Two Pork Shoulders Ready to be Seasoned and Smoked
I decided to use two different injections for the pork shoulders so I could play around a little bit and see which one came out better. Since my blog is title Bite and Booze, my first decision was that each recipe should contain some kind of booze in it. The first injection contained blackberries, honey, and bourbon. I tried to make this one sweet instead of salty to see how the meat would turn out. After combining the blackberries, honey, and Maker's Mark bourbon, I injected the liquid mixture into the pork shoulder and then rubbed the rest onto the meat. I let the shoulder marinate like that overnight and in the morning I rubbed it down with a blend of seasoning that mostly contained Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning and brown sugar.
The smoking of the pork shoulders took quite a few hours, so there was plenty of time to enjoy the company of my friends, watch sports on TV, and drink some beers. I smoked the shoulders over pure mesquite charcoal. I really like mesquite because it brings me back to my childhood days at South Texas deer camps where my father taught me how to grill on open mesquite fires. Mesquite smoke leaves a unique flavor and spiciness in meats that I've never found from any other wood.
Two Pork Shoulders in the Smoker, Blackberry/Honey/Bourbon in the Back,
Worcestershire/Mustard/Hot Sauce/Beer in Front
While the pork smoked over the indirect heat of blistering mesquite coals, I got to work back in the kitchen to make sure I had lunch ready at a decent hour. I seasoned a batch of chicken thighs with my rub from the pork that mostly consisted of Slap Ya Mama and brown sugar. While grilling the chicken thighs over the mesquite, I sautéed some haricot verts in olive oil and lemon juice with a touch of garlic, sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. In addition, I made a smoked Gouda mac and cheese with some grated Gouda and boiled egg noodles.