Hey everyone! I finally made the time for another all-nighter. Late this morning when I contemplated what dry rub recipe to use for my 9-1/4lb butt in waiting, I realized that many of my big hits for pork rubs have dried apple, and while digging through my private stash of rub ingredients it quickly became apparent that I am out of apple...oh dear, what now? Well, why not make use of more of that bag of dried blueberries? I made a basic blueberry dry rub for beef a couple months ago, and the flavor was great, so I thought why not put together a more detailed rub for a pork butt, only with a little more of our favorites packed in with the blueberry? DONE!!! I grabbed my note pad & pen and set out to create yet another recipe for my bulging recipe folder. Come on along for the ride to see how my latest experimental rub works out!
BLUEBERRY-CHERRY-RBP PORK DRY RUB
This rub is intended for low & slow cooking only, as the natural sugars in the fruits will scorch quickly with high-heat cooking.
All measures are pre-grind, except for the powdered ingredients, of course.
4 Tbsp dried whole Blueberry
3 Tbsp dried Tart Cherry
3 Tbsp dried diced Red Bell Pepper
3 Tbsp dried chopped Onion
2 Tbsp dried minced Garlic
1-1/2 Tbsp Black Peppercorn
1 Tbsp ground White Pepper
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Spanish Paprika
1 Tbsp Rosemary
2-1/2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp rubbed Sage
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, then portion 1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp into your blade-type (coffee) grinder at a time. Use less if the grinder stalls/jams. Grind to near your desired particle size and place in a second container until all ingredients are ground, then repeat grinding for smaller particle size, if desired, and to aid in blending the dry rub for the best consistency.
Note: grinding the dry ingredients with the fruits will aid in preventing the fruits from forming a paste and stalling your grinder, as well as making for much easier clean-up. This is a very effective method for grinding dried fruits. The only draw-back to grinding all ingredients together is if you want larger particle sizes with certain spices but not others, although some of them could be ground separately, if desired, such as the Kosher Salt.
This particular recipe, even in the semi-arid climate of my location, tends to clump soon after blending if tumbled in the container, so a regrind may be necessary prior to application onto your pork. This is due to the sugars in the fruits and is normal. Application with a shaker container may give the easiest results. Do not compress this mixture until it is on your meat, or it will pack to a very firm consistency, making a re-grind difficult.
Yield is approx. 1-2/3 cups.
I'm just getting ready to start grinding after combining it all together here:
So, for those of you who have not been following me much in the past, using blueberries, tart cherries, red bell peppers, apples and the like are nothing new to me...been down that road before, probably a lot more than I can even remember (that's why I post my latest stuff here so you all can find it...and so can I...LOL!!!), and I have not been disappointed with the resulting flavors, so I have no doubt this will be good eating.
Today's victim...I can get these cheaper at Sam's, but these were form an area Wally-World (wife picked it up a couple days ago)...meat prices are going up, though:
Rinsed, trimmed moderately lean, air-dried for a few minutes and made about 1/2 - 5/8" deep cross-hatch scoring with about 3/4" spacing on the entire cap portion to reduce baring of the meat when the underlying muscle begins to shrink. This allows for more rendering out of the fat and gives more crispness...it also allows for packing in more dry rub into the cuts, which of course, I diligently took advantage of and looks pretty cool when the smoke clears (no flash on 1st pic):
I packed on about 1-1/4 cups of the dry rub from every angle imaginable. I used nitrile gloves and sprinkled it on evenly, then packed it on without much effort at all. For a lighter application, a shaker should work very well, based on my past experience with fruit-based rubs. I separated the scored cap with my finger-tips and worked it in nice and deep. It covered the butt nicely without any wetting aid and went straight to the smoker without resting...think it's enough for a killer bark that's loaded with the enticing flavors I incorporated?:
Glove-marks from handling (center-right)...not much bare meat on this fella:
The rub had a slightly lighter color until applied to the meat and the salt and natural sugars began drawing some moisture from the meat...it took on a much darker color after getting moist. I suspect that the blueberries and cherries are responsible for most of the color change, as it did have a purple hue to it after the second grind to finish blending it all together. Lovin' that color so far, though.
Now, the pre-smoke taste and aroma of this rub had my wife and youngest daughter wanting dinner...NOW!!! That was about 5 hours ago, so I best get ta smokin'!!!
The rub does have a little bite that comes in after a few moments of swirling it around in your mouth and swallowing...grabs a hold of the back of your throat and tongue for a minute or two, but it's a just a nice little hint of heat, without cayenne or any hot chilies/peppers, so I like that as well. The white pepper is only a small part of that, as it's not as hot as black peppercorns. White pepper is a milder version, due it's level of ripeness when harvested to further process/dry. The heat seems to be more from the combination of several things going on here that is working on the levels and delayed characteristics it brings out, and it also seems to be a mocked-up heat, if you will, due to the various spices playing with the senses. GREAT flavor with just a touch of heat...should be a very interesting pulled pork meal on Tuesday.
Just into the Smoke Vault 24 with cherry smoke wood chips...heaped in about 3 cups worth to get things started...220* starting temp @ 5,000ft elevation and wet-to-dry smoke chamber via pea-gravel in the water pan, a foil liner with about 2qts water in the pan, and the foil pan from prep for a drippings catch...thought I'd use the drippings to add to the PP when it comes together after about 24 hours. I will bump the chamber temps to 240-250* after transitioning to the dry smoke chamber in about 7-8 hours:
So, smoke was on @ 3:30 pm MT...should be afternoon on Tuesday the 27th when we get to savor the flavor of this new recipe. I'll give you my/our take on it then. Two hours in now, so time to do my checks and keep things rolling smooth...gotta prep my wireless temp probe for the night, too.
See ya soon with pulled pork and a full recipe review...well, as soon as my pork butt says so...(it's done when it's done)...thanks for peekin'!!!
Edited by forluvofsmoke - 8/26/13 at 5:27pm