Smoked Pork Steaks with Red Eye BBQ Sauce Over Cheddar Jalapeño Grits/Finch’s Cut Throat Pale Ale/Purple Suns “Purple Suns”
We went about as southern as we could get with this meal. Smoked pork steaks? Red eye BBQ sauce? Jalapeño Cheddar Grits? Oh yeah. We paired this hearty dish with the Cut Throat Pale Ale from Chicago’s Finch’s Beer Co. The music was provided by an incredible band from New Jersey, Purple Suns and their self titled EP.
Smoked Pork Steaks with Red Eye BBQ Sauce Over Jalapeño Cheddar Grits– This meal sounds time consuming, but it is actually very efficient. In the time it takes to smoke the pork, you’ll have enough time to make the sauce and the grits so everything is done at right about the same time. On that note, let’s smoke those pork steaks. We’re using pork sirloin steaks that are liberally rubbed with your favorite BBQ seasoning.
Light a grill with about a 1/2 chimney full of charcoal and spread a handful of apple wood chips over the coals. Place the steaks on the cool side of the grill and cover so the vent holes are over the steaks, opposite the fire.
These will go for about 15 minutes before we need to flip them, so we can head inside to knock out the BBQ sauce. For the Red Eye BBQ sauce we’ll need 1 cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, 2 tablespoons each of dijon mustard and Cholula, 6 oz. of strong black coffee and a tablespoon each of onion powder and garlic powder. Stir everything but the coffee in a bowl.
The sauce will still be thick, slowly add the coffee and stir until the sauce has thinned out to the consistency of a thick gravy.
After 15 minutes or so, we head back out to the grill and flip the steaks over and turn them 180 degrees. The steaks will have some nice color on them but won’t quite be cooked through yet. Close the lid and let these go for another 15 minutes. Enough time for us to knock out the grits.
All we need for the grits is 2 1/4 cups of chicken stock, 1/2 cup grits, 4 oz. freshly shredded cheddar cheese and 1 grilled jalapeño diced.
Get the chicken stock boiling and slowly add in the grits, stirring as you pour. Reduce the heat to low and cover. These will go about 10-12 minutes, but check often. We like ours a little more runny, plus the addition of the cheese at the end will thicken things as well.
Once they are at this stage, add the freshly shredded cheese slowly and stir constantly to incorporate evenly into the grits. Then add the finely chopped grilled jalapeño and stir again to combine. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
Back to the grill to finish everything off. Take about 1/2 of the red eye bbq sauce out the grill, we’re going to baste the steaks with the sauce then cook them directly over the charcoal to get that smoky sweet and sticky glaze on them.
Let these cook for a couple of minutes per side then remove from heat and let rest.
To serve, ladle some of the grits on the bottom of a plate and pile thick slices of the pork in the center. Drizzle with some additional red eye bbq sauce and there you go. If this isn’t southern comfort food, we’re not sure what is. Smokey, sweet and slightly crisp pork on top of creamy, cheesy and spicy grits. It was one of the best contrasts in textures and flavors that we’ve done here.
Finch’s Beer Co. Cut Throat Pale Ale – The Cut Throat Pale Ale rounds out the Finch’s beer trio. Having featured the straight forward Golden Wing and the absolutely incredible Threadless, Cut Throat is the only other retail offering at this point from Chicago’s Finch’s Beer Co. We decided to give it another whirl and feature it on here. The beer is a specimen to look at; like a cloudy fresh pressed cider. The one inch white head lays beautifully on top. The aroma is a mixed bag. We detected some soapiness and sour citrus notes as well as some sweetness. Not unpleasant, but interesting and different. The taste is hoppy right away but there is a sourness that we detected right before the slightly sweet caramel-like finish that we couldn’t put our finger on. It’s what we sometimes refer to as “dirty tap line flavors”, but seeing as though this came out of a can that can’t be the case here. The jury is still out on this one, especially when compared to their other two excellent offerings. It certainly wasn’t bad, and the sweet and hoppy combination paired great with the pork dish.
Purple Suns “Purple Suns” – Wow. This may be the one of the best Bandcamp finds that we have come across in awhile. This four song EP literally blew us away. Purple Suns is a New Jersey trio that has elements of grunge, desert stoner rock, Swedish stoner rock and other influences but all blend together for a very cool and unique sound. “Naked Eyes” is the opening track with a fat, down tuned riff that you want to crank on maximum volume. The song has a definite 90’s heavy grunge feel, which is awesome. The helium-lunged vocals of Jay Hernandez are killer and is one of the highlights of the entire EP. On “Ammo Collapse”, the band channels their inner Sheavy or even “Legend”-era Witchcraft. The song flat-out slams courtesy of a kick ass rhythm section and is rooted deeply in heavy groove-oriented Swedish stoner rock. Another great riff starts off “Any Animal”, the song is so catchy it reminded of a Hellacopters tune with their penchant for a pop hook in the midst of a heavy rocker. The song’s chorus also reminded us a little of Antler’s “My Favorite Enemy”, very cool. The EP ends doing a 180 on “Rainshower”. The throttles are completely eased up on this one which leads to a very Blind Melon-esque rock meets jam band meets psychedelic tune. The song could easily be an unreleased track from “Soup”. The 9+ minute song is super loose and a little trippy, much like a lot of the BM catalog. It’s only in the last couple minutes of the song where it gets super heavy, sludgy and dark. With this meal not being super quick, we had this EP on repeat. As further testament to what an awesome release this is, our favorite song changed every time the EP played through. Not sure if there are plans for a full length release, but we can only hope.