Coppa Street Tacos

On October 7, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

coppatacos

Last weekend I had a chance to stop by my favorite LA butcher, Lindy & Grundy.  They carry a selection of local, pasture raised, and organic meats. Unlike most visits, I didn’t have a plan of what I wanted to buy and found a cut of boneless pork shoulder, coppa, next to my typical bone-in pork butt that I normally put into my smoker.

Coppa is a cut I wasn’t familiar with, or at least wasn’t used to seeing it at meat counter in its raw form.  That’s what is so great about visiting Lindy & Grundy, I learn about different cuts one usually doesn’t find; although, when I arrived at home with my Coppa in hand, I looked up the cut on Google and learned it most often used to make one of my favorite cuts of cured meat – Capocollo.

I had bought the meat to make some tacos so I decided to marinate the Coppa and smoke it the next day.

The tacos worked in the end. The smoked Coppa had a smoked, bacon-like, flavor that went well with the corn tortillas, onions, cilantro, squeezed lime and Tapatio hot sauce.

Coppa Street Tacos
Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds of Coppa, boneless pork shoulder
2 oranges, juice only
1 bottle brown ale, such as New Castle
4 garlic cloves, sliced in half

12 corn tortillas
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 limes, quartered
hot sauce

The night before cooking marinate the Coppa in a bowl mixing the orange juice, ale and garlic cloves. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare a smoker. Discard the marinade. I used some Almond Wood and smoked the Coppa at 225 degrees for 7 hours letting it reach 160 degrees.

Once the Coppa is cooked in the smoker, it can be refrigerated and used the next day or diced into small chunks and served.

Heat the corn tortillas in a saute pan on medium-high with a 1/2 inch of vegetable oil.  Let the oil get hot and using tongs heat each side of the tortilla for about 10 seconds and then place on some paper towel to remove the grease. Repeat with each tortilla.

Add Coppa, onions and cilantro to each tortilla and serve with cut limes and hot sauce.

Tagged with:
 

Perfect Baby Back Ribs

On May 5, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

IMG_3435

Great ribs are simple with the right equipment. In my case, that’s putting my recent electric smoker purchase to work.  So far I’ve made brisket, pulled pork and now baby back ribs. It’s so easy it doesn’t even feel like cooking.  Though the brisket did take a lot of work, the pulled pork and ribs were pretty much put them in the smoker, forget about them and come back when they should be ready.

IMG_3405

The ribs only took the small effort of coating them with some BBQ rub the night before. Also, the removing of the thin membrane under the rib bones is good too so the rub coats all the meat you’ll be eating.

IMG_3417

The ribs I bought came from my favorite butcher in Los Angeles, Lindy & Grundy. They’re from ReRide Ranch in Lake Hughes, California. The ribs were already perfectly trimmed so I had little prep to do.

 

BBQ Rub

Prep Time: 5 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot smoke paprika
  • 3 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Put into a shaker for future BBQ needs.

Baby Back Ribs

Prep Time: 15 Mins Cooking Time: 3 Hours 30 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb baby back ribs
  • BBQ Rub
  • 2 oz. apple wood

Directions:

  1. Trim any excess fat on ribs and remove membrane layer on back of rib bones. Rub ribs the night before with a layer of BBQ rub and put in refrigerator until cooking time.
  2. Using 2 ounces of wood, a dry apple wood is best, place ribs in smoker at 225 degrees.* Leave in smoker for 3 1/2 hours.
  3. Serve.
  4. I use a CookShack electric smoker. Times may need to be adjusted for other smokers.
Tagged with:
 

My Meat Prayers have been Answered

On May 4, 2013, in Featured, Food, by Chris Baccus
0

IMG_3405

Thank you Meat God.

When we moved out of Texas last year to come back to my home state California, one thing I knew I’d miss was Burgundy Pasture Beef.  The ranch in Grandview, Texas was a gem in where I sourced my meats. We would drive to the ranch about every 6 weeks (it was a hour drive south of Dallas) and get $300-$400 of meat while enjoying some of the best burgers in my life. Life was good. I had found an amazing small ranch, grass-fed beef place I loved going to visit and support with my dollars.

Los Angeles is not Dallas. Or is it California is not Texas?

LA is not full of ranches within a hour drive and the area is known more for vegetarian, raw food which I love too, but it just isn’t a mecca for beef like Texas.  So I went around the local Farmers’ Markets and bought from a couple good grass-fed vendors.  Nothing was that impressive and at least I found some sources outside of the supermarkets or mail order.

IMG_3426

That’s when fate intervened.  We were interviewing some interns for a open position we had where I work and one of the interns mentioned she was doing social media for an organic, grass-fed butcher in Los Angeles called Lindy and Grundy. My ears perked up and I asked her to tell us more about the place, where it was and what she was learning about grass-fed meat. I noted the place and went to it that Saturday when the weekend arrived. I’ve been back since about four times.

Lindy & Grundy sells local, pastured raised, organic meats including beef, pork, chicken and a few other options. I had the pleasure this week of finally meeting one of the two owners Amelia Posada. She was great sharing how she spent some of her time growing up in Pasadena just like myself. I bought some beautiful baby back ribs, chicken, and Amelia’s family recipe pork carnitas.

IMG_3432

We had the carnitas tonight. Oh. My. God. They were delicious. The lard, oranges, garlic and spices brought out so much wonderful flavor I couldn’t stop eating. The shop was also selling fresh tortillas today from the Boyle Heights location of Guisados Tacos. Writing about this I’m now thinking of raiding the refrigerator to make another taco.

So while I love doing vegetarian/vegan meals every 3 to 4 times a week, having a great place to get high quality, sustainable, grass-fed meats is a blessing to my meat quest. Amen.

Tagged with:
 

Pulled Pork

On April 21, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
3

With a new toy in the backyard, it’s no surprise I’ve done back to back weeks of BBQ. This weekend I put the smoker to work doing some Pulled Pork.  Friday after I work I made a trip to west Los Angeles to Lindy & Grundy and picked up a beautiful 6 1/2 lb bone-in pork butt.  Here it is the day before after I applied the rub.

IMG_3314

We were having neighbors over so it was the first time I would have guests to try what came out of the smoker. My biggest worry was having it ready on time. Concerned I may not have enough time even though I placed the meat in the cooker at 6:30am with guests coming at 6pm, I decided to up the temperature from 225 degrees to 250 for the full cooking time.

IMG_3318

The pork did come out with a more darker crust than I’d expect with a slower cooking time, but it wasn’t burnt. There was a pretty good crunch and the hotter temperature proved a good solution as the internal temperature of the pork came to 195 degrees after 11 hours which gave me time to pull the pork before guests arrived. Here is how it looked falling off the bone after I pulled it out of the smoker.

IMG_3321

I pulled the pork and lined a pan and covered it with foil then placed it back into the smoker for when we were all ready to eat. The end product was full of smoky flavor, had some great pieces of “bark” and was fairly moist though I could’ve taken it out about a hour or half hour earlier when the internal temperature hit 190 degrees for a more moist meat.  The pulled pork was served with two homemade barbeque sauces: Mustard and Sweet sauces.

Here is the end result.

IMG_3326

Pulled Pork

Prep Time: 15 Mins Cooking Time: 11 Hours Total Time: 11 Hours 15 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 6 1/2 lb bone-in pork butt
  • Rub:
  • 3/4 cup Hot Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Onion Powder

Directions:

  1. Rub pork the night before or for 8 hours before putting in the smoker.
  2. Heat smoker to a 250 degree temperature maintaining a consistent temperature for 11-12 hours. Remove from smoker when internal temperature of meat hits 190 degrees.
  3. Remove and pull the pork. Serve with your favorite sauce or sauces.
Tagged with: