- My fire was too hot, and rather than let the coals cook down a bit before making the attempt, I went full bore ahead.
- That happened because I was smoking after dark and didn’t really want to deal with another late night tending to preserved meats.
- I was smoking then instead of in the morning because I was hung over from the revels the night prior. I was well into the "I love you guys" stage of drunkenness, and then I got jolly. Yeah, jolly. (Note: the order of these things may be reversed.)
- I also discovered that Whole Foods apparently believes that when the pumpkins go out, there is no more call for those crazy seasonal grill accessories save for the odd cedar plank and a small box of mixed apple/mesquite chips that sells for twice the price of a good size bag of either. This wouldn’t really matter except that I had planned poorly and needed some emergency supplies to pull this off.
Mesquite – the mesquite I had in the house, thank you, ‘cause I ain’t paying seven dollars a pound for a waste wood product – is a little harsh for pork, especially if your fire is too hot because you’re a bit hung over and smoking in the dark and too impatient to tinker with the heat to tame it. Needless to say, any vanilla that went into the cure was blasted out by hot smoke, and there were parts of the meat that were… let’s just say pre-crisped on the grill.
On the other hand, V made mushroom risotto with confit jelly and mascarpone which was simply delightful. It was one of the few times we’ve eaten in front of Iron Chef: America that I’ve not wished I could be sampling their fare instead of eating my own.