Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How Not To Look Sexy: BBQ Pork Chops

I found myself the other day, nestled up in the nose bleed seats at a Minnesota Twins home game, versus the New York 20130704_144237_edit0Yankees. The sky was blue, swallows darting about,  and the fans were all of good cheer I should say. Well at least that is until we fell behind five to nothing in the first inning. I didn’t mind the score any. A losing team is something we’ve gotten used to around here. Frankly, it was just good to be there, in the new open-aired stadium. Enjoying the day with other like-minded Minnesotans. I’ve always fancied to come down to the ball park once in a while, and appreciate the ambiance there. The sound of a fast ball to a leather catcher’s mitt. The organ lady pounding out some ditties. The golden sunbeams awash over a green, manicured field. The goofy mating cries of the beer vendors, marching up the stadium steps with an arm full of libations.  And of course, maybe my favorite slice of ambiance from a major league ball bark – the heady aroma of Polish sausages in the breeze.

Ah, glory be to the Polish sausage who’s gastronomic fates fall unto thee, thou ardent baseball fan who resides stalwart, and yonder, up in the cheap, blue seats. By golly, I was having my way with one up there, whilst overlooking the field of dreams. And it was glorious. I’m not sure why, but them ball park sausages always make it worth the trip down town. We may lose the game, but they will never take our beloved sausage! A comforting fact I rejoiced in, as I worked my way through the Polish delight, topped with caramelized onions, ketchup, and spot of mustard. This is the high art of baseball spectating, you see. Not for the uninitiated, and not far removed from the BBQ arts.

Anyways, I gobbled the thing down with a semi-reckless abandon, with no small amount of damage neither,  done to my pride. Leaning back in my seat, a big smile across my face, I was a gentleman at ease, you could say. Nary a care in the world. My bride who sat next to me, after pausing for my token belch of satisfaction, made quick work of pointing out the glob of ketchup clinging steadfastly to my chin. She always does that, when things are haphazardly adhering to my face. In point of fact, most women I suspect do that for men. And I think most men probably would go the better part of the day with it still there, had no one pointed out. And worse yet,  we’d be OK with it. I know, its not how to look sexy, and we ain’t claiming it to be right.  But it is also a badge of honor sort of, to a worthy feast and a time well-spent. That smear of wayward ketchup or mustard, it is a remembrance of recent glory. An emancipation of meat! Even so, I took care of it like a proper man ought to, and resumed to the spectating at hand. Indebted once again to the good graces of a woman.

What has all this baseball and women got to do with BBQ Pork Chops you ask? Well, not much! Probably nothing at all really. It’s just stuff I was thinking about whilst grilling supper this eve. Pit-side ponderments if  you will. I must say tho, supper was quite tasty tonight, as good as any ball park Polish sausage, and not nearly as expensive. Another winner from the pit. Hickory Smoked BBQ Pork Chops. This one is likely to get your slobbers running, so grab yourself a bib, and a lovely beverage, and let’s get after it!

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Whilst the coals matured to excellence, and in true pit keeper efficiency, I let the bone-in chops go for a swim in a teriyaki-flavored marinade. Tho BBQ sauce would still be applied at the end, I guess I  just felt like a touch of teriyaki tonight, to compliment the flavor profile. I tossed on some well-aged  hickory chunks too, for that smokey goodness patron to decent outdoor cooking. Set the meat as is accustomed, opposite the hot coals. You will never kick yourself for using in-direct cooking techniques. But oh how you may moan your name in vain, should in a misguided frenzy, your spoils be rendered into blackened char, because you left them over direct-heat whilst you went to the little pit boys room. Brethren of the smoke you see,  are oft taken by leisure at a moment’s notice, and before we know it, before anybody knows it, we could be drool-deep into a good nap if we’re not careful. Better then to corral our meat on the cool side of the grate, just in case. And let leisure take its course.

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I put the lid on and let the chops smoke for a while. Always a lovely segment of time. A time well appreciated from the vantage of your BBQ chair, watching the thin-blue smoke gently peel into the air. This is the ambiance of the pit, and all pits have their own, unique blend. And its our job, as pit keepers to simply sit back and revel in it. To note, by chance, the baby ducks down by the pond eagerly training to become big ducks some day. Their parents close at hand.  The evening sunbeams, bright and golden on the shaft, and how they strike the full, green, leaves of the Cottonwood trees, which flutter against a gorgeous, blue sky. The Great Blue Heron yonder, across the pond, slowly stalking shallows. And the murmur of the pleasant summer’s breeze mingling through the pines. Oh how I’d fancy to press pause on the download of life right now, and hold that sun steadfast in the sky. Just to freeze it there, casting shadows, and watch the wood smoke gently curl.

Before you know it tho, kind of like life, your meat is done. Flipped once mid-way through the cook, and brushed with your favorite BBQ sauce at the end. We tossed on some corn too, just because.  Because nothing is quite so fine, let it be said,  as grilled corn on the cob, smothered in butter, on a cool summers eve. I plated up this drool-tugging ensemble, took up residence next to my bride, and in disturbingly short order,  we feasted. Declarations of goodness ensued. I plunked a well-chewed bone on to my ceramic plate, and leaned back, smiling like a man ought to in such moments. Patting my tightened belly. It was good, people.  The day was good. And I might have even been sexy too, had not I acquired once again that tell-tale glob of BBQ sauce, hanging from my chin. But I didn’t care. Amen.

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Hickory Smoked BBQ Pork Chops with a Teriyaki Tint, sided with fresh corn-on-the-cob. You could do a whole lot worse people,  and not have nearly so much fun.

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14 responses

  1. You have me convinced: lotus eating with a pork chop and a Polish sausage. What could be finer.

    July 8, 2013 at 10:34 am

  2. debbeedoodles

    These look really tasty! I will be going to see the Nationals play the Mets in a few weeks in DC. Not a big baseball fan, but it’s fun to watch in person.

    P.S. Hope the “sexy” word works for you like it has me. I checked last night my Sexy Pork Chops blog posting has had over 900 views. Amazingly, people want nothing to do with the even “Sexier Pork Chops”… Go figure! 😉

    July 8, 2013 at 10:35 am

    • That’s just crazy. Yes, your blog inspired the title on this one. Thought we’d try your techniques!

      That’s cool you get to go to the Nationals game. Yeah even if you don’t like baseball, one can still enjoy the ambiance there, and partake in some good over-priced food!

      July 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

      • debbeedoodles

        🙂

        July 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

  3. Liz

    were the sausages from Kramarczuk’s? I want to check out the new stadium, but only for the food vendors as I hear they’re a step up from where we were. Do you shop Kramarczuk’s? in your neck of the woods. won a big James Beard award recently. Nice shop to have in your neighborhood 🙂

    But about the pork chops–they look great. And it’s all poetry.

    July 8, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    • Well you nailed it, Liz, the sausages were from Kramarczuks indeed. Nice gum shoeing! Every time we go to the stadium there, which ain’t often, but when we do, the first vendor we always go to is the little Kramarczuk stand. Them dudes know what they’re doing! And yup, I’ve loitered a bit in their shop some wheres down town too. A very cool place. I did not know about the award tho, that’s awesome. I also heard, through the rumor mill, that they lost a good deal of meat with that recent power outage a couple weeks back. Made me sad. I would have showed up with my BBQ grill had I known, and lit the fires so as to minimize the waste of good sausage. Aw well.

      Thanks Liz!

      July 9, 2013 at 1:39 am

      • Liz

        Noooooooo….am so sorry they lost a chunk of meat 😦 I, too, wish you’d been there with your grill. Arrrgh.

        Love that place. Was at the meat counter once and was chatting to a guy next to me. He said he’d called in “sick” from work that day and shopping at Kramaczuk’s was his favorite thing to do. I mentioned I was buying jerky for my husband (lest he think I was being overly friendly) and we had a fun conversation. At the register, he opens his bag of prosciutto and offered me a slice (yum). So then I opened my box of vodka beans (chocolate-covered vodka candies) and shared with him. Then I started offering to others in line and the folks behind the counter. So we’re having a party at the meat shop! I Even got an unsolicited hug from the guy before he left 🙂 This camaraderie thing would not happen at Costco or Target and it’s why I love independent shops.

        You didn’t ask for a personal story, but get so excited with food stories. Here’s the link for their James Beard award. They really are a treasure.

        http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/207566841.html

        July 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm

  4. And now I get to go through a whole day of work craving some BBQ chops 🙂 Great article and better cooking!

    July 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

    • I hear you. The side-effects of reading and writing food blogs I guess. Thanks for the comment!

      July 9, 2013 at 10:09 am

  5. Once again another great recipe, and a look at your writing skills. I had to laugh at the sauce on chin, it’s even worse when it sits in your beard(growing one for winter).
    Cheers
    Laurie.

    July 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

    • Ah yes, my elder brother has a beard. He’s discovered many an interesting remnant in there.Artifacts of bygone meals.

      Thanks for checking in Laurie!

      Ever find yourself a plank?

      July 9, 2013 at 11:34 am

      • Went past the timber mill yesterday, forgot to drop in. I will do it though, it intrigues me. Keep on grillin.

        July 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm

  6. This looks delish! I must try it one day. Thanks!

    March 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm

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