Adapted for an outdoor gas grill while still giving that smoky flavor
Burnt ends are a traditional part of Kansas City barbecue. The dish originates from barbecued beef brisket. The ends got all blackened and almost caramelised, yet remained succulent and full of flavour. So people started cutting their brisket up into "ends only" and barbecued them to give the whole thing this texture and flavour. And since then, it has been made from other meats like pork belly. Because I don't have a large American style smoker, I had to adapt it for a regular gas grill. Works great. Smeared with my home made Fanta glaze. Yields 8 portions.
Equipment you need
- A gas grill
- A lot of aluminum foil
- A saucepan
- Either a griddle section on your grill or a frying pan
- Wood chips e.g apple wood
The burnt ends step 1
- 1000 grams of pork belly with skin
- Salt to taste, about two large pinches
- Soak about five large fists of wood chips in water for a couple of hours, preferably over night.
- Pour out excess water. Place the soaked wood chips into a single-use aluminum tray or onto some aluminum foil cover well with more aluminum foil into a tight package. Poke holes in it and place it on the far right burner, right on it. Like, remove any griddle above it and place your package right on the grill burner. Turn it on max and watch the smoke sipper out.
- Cut the meat into large cubes, sprinkle evenly with salt (about three pinches for the whole thing).
- Place the cubed pork belly onto the opposite side from where the heat is turned on. You want smoke and indirect heat.
- Close the grill top and make sure the temperature reaches 100 C.
- Now let it smoke in there for 3,5 hours. I'll get back to the meat and glaze further down. But for now, immediately proceed with the potatoes...
Twice baked potatoes step 1
- 4 large potatoes
- Fold foul around each potato, into a tight package. It keeps some moist in there and it keeps the smoke out, we're not smoking the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes next to the meat, far from the burner.
- Ok, now wait...
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 a red chilli
- One liter of Fanta (regular Fanta, not any light variations)
- 1 tbsp of whiskey
- 150 g of butter
- If you have a separate burner on your grill, put a saucepan on it. If you don't, go inside and use your kitchen or get a portable one. Anyway, melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
- Finely chop onion, garlic ans chili. Let it soften in the butter on medium heat.
- Pour in the Fanta. Do not cover with a lid, you want the water to evaporate.
- Be careful not to burn it. When about 80% of the liquid has evaporated, you'll end up with a thick syrup.
- Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of whisky.
Burnt ends step 2 & Twice baked potatoes step 2
- 200 grams of cheddar cheese
- 150 grams of butter (yes, butter, not margarine)
- Two pinches of salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Half of the Fanta sauce
- By now, three and a half hours should have past for the meat and potatoes...
- Take the meat off the grill and onto a cutting board.
- Cut the skin off each cube and set aside for now, we'll be using it soon.
- Put the trimmed meat cubes in a cheap single use aluminum container or a metal tray. Pour half of the sauce in there and cover the cubes.
- Cover the container with aluminum foil and place it back into the grill.
- Take out the potatoes.
- Close the grill and let the meat be in there for another 30 minutes or so.
- Ok, back to the potatoes... Take them out of the foil, and cut them in half. Scoop out the soft potato flesh into a bowl. All of them and keep the skins!
- Into the bowl, add the butter, two pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Mix it well.
- Now scoop the mix back into the potato skins.
- Cut the cheese into 8 pieces and stick on top of each potato.
- Open the grill and turn on the middle-right and far-right burner (well, the far right should already be on).
- Place the potato halves on the left side, away from the direct heat.
It's like a mix between tzatziki and coleslaw, a very traditional side dish.
- 250 g cucumber
- 150 g "smetana", or sour-creme if you don't have access to eastern dairy
- juice from half a small lemon
- two pinches of salt
- a large fist of fresh dill
- a teaspoon of powdered sugar
- Some black pepper
- Peel the cucumber if you want to but you don't have to. Either way, slice thinly.
- Finely chop the dill
- Now combine all ingredients and set aside
Final steps for everything
- Take the glazed meat cubes and grill them over direct heat until they're on the verge of burnt.
- Now you need a frying pan or a flat griddle for your grill. A lot of olive oil, and fry those pork skins until crispy. Careful, don't burn them. Then set aside on some papers towels. They'll crisp up when cooled.
- Serve burnt ends with some extra Fanta sauce.
- Top it with crispy pork skin.
- The cheese on the potatoes should have melted by now. Serve it.
- Some mizeria on the side.
- Top with some chopped parsley.