Oh My Goodness!
Since we bought our new barbecue/smoker we have tried to barbecue and smoke several different types of meat. In addition we tried several different types of wood to add the smoke flavoring we craved. The wood we found most satisfying was from the limon trees in our yard. That was very good, but when we were in the U.S. last spring we bought a wood chip smoking pan and several bags of wood chips to add some variety to our smoked meats.
Today I used some of our mesquite chips.
Of all of the things that we have smoked or barbecued here in Ecuador, perhaps our favorite has been the pork chop roasts we get at SuperMaxi. These “roasts” are actually partially separated pork chops (Chultas). We knew we wanted to smoke some more chuletas, so yesterday we bought three of these “roasts” (altogether perhaps eight to ten pounds) and I got up early this morning to get the smoker ready.
First I needed to get the fire going and then I positioned the smoke chip pan with the chips inside over the glowing coals.
After a few minutes the smoke started to billow!
I waited to get the temperature up to a steady 100 degrees centigrade (220 degrees to you folks up North!)
Once the smoke was billowing, it was time to load up the meat! I wanted to take a picture of the roasts before I put them on the grill, but I forgot. (That happens to old men every now and then!) But this is what the roasts looked like about five minutes after I put them on the grill.
I remembered the counsel I got from my good friends at Patrons of the Pit (http://patronsofthepit.wordpress.com/) and put the meat on fat-side-up to allow the natural juices to do the basting.
While the meat was slowly roasting away in the smoke filled air, I worked away in the garden, occasionally adding more carbon to keep the heat constant. After about four hours I turned the roasts and the meat looked like this:
The juices were flowing down over the meat and I could hardly resist trying a little taste of pork!
But, it takes six to eight hours to smoke these chuletas, so I resisted for a few more hours.
After seven hours I tested the meat with a meat thermometer and found that the meat was cooked through. I moved them to a higher rack and kept them on warm until we were ready to feast!
We had invited some friends to share this meal, but our friend was ill today, so I packed up some chuletas and some potatoes (papas) and steamed vegetables and delivered dinner to Nancy and Joe. By the time I got home, Nancy had already written an email to Mary raving about the meal.
What do you think? You can almost taste the juicy smoked chuletas from here!
Some days are better than others, but any day spent breathing in pork scented mesquite smoke is especially good here where…
Life is good in Ecuador!