For years I’ve been using either store bought meat rubs or creating general purpose meat rubs from the Intertubes. Recently Rochelle and I have been getting a meat package from our local farm drop. It contains locally raised grass fed beef and pork, chickens, etc. For the first time I got a cut of side pork. Basically the easiest and quickest way to explain what side pork is would be to call it uncured, unsmoked bacon. The cut is fatty, but with a little more meat than bacon.
To deal with the lack of curing and smoke you can do two things: cure and smoke the cut, or season and cook it. I chose the latter. The cut came pre-sliced, so I chose to marinade the slices for 8 hours in a mixture of 90% Apple juice and 10% Garlic infused Tabasco sauce. I decided on an oven roasting cooking method so I wanted to season each slice with a rub.
Now, as I mentioned there’s a bazillion general purpose rub recipes out there. Most of them are variations of black pepper, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, sugar, and salt. I didn’t deviate too much from that basic foundation, except that I added a special ingredient that yielded a really great rub that tastes better than the general purpose ones I’ve been making for years.
The secret ingredient? Habanero infused cane sugar from Flavorstorm. This created a rub with bite, but not the normal bite of cayenne pepper. I omitted brown sugar and garlic powder (two common bbq rub ingredients) because for the amount of rub I wanted to create, I figured that I could better focus on onion as a flavor and use regular sugar so that the habanero would power through even only using a tablespoon. I also substituted Ancho Chili powder instead of regular chili powder. (I do this for most recipe’s that require chili powder. I find the ancho chili powder to be a nice change of pace. Ancho chili powder is just ground dried pablano chilies, but the powder has a slightly sweeter taste)
I hate “secret” recipes, so here you go:
1/2 cup paprika
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon habanero infused cane sugar
2 tablespoons regular cane sugar
Shake it up good in a container to mix it evenly. It doesn’t have a strong salt component so you can be ok using a little more rub so you get that onion and that sweet ancho chili and habanero flavor to come through.
I’ll let you know how the side pork turned out. Enjoy!