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Summer Grilling, Part II: Grilling Tips For Fourth of July

Today is our second episode celebrating summer grilling. We have pork and lamb for our entrees with a crispy wedge salad topped with green goddess dressing.

vegetables and meat on a grill

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

The week on the podcast Earth Eats is gearing up for the Fourth of July holiday with our second episode dedicated to summer grilling.

In last week’s episode, we talked about tips and tricks for grilling your meat to perfection, like having two different temperatures on your grill — one for marking, and one for cooking. Then we prepared a wonderful dish of duck and peaches.

Read More: Holiday Grilling Tips from Earth Eats’ Chef Daniel Orr

Today, we’re heading outside to the charcoal grill to prepare some pork and lamb from Jim Fiedler’s farm in Rome, Indiana.

Fiedler Farms Pastured Pork Ribs

Jim Fiedler

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

Jim Fiedler raises grass-fed beef and heritage pasture pigs on his farm in Rome, Indiana.

We’re certified humane. We always identify our pigs as happy pigs. They have one bad day, and I wish that’s all I had in my life.

Jim Fiedler raises heritage, large black pigs, that he says are known for having a lot of inter-muscular fat. His pigs are raised on pasture – no shots, no clipped tails. “They’re not confined like the big operations,” Fiedler says. “We always try to treat them gently and right and everything.”

“People always say, ‘I haven’t tasted anything like this since my grandmother died’ or, ‘I remember when I was a kid having it.’”

Extended Interview: Jim Fiedler: Raising Grass-Fed Beef On Green Acres

And he says that chefs love this pork too!

Chef Orr says that pastured pork is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and is more nutritious and delicious than industrially raised pork. “You can tell [pastured pork] by this nice fat crust on the outside.”

So, now we’ve got some of Jim Fiedler’s pork ribs ready to go on the grill.

They’re rubbed with a coffee-espresso rub (recipe below), and they’ve been steamed, wrapped in plastic, for 90 minutes. So, they’re cooked through and tender.

We put them on the hot side of the grill to get some nice smokiness to them. The finely ground espresso in the rub is going to add to the roasted flavor from the grill, “so it really accents the flavor of the pork and brings out the sweetness of the pork,” Chef Orr says.

Columbus Cowboy Espresso Chili Rub

  • 2 cups fresh good-quality espresso coffee, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons orange peel, dried
  • 1 tablespoon star anise, ground

Place ingredients in a spice grinder and blend until they form a fine, consistent powder. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Boneless Pork Chops

From pork ribs, now to pork chops. As the ribs are cooking, we put some boneless pork chops on the grill. These were NOT pre-cooked like our other meat. Pork chops just don’t really need it.

We don’t want to have our pork chops well-done, we want them to still be a little rosy. To start, get a nice sear on them, but once they’re marked on both sides, put them off to the side and let them slow-cook until they get medium-rare on the inside.

Chef Orr pointing to the crust that has formed on a pork chop

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

Your pork chops are ready to remove from the grill when a crispy crust has formed on the fatty outside.

We’re very frugal here at Earth Eats, so the last bit of meat we’re doing on the grill today is something that might typically be wasted: lamb necks.

So, these have been boiled for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to make a nice lamb stock, but there’s still  a lot of great meat on them.  ”It’s great for people who like pulled pork and like moist well-done saucy meat,” Chef Orr says, “and we’re going to throw some BBQ sauce on those.”

pouring bbq sauce onto the lambs' neck

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

Chef Orr pours his homemade BBQ sauce onto a lamb neck that has been boiled to create lamb stock.

A Note About Overcooking

As your meat is finishing up on the grill, you want to remove it and let it sit a bit before serving.

As you let it sit, a process happens called carry-over cooking. The heat starts to penetrate deeper into the meat and it continues to cook a bit.

bbq pork ribs on a plate

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

Always leave your meat to sit for a while when you remove it from the grill, this will help the juices to redistribute and the color of the meat to even out from the center to the edges.

Also, the blood and the moisture from the inside of the meat will start to go back out to the exterior. So when you cut it, it will be a nice rosy texture all the way through instead of rare in the middle and well-done on the outside.

You always want to let your meat rest a bit after you’ve seared it.

Iceberg Salad With Edible Flowers And Green Goddess Dressing

Now that the meat is ready, we’ll throw together a quick salad with some homemade green goddess dressing.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • green goddess dressing (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup assorted edible flowers  (red bud, violets, fruit tree, dandelion, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Cut the iceberg into 4 wedges and remove the stem core.
  2. Place each wedge on a chilled plate and dress with Green Goddess dressing. Spoon a little dressing around the lettuce as well. Serve remaining in a sauce boat.
  3. Just before serving sprinkle with flowers and take right to the table.

Green Goddess Dressing (makes 2 ½ Cups)

  • 3-4 salted anchovies
  • 3 scallions – thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • ¼ cup minced parsley
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons tarragon vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
  • Tabasco (to taste)
  • water as needed to thin

Combine all ingredients, blend until smooth and season to taste.

More Edible Flower Recipes (from Earth Eats):

News Stories On This Podcast

Your Holiday Grilling Recipes

Let us know what you like to grill. Share recipes or photos in the comments or on our facebook page or flickr group, or you can send us an e-mail and let us know what you thought of this episode.

Earth Eats Staff

Earth Eats Staff is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

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