Porky& Beth's: Mothertruckin' Good 'Cue
If the image of George Gershwin sitting at a picnic table with his sleeves rolled up, a big ol' rib bone in his mouth, and barbecue sauce and pork grease dripping down his chin, seems hard to wrap your eyeballs around, that's because it is.
But I'd also be willing to bet that the composer of Porgy & Bess, who did have a real affinity for the American South, could appreciate the good-humored homage of Robert and Beth Lucas, AKA Porky & Beth, who earlier this year outfitted a trailer with a miniature kitchen and $5,000 Lang smoker and began hauling pork butt (and ribs and brisket and chicken) to Bedner's Market in Boynton Beach every weekend to dish up Robert's barbecue.
This is real competition barbecue, cooked low 'n' slow over red oak, variously marinated, injected, dry-rubbed, and sauced, always without overwhelming the flavor of the meat, which, after all, is the entire point. Meaty pork ribs get a dry rub and four hours in the smoker, with a light basting of sweet-vinegary sauce at the end. The smoke is prominent but not dominant, the meat tender but not falling off the bone. Brisket gets a cumin-heavy dry rub and 14-hour smoke-cooking that enhances its beefy flavor; it would be a sin to smear sauce on meat this tasty.
An apple-juice-based marinade is injected into the pork butt, which when shredded results in sweetly porky clumps of melt-in-your-mouth pig. If you want sauce, add it yourself. Even chicken is moist and tender and gently imbued with smoke. Of the sides, go for the collard greens and beans, both studded with big chunks of pork. And wipe that grease off your chin.
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