Southern Comfort! Pork Barbecue and Skillet Corn Bread

Before I get on with tonight’s dinner post I had one of those days at work.  Now normally in stressful situations I rise to the occasion if I do say so myself! 😀  The more that’s piled on is okay – I analyze it, see what order things need to get done and just do it.  But today technology was against me!  My computer was so s l o w, the copier kept freezing up, my scans weren’t going through.  At one point, after scanning the same set of documents for the FIFTH time unsuccessfully, I literally felt like picking the damn thing up and throwing it out the window!

Luckily, when I got back to my desk on the verge of tears, Tony called me and calmed me down.  Thanks Tony!  After that I just did the best I could with what I had and got everything done that need to get done, all by exactly 4:59!  Sweet!

Okay, on to deliciousness!  Last year Bon Appetit magazine did a “best of” show to showcase the best food from the whole country.  The best pizza, the best ice cream, etc.  So when they came to barbecue, you can imagine my surprise that the best barbecue in the world AND best barbecue sauce was from a place in Murphysboro, Illinois!  I went to SIU in Carbondale, and Murphysboro is one town over.  After the show was over I went online, discovered they had an online store and told Tony I wanted two bottles of their barbecue sauce (mustard and vinegar based!) and a bottle of their “Magic Dust.” 

I have about 3 ounces left!  Hence why the label is skewed!

I have about 3 ounces left! Hence why the label is skewed!

Not only is it DELICIOUS, but it comes in at just 3 calories an ounce!!!!

Not only is it DELICIOUS, but it comes in at just 3 calories an ounce!!!!

Okay, now fast forward to last summer and what do my parents-in-law present me with this book that is autographed by the founder of 17th Street Barbecue!!

Not only does it have great recipes, but this book is a fabulous read - it goes into the history of the legends of barbecue

Not only does it have great recipes, but this book is a fabulous read - it goes into the history of the legends of barbecue, to holes in the wall places that continually produce the most amazing barbecue - and it has an introduction by Jeffrey Steingarten!

How cool is that!

How cool is that!

So the dry rub picture you saw at lunch time as a teaser, looks like this mixed up.  It made A LOT!  I probably have at least a cup and a quarter left over after putting it on my pork.  I just put it in a canning jar with a lid and stuck it the fridge.  I imagine it will last quite a while in there!  Since I was cooking a pork shoulder, I immediately jumped to this rub.

Big Bob Gobson’s Grand World Championship Pork Shoulder Dry Rub

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/3 cup garlic salt
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Here's how it looks all mixed together - the brown and white sugars gave the pork a wonderful glaze!

Here's how it looks all mixed together - the brown and white sugars gave the pork a wonderful glaze!

Okay, I have to give a little background to the pork shoulder and barbecue in general.  Growing up, my grandpa on my mom’s side (we called him Grandy) made the best barbecued sandwiches.  He hailed from the Eastern side of North Carolina, where their barbecue was vinegar based.  No bbq sauce!   My mom will have to clarify exactly how Grandy made his prior to the crock pot.   My Aunt Martha makes the best barbecue after Grandy. 

There is no set recipe.  You put a pork shoulder in a crockpot with vinegar, Tabasco and crushed red pepper.  Cook it over night, remove in the morning and let cool.  Pick out most of the fat and finely chop the meat.  Remove any excess liquid to a separate dish, add chopped meat back into the crock pot and add more vinegar, crushed red pepper and Tabasco and enough of the excess liquid to keep it moist.

Then cook on low all day and when you get home you’ll have some amazing barbecue!  Serve on white buns, with coleslaw on top of the barbecue.  Add Tabasco liberally to each bite!   The first time I made this dish for Tony he’s like “where’s the bbq sauce?”  I tried to explain to him its barbecue, but he asked for bbq sauce anyway!

So I decided to do this pork shoulder in the oven all day at 200 degrees.  Oh my goodness, it was moist, tender, the rub gave it a crunchy crust! 

You never want to use pork tenderloin for barbecue because you need the fat for flavor.  Sometimes these cuts are also called picnic roasts

You never want to use pork tenderloin for barbecue because you need the fat for flavor. Sometimes these cuts are also called picnic roasts - my store routinely has these on sale for .99 cents a pound!

Here is how the meat looks after soaking in the rub all night

Here is how the meat looks after soaking in the rub all night

I put this in the oven at 8:00 a.m. and took it out at 5:30 - it's falling off the bone tender!  I used my cast iron dutch oven, and I think that help retain the heat for a slow cook

I put this in the oven at 8:00 a.m. and took it out at 5:30 - it's falling off the bone tender! I used my cast iron dutch oven, and I think that help retain the heat for a slow cook

I sliced the meat for Tony's sandwich

I sliced the meat for Tony's sandwich

I chopped mine and added 1 ounce of the 17th Street BBQ sauce - I decided to do an open face sandwich because I made cornbread on the side and didn't want too many carbs in one meal

I chopped mine and added 1 ounce of the 17th Street BBQ sauce - I decided to do an open face sandwich because I made cornbread on the side and didn't want too many carbs in one meal

So when I was flipping through my book again after picking the rub recipe, I saw this recipe and knew I had to make it.  Skillet Corn Bread!  Now it said to use a 9 inch cast iron skillet – I have two twelve inch skillets and one six inch skillet.  I ended up cooking this in 3/4 of my large skillet and it worked out beautifully!  This literally took 3 minutes to put together and cooked for exactly 20 minutes.

John Hudgin’s Skillet Cornbread

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil and Pam spray
  • 1 1/4 cup ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Put oil and Pam in bottom of cast iron skillet and put it in the oven empty to get the bottom nice and hot.  Meanwhile, mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another.  Mix the two just until they come together – not too much otherwise it will be too dense.  Put mixture in skillet and cook for 20 minutes. 

love the crispy edges!  Had I made this just for myself, I definitely would have added pickled jalapenos to it!

love the crispy edges! Had I made this just for myself, I definitely would have added pickled jalapenos to it!

Look at how fluffy this is!!

Look at how fluffy this is!!

So dinner was pretty high in calories, but still not too bad:  670 calories, 35 fat and 52 carbs.

Stats for the Day:

  • 1527 calories
  • 62 fat
  • 154 carbs
  • 94 protein
  • 16 fiber

36% of my calories were from fat, 24% from protein and 40% from carbs

  • 20 minute walk with Ed and standing at a copier for 3+ hours (that doesn’t really count, does it?) 😀

I also made baked beans in the crock pot.  I soaked northern beans overnight and when I woke up this morning, this is what it looked like:

They absorbed ALL the water and they were still crunchy!

They absorbed ALL the water and they were still crunchy!

But I figured that they would soften in the crock pot all day, but they never came around.  I even tried putting the end product in the microwave to see if that would soften them up, but that didn’t work either.  Any suggestions on what I could have done wrong?  I put two water two inches over the dried beans.

Wow, I think this is the longest post I have ever done!  I type 140+ words a minute so it goes quick! 😀

Tony is not with me tonight.  He is on Part II of a sleep study.  Turns out he has sleep apnea and he wakes up on average 35 times every hour!  They are fitting him with a c-pap (sp?) machine and hopefully he’ll be able to get some rest tonight.  Sleep tight honey!

So Hannah is in bed – she’s the only teenager I know who goes to bed before 9:00 on a school night!   So I am off to catch up on American Idol.  I’ve done pretty good about avoiding  who was voted into the top 12 this week! 

See you tomorrow!

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