I was honored again this year to lend a hand in the menu for the Cub Scouts Blue and Gold Banquet.
I planned on Smoked Sliced Pork at first but got a little adventurous and made "Sqwibs Sweet Island Kielbasa" and "Sausage Peppers and Onions".
- Started off with a Brine for the Pork Loin Brine was simmered 10 minutes then allowed to cool.
- Bay leaves were added after the first 5 minutes of the simmer.
After doing a quite a few loins over the years I have found that this is the absolutely best way to do loins for lunch meat type sandwiches, there honestly is no comparison between a brined and an un brined loin.
This will remain in the brine for 48 hours, no less, no more.
- Loin and brine is taking to the pit.
- Loin is removed from the brine and placed on a wire rack to dry a bit.
- The pit is fired up with a load of wood and will be burnt down to coals before adding the loin to the pit.
- The drip pan is put into place an a half gallon of water is added.
- The loin is then coated liberally with my Rub, almost an hour later the wood is burnt down pretty good and the loin is placed on the rack directly above the drip pan, the fat is placed next to the loin to render into the drip pan.
- Kielbasa is thrown on, followed by the Mild Sausage then the Hot Sausage.
Putting my son to work, he just earned his Tot'n Chip and he wanted to split some wood.
- Sizing it up
- Look at the face, isn't that the face of a scary kid!
Ok back to business!
- About two hours into the cook.
- After a few hours, the Kielbasa and Sausage is removed and allowed to cool down a bit before placing into the refrigerator.
- Smoke Ring
- Loin is pulled at 137°-142° foiled and toweled, after a half hour rest, the Loin is placed in the refrigerator with the Kielbasa and Sausage.
- Drippings are removed and strained through a regular strainer and then a sieve. This is where most of your smoke flavor will come from. This gravy is a starter not the finished product.
- The fat is fried, then chopped and fried again and placed in the strained drippings and into the refrigerator.
- The next day, the loin is taken to the slicer, the loin is sliced thin and allowed to bunch up. The sliced loin is foiled and placed back into the refrigerator.
The drippings are strained yet again through a sieve then tweaked with Au jus and pork gravy... yes store bought. We usually start of by heating the strained drippings tasting them to see how we should mix the gravy. After the taste test, it usually ends up something like this.
Half drippings heated up Au jus and pork gravy added, proper viscosity is achieved for sandwiches, then the drippings will be added back slowly and tested for flavor.
A few very important things for me are salt content and viscosity, it needs to be salty enough for sandwiches and have a good viscosity for sammies, too thick and it's a mess eating, too thin and your roll becomes a sponge.
Also the smoke flavor is dictated mostly by the drippings.
In this case, we only used half of the drippings.
- In a pot I add a quart of pineapple juice and 2 cans of pineapple chunks,(I chopped the chunks up because I felt they were too large and would overpower the recipe.) pot is brought to a boil, 2 cups of rum is added then about 16 oz maraschino cherries halved with the cherry sauce.
- Four cups of brown sugar are added, then is reduced on low heat uncovered for a few hours. Sauce is thickened with some corn starch to get a syrupy consistency, don't use flour, why?... because I said!
- Kielbasa is sliced on a diagonal then added to the pot and allowed to cook at least another hour.
Although all this was going on at the same time I tried to break it up into individual recipes so its easier to follow.
Sausage Pepper and Onions.
- Slicing the veggies
- Veggies are simmered about another hour.
- Salt and Pepper
- Two cans of Diced tomatoes are added
- Beef Base
- Tablespoon of Oregano, Basil, Parsley and crushed red pepper are added.
- One cup of red wine
- Sausage is sliced and added.
- Garlic is added last
- Sauce is thickened with flour, I really wish I would have waited for my wife to get home with the cornstarch, the flour clouded up the gravy too much and you could not appreciate all the colors going on in the recipe.
- How did everything come out?
Everything was fantastic, I really was happy especially with 2 new recipes that were just thrown together in my head.
The folks went nuts over the kielbasa!
The only thing I forgot was to add a little vermouth to the gravy for the pork.
This has to be one of my Proudest cooks.
We served 112 people and I was receiving compliments all night, hopefully I will be as successful with the Boy Scout Golf Luncheon I will be doing in a few weeks.
Some quick Photos of the Banquet
- My daughter Sam always gets picked to sell chances or do other things, she always says yes but not sure how happy she is.
- I did get her to smile...eventually.
My son had crossed over into Boy Scouts earlier this year and My wife is staying with Cub Scouts as Assistant Cubmaster.
- I thought I was done after 5 years, guess again..I was asked to be Cub Pack Chairman.
- My Webelo ll parents and Boys got me this at the banquet., pretty neat isn't it? Yeah I'm the guy on the right!
- It was a good turn out and everyone had a great time.
- Mom and Dad enjoyed themselves too!