Posted by johngl
Last Sunday, a significant grill fest took place in the Alcoholian household: the most glorious spousal unit wanted some baby back ribs and I wanted some fish. This was the fault of our friends at Costco who, on Saturday, offered up fresh catfish, sockeye salmon, and baby back ribs at the same friggin time. I really dislike it when they conspire against us like that. That’s the price we pay for trying to save some money I guess.
While aimlessly wandering the aisles as most glorious spousal unit loaded up our cart with our necessities, I kept wondering how I was going to cook all this stuff, especially the fish, which doesn’t keep all that well.
There was the Baby Back Ribs:
And the Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon:
And finally, the Farm Raised Catfish:
Then it dawned on me: I had the biggest Big Green Egg!
I’d seasoned the pork ribs the night before, so early Sunday, I fired up the Egg and put the ribs out for their low and slow sojourn into our gullets. The seasoning blend is proprietary. Well, not really, because I’d never be able to reproduce it anyway since it was made up of a blend of roasted and dried peppers I’d procured from friends who had overflowing backyard gardens. If you want to give this a try, just give your ribs a liberal dose of your favorite dry rub and let it marinade overnight in the fridge.
As I’ve stated many times by now, the best thing about the Big Green Egg is the temperature control. I had the ribs doing their thing at about 215°F for several hours with so much as a look-see into the grill. I’d walk out to the Egg, look at the thermometer, see that it hadn’t moved, then go back in the house to do something else in the kitchen.
Like preparing that salmon.
The salmon was brushed with some fresh lemon juice, liberally dusted with salt and pepper, and finished with a touch of smoked sea salt. It doesn’t take much when you’ve got product this good.
The pork and salmon coexisted nicely for roughly 20 minutes whilst the salmon cooked in its own oil. I did not alter the temperature of the Egg at all.
Incredibly moist and flaky, the salmon provided for a very nice lunch.
Then it was time for the catfish.
This grid is what I use as a drying rack when I make beef jerky. I knew the catfish would be very delicate once it was cooked so I just left it on the grid inside the Egg. The catfish was seasoned with a proprietary rub provided by Williams Sonoma. It’s a chile – lime rub that flavored the fish wonderfully. I added just a pinch of smoked sea salt to bump up the smokiness a bit.
Again, the fish and the pork coexisted nicely at the same temperature for about 20 minutes. Again, in typical fashion, the Egg produced a wonderfully flaky and moist product. It made for a nice dinner. We coupled it with some most glorious pressure-cooked beans. The fish surprised us both with its depth of flavor from the seasonings and smoke. Farm-raised catfish, while a good source of inexpensive protein, isn’t noted for having spectacular flavor. The Egg helped to fix that.
But what of those ribs?
A rich mahogany color, tender and juicy, these made for a great snack. I enjoyed several of these with some Rudy’s BBQ Sause, but they were very tasty on their own as well.
The meat pulled away from the bone easily, had a nicely seasoned bark, and wasn’t overly smoky. In short, the Egg produced yet another superior result.
Over the past week or so, I’ve had no less than three people tell me that they want to buy an Egg but don’t think they can afford it. I spent several years fighting that battle myself and finally, with the help of a $200 off sale, succumbed. It’s a big bite for sure, but I haven’t regretted the investment for a minute. From beef brisket to sockeye salmon, I haven’t found anything this device can’t cook superbly and I’ve done a lot more grilling lately which helps keep the house cool on these 100°F days we’ve been having here in Austin.
I may not be saving any money, but I am sure having a great deal of fun.