Nothing takes a sandwich beyond the level of being just something between two slices of bread, then a nice complimentary condiment.....mustard, ketchup......"secret sauce", sweet onions......
Or perhaps something like this.....
Recently, I had to smoked some chicken for the Missus to take to work.
After the chicken was done, I decided to take advantage of the smoke and try some of these really cheap thin cut shoulder chops....
In what seems a lifetime ago...well, at least the mid-90's would be for some of the folks who read the blog, I was in Atlanta, off and on, for over a year. I usually stayed near Emory University and right up the street, past the CDC was a place called Dusty's BBQ (which sadly closed down in 1999 after 27 years). I remember having lunch there one day and striking up a conversation with a very nice gentleman who it turned out was a professor at Emory. The one thing I recall him saying was, "it's amazing what smoke can do to the cheapest, simplest, cuts of meat." So I decided to smoke the cheapest ($1.09/lb) cut of meat I could find.
I also wanted to raise things a bit....not by adding BBQ sauce or anything, but just by adding one thing.....I love making Mirin Caramelized Onions, so I went for Balsamic Onion Jam.
I used some of my pork rub to tie the flavors together.......I don't use much salt in my rub, so that's why I will adjust the salt at the end. Don't use the good balsamic for this, the cheap stuff you get from Trader Joe's will do...... I do something kind of different, I start in the dry pan....yes, you do lose liquid this, but you also get more of a stronger flavor. It does seem like a lot of sweet stuff, but it really tastes great with, say, pulled pork? But what doesn't taste great with pulled pork?
Balsamic - Mirin Onion Jam:
2 large onions sliced thin
2-3 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tb pork rub (optional - you can use a combination of smoked paprika, oregano, granulated garlic, etc)
2 Tb turbinado sugar
1/4 cup mirin
2 Tb grated or minced garlic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
- Head a thick bottom pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions, let caramelize for 20-30 seconds, stir and let sit for another 10-2o seconds. Stir once more.
- Added olive oil, turbinado sugar and seasonings (pork rub), lower the heat and stir occasionally until the onions start to color.
- Add the mirin and garlic. Keep stirring periodically until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the onions or burnt off.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and repeat.
- One reduced, taste and adjust salt and pepper.
Will keep for a least a week stored in an air-tight container in the fridge......