even colder from having my natural fur hat trimmed back some bone stickin ribs sounded about right.

I walked in the front door and went down the hallway to order up my ribs. Huge menus on the wall, didn’t need to look though, I knew was I was getting.

I ordered 2 full slabs that each came with some cole slaw, french fries (they were underneath the ribs), and two slices of white bread. I also got some baked beans, some fiber to help all moving parts move.

It took about 15 minutes to get my food, and that’s fine because it gave me a chance to read all of the articles written about them on their wall. Seems Robert Adams is a firm believer in the slow food movement, especially with something like tender smoked pork ribs. He only cooks a night’s worth of business each day so nothing sits out. He uses a small glass-walled smoker with a variety of wood chips. The sauce is made fresh as well. He doesn’t used the baby back ribs that are so popular, he uses spare ribs and gets just the right amount of smoke to cut through that fat but still be able to taste all of the juicy morsels of pig.

When I got them home I slathered some of the BBQ sauce all over the ribs. It’s nice, not too spicy, not too vinegary, a nicely balanced sauce. Since the fries got a little greasy from resting under the ribs I put them in the toaster. That crisped them right up. The ribs were outstanding. Being spare ribs and not baby backs they weren’t quite as tender, but they were moist and tasted fantastic. The only real problem I could find is that they are much bigger than I thought they’d be. I figured that two slabs would cover us both for dinner last night and lunch today. Well, lunch was a few hours ago and while Yuki and I each ate more ribs today, I still have a full slab in the fridge. I think I’ll make a pork rib chili or something with them.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying they arer the best ribs I’ve ever eaten, or even the best in Chicago (I think Smoque still has that honor), but they are definitely in the conversation. I would happily fill myself with Honey 1 BBQ ribs and then do it all over again.

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