I’ve mentioned a few hundred times that I don’t buy pork chops.
The French like them thin; we prefer thick.
Instead I buy a whole pork loin and slice ‘boneless chops’ myself.
Because this is France the loin is tied tightly when I buy it. The end I cut for chops usually just has a thin tail piece that has been tied in but the opposite end is another story. When that end is untied it resembles a flat, poorly hacked excuse for a pork something or other.
In winter I cut it up for stir-fries or stews.
In summer I leave it tied, in one piece and cook it on the grill.
That’s a long explanation for the whole in the center of the roast……
Oh, and it’s not burnt, just well-smoked.
Smoked, Barbecued Pork Loin
Total time: 6 hours
includes 3 hours marinating
- 1 tbs smoked paprika
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbs red wine vinegar
- 8 tbs red wine
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp garlic powder or granules
- 1 tsp onion powder or granules
- 2lb (1000gr) pork loin roast
- wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tbs molasses substitute brown sugar
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Mix first 9 ingredients (paprika through onion powder) together well.
- Put pork loin in a food bag and pour marinade over the top. Make sure pork is coated evenly.
- Get as much air out of the bag as possible, close it and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours. Turn periodically, redistributing the marinade.
- When ready to cook, remove pork, reserving marinade, and cook in a smoker or on a barbecue grill set-up for smoking, low heat, for 2 – 3 hours.
- If you don’t have a smoker and are using a grill:
Charcoal grill: Put some charcoal in the barbecue, off to one side and light it. Add wood chips periodically to the coals. You’ll likely need to add coals, too – but if you use a charcoal grill regularly you know how to handle it…..
Gas grill: Only light one side of the grill. Wrap the soaked wood chips loosely in foil. Poke a few holes in the foil and place on the grill.
In both cases do not put the pork loin over the heat source. It should be cooked off to the side, over indirect heat.
- Pork is done when it registers 150F (66C). It will continue cooking while it rests.
- Remove and let rest 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make Barbecue sauce:
- Heat 1/2 cup of the marinade to boiling in a small saucepan (discard the rest).
- Simmer hard for 1 minute then remove from heat and add the ketchup, molasses, tomato paste and chili powder.
- Stir well and serve with the sliced pork.
After our hot day at the beach we decided to spend the next day, also hot, riding along the canals. It’s always shady and cool there.
It’s quintessential France to see plane trees lining the roads in the countryside. They also line the canals.
They’re big, tall trees and many of them have hollows at the base. On this section of the path there is a row on either side of the path as well as on the far side of the canal.
On either side of the canal and path there are farm fields, of course. This is a harvested wheat field in front with blooming sunflowers in the back and hills in the distance.
Here is where the river channel, which you can see here with the locks, intersects the canal which is joining it on the far side of the locks.
The speed on the canal is slow, minimum wake, and there are a lot of locks to go through. The locks are small, one boat at a time. Occasionally we see a sailboat, sail down of course, making its way, slowly, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.
Most of the boats are canal boats, long and narrow.
Some are a bit tatty; others are very nice indeed.
This is the front half of one of the boats. There is a table set up for lunch under the umbrellas, complete with china and crystal. The boat’s owner kindly gave me permission to take the photo.
I later saw him talking to the chef in full whites in the galley about the ‘Yank’ with the phone.
Apparently it was going to be a very nice lunch…..