cheater bbq. you heard it here first. but it’s about to become a movement.

hi, it’s me again. sorry.

so, here’s what happened. the pr dept. of broadway books contacted me, asking if i’d like to review a copy of their latest cookbook ‘cheater bbq‘. i said sure, and when it arrived a few days later, i proceeded to cook 4 of the recipes in an effort to see if in fact ‘cheater bbq’ was a happening kind of thing.

i decided on their ultimate cheater pulled pork – a big deal here in tn, something i rarely crave or think to eat, only because i’d rather have lamb shanks or scallops (recipes for these are also in the book) or pizza, pasta ,pork belly, sushi, pad thai, calves liver – you get my drift…. it’s not that i don’t like bbq. i like anything that’s made well. bbq is just not something i ever go out of way to eat. (but i do love ribs. next time cheater ribs… deal.)

to go with the pork there would also be corn bread, coleslaw and bbq sauce – all from the book.

dear readers, the plate of food that follows is the true embodiment of a classic nashville spread (add baked beans for the full effect) that uses an inexpensive cut of meat – the boston butt. and after all, it is CHEAP ASS MONDAY…

but here’s the rub…

and this how you make it. minus the smoke who pushed his way into the photo at the last moment.

rub it all over your butt (hee) and then pour the bottle of smoke over it, reserving 1 T or so for the bbq sauce.

10 hours later – separate the liquid from the meat, refrigerate and go to bed.

i tossed the fat but not before i first noticed a strange apparition. by turning the bowl…

you can see that this fat is both fat AND happy.

basic, sturdy good all american corn bread. perfect for this particular dinner.

the mise for a freakin’ GREAT bbq sauce. i would so make this again and again. it was so good that i was surprised. you grate the onions and then saute in the oil and add the rest to thicken. i used the optional cayenne for some heat.

i made the slaw as per the book but then added some dijon, diced red onion (killed in water for 5 minutes or so), some broccoli and red cabbage and a little mayo. because i felt it needed more…

a damn fine plate of viddles…

everyone loved it. my bff angela, who is a maven on the matter having grown up here, made a few interesting observations:

  • it definitely did not have that bonafide wood smoke that permeated the meat, but we agreed that after say, the 3rd bite of the ‘real’ thing, you become immune to that anyway – similar to wearing a perfume that you can no longer detect.
  • the biggest loss was the lack of crispy bits that are formed over time in the smoker, where you get to occasionally hit that crisp hard hunk that just yields under pressure when you bite down – that then transforms into a mouthgasm of burned fat and smoke and meat and well, pure and intense concentrated umami.
  • the fact that we would forgo the mouthgasm by not having to mess with smoking a pork roast all day.

i will say that when i pulled the pork, i got to get a lot more fat both off of and out of the boston butt which made me feel better about who i was as a human being.

so now let’s pretend my boston pork butt did not come from whole foods for $5 a lb., but in fact came from publix or kroger or wherever you buy your toilet paper and diet dr. pepper, where it sells for $2.79 a lb. (i actually called) but you got it ON SALE for $1.99 (when calling they told me that was the sale price). so for the sake of cheap ass mondays calculations, that’s 6 lbs. x $1.99 = $12 divided by 10 people is $1.20 a head.

from there, the coleslaw mix was $2 a bag divided by 6 = $.35 pp in raw slaw. i had the vinegar, celery seed, mayo, dijon and the red onion – so ummmm. $.50 pp in prepared slaw.

corn bread – i had every ingredient – but for the record, 3 eggs, 2 cups of cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup oil, 1 T. baking powder, salt… i think that was it… 8 servings. ummmm… $.25 pp.

bbq sauce – one onion and if you are an honest to goodness REAL american you will have the rest of that crap in the house. $.80 for the onion, divided by 10 = $.08.

liquid smoke = $1.50 a bottle. 10 people = $.15.

so let’s say $2.08 a head plus tax.

i did the math…

thank you and goodnight.