IF YOU PLAN TO MAKE THE ENTIRE ENTREE PRESENTION, COMPLETE THESE STEPS FIRST. OTHERWISE, PROCEED TO “Processing the Pork Shoulder” below.
Process the carrots @183F/84Cx1 hour, cold shock: Make Mille-Feuille Potatoes–these two items can be done simultaneously at 183F/84C.
Processing the pork shoulder.
Seal boneless pork butt/shoulder roast in vacuum or Ziploc Freezer gallon bag. If you use a Ziploc bag, you may have to cut the roast in half, and that’s fine–Sous Vide doesn’t care! Process the roast sous vide @
Remove from bath, cold shock in ice water to 70F/21C, refrigerate overnight at 40F/4C.
When you’re ready to smoke, remove the roast from bag, drain juices and place roast on a rack and sheet pan as shown. Harvest the juices and PROCESS. Then, dust the roast very lightly with flour; I use one of those shakers like in the picture.
Separate the egg, and reserve the yolk for later use. Paint/rub/spread the egg white over the entire surface of the pork. The easiest way is just to use clean hands, but some people find the sensation unpleasant. A pastry brush will work fine, or use gloves.
How to design a custom rub.
The roast weighed 8 lbs. raw, and lost about 1 lb. in juice. This means the roast now weighs 7lbs./3.2Kg. Seasoning standards suggest up to, but no more than: 1 Tbsp. salt/lb., and it couldn’t be much simpler than that.
Measure out 7 Tbsp. Kosher salt.
Seasoning standards also suggest 7-10 parts salt to 1 part ground pepper, so; Measure out 1 Tblsp. Ground Black Pepper, because BBQ is typically a little peppery.
At this point, you know you can use all of your rub, no matter what else you put in it, and the roast will not be overly seasoned. I used:
Paprika, 2 Tblsp., for barbecue color.
Sugar, 1 Tblsp., sweetness, but not enough to burn.
Oregano, 2 Tblsp., flavor.
Fennel, 1 Tblsp., flavor, and exotic appearance.
Coriander, 1 Tblsp., flavor and exotic appearance.
Allspice, 1 Tblsp., aroma.
Ginger, 1 Tblsp., flavor and aroma.
After building your rub, apply it to the entire roast. You will have about half left, which has many uses. I also double smoke pork butts. I cut the roast into thick slices, and apply MOST of the rest of the rub. I do not worry about over salting because we already measured.
I use a RecTec 680 Pellet Grill that I recently acquired to smoke the pork roast in a Lipavi rack @
180F/82Cx 4 hours.
While the roast is smoking…
Make the Biscuit Béchamel and Potatoes Gratin
This simple recipe starts with a “leftover” biscuit. If you don’t have one, just make the Béchamel Sauce described on this site. Otherwise:
Using the paddle attachment on a Kitchenaid type mixer, break apart the biscuit, and add the butter. Meanwhile, heat the cream to 183F/84C, either in a sous vide bath set at that temperature, or even a microwave oven. This can be done in a pan, but there is a strong tendency to scorch.
Add the hot cream to the biscuit crumbs and mix. Return the sauce to the microwave container and process for 2 minutes and stir with a spoon–do not whip. Process another 1 minute. Return to the mixer and paddle slowly until smooth. Too much friction will break the sauce. Adjust thickness if necessary by adding a LITTLE bit of cream. Too thick is okay. Too thin is not okay. Let it cool for a few minutes and adjust seasonings.
Do not let the roast sit out longer than two hours. If you plan on serving at a later date, bag, cold shock, and refrigerate. This prevents it from becoming “leftovers.”
Make the Potatoes Gratin
Cut the Mille-Feuille potatoes into serving size shapes, and distribute the biscuit béchamel over them in an oven proof dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, dot with butter or spray lightly with Pam.
Bake until brown on top, keep warm.
I cut the carrots julienne on a mandolin, but they can just as well be cut into thin slices. Toss with the dressing. This brings a lot of cachet to the overall flavor profile, don’t omit it!
Despite the pink color, the pork is safe to eat because it has been pasteurized in the sous vide bath. It was also cooked again in the smoker, this is just a characteristic of the process. Even so, most guests do not find this color appealing, for outdated fears of food safety. So, a good chef addresses this issue with a positive attitude.
For this model, Cut large thin slices from the roast, as shown below.
Heat a cast iron pan, or a broiler pan, or your barbecue grill, and sear the slices until they have a nice mark on them. Be patient, they will not burn.
This is the appearance that clients are usually much more receptive too, and the Maillard/caramelization process adds a lot of flavor.
Shingle the slices on a plate, or just pile the Q, as they say:
Add the potatoes and the carrot salad, drizzle with the Purgecue sauce. This does not look it was served in a fancy restaurant, and it should not. Barbecue is non elitist, it is for everybody. A clean plate is where the presentation line is drawn. It can even be paper!
You can “Pollock it up” a bit with some balsamic syrup if you like.
This dish was fun to make, the flavors are all so familiar, and yet slightly updated. My favorite part really was the carrot salad, so simple, so vibrant.