Rekindle the Fire: Not Pulled Pork Enchilasagna

by zydecopaws on November 24, 2014

Time once again for another installment of Rekindle the Fire, one where I get to choose one of three ingredients from the most recent offering from Tom at Big Butz BBQ and cook something outdoors featuring the chosen ingredient and three new ones. Or as is usual in my case, more than three others. This week was a bit more of a challenge than previous weeks, as the weekend was filled with celebration cooking (one birthday and an early Thanksgiving dinner), none of which were likely to lend themselves to a challenge meal featuring tortillas, chicken thighs, or bell peppers. Even if the carrots weren’t off limits, I would have still been hard-pressed to pull it off given the nature of menus that were mostly out of my control.

So one works with what one has. One thing I had was pork butts from Saturday.

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Two were pulled and served up with bacon mac and cheese and a fresh cabbage slaw. This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I’ll show it anyway, just to prove other things are making it on the grill even if they aren’t getting their own post.

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Now comes another cheat; making something not new using leftovers from another meal. Armed with leftover pork butts, a package of tortillas, and no desire to think real hard after a weekend of cooking and overeating I set out to make Not Pulled Pork Enchilasanga. Mainly because I chopped the pork rather than pulled it. And for grins, here is a pictorial essay of how you too can make your own at home. Start with a SWMBO-approved-for-the-grill cake pan. I’m not allowed to use any of the good ones on the grill…

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Gather up the ingredients to make the dish: flour tortillas, leftover pork butt, shredded cheese, olives, smoked chili peppers, enchilada sauce, and an onion. For the purpose of this post, we’ll go with the first four listed as those Tom will have to choose from for his next dish. Note: Tom lives in Wisconsin and I will be deeply disappointed if he doesn’t pick either of the two softballs I just served up and hit it out of the park with his next post.

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Chop up the onions and sauté them in a bit of olive oil. When limp, stir in the green chilies, heat thoroughly, and set aside.

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Chop the pork into 1/8 to 1/4 inch chunks. If you would rather make Pulled Pork Enchilasagna, shred away, but trust me and get it into very small pieces. Voice of experience speaking here…

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Drain the can of olives and chop about 3/4 of the can into small pieces.

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Mix the onion and peppers, pork, and olives in a bowl. Add about 3/4 of the enchilada sauce into the bowl and mix well. Here’s what it looks like if you don’t do that last step before taking a picture. Afterwards it looks pretty much the same only red and soupier.

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Pour a little of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the pan and layer in a couple of the tortillas. You might also want to grease the pan before this step to prevent sticking. I didn’t and got lucky, but that doesn’t always happen.

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Add a layer of the meat/veggie/olive/sauce. Spread it out evenly over the tortillas.

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Add a layer of shredded cheese and forget to take a picture. Just like I did. Then repeat the last four steps (tortillas, meat mixture, cheese, and forget to take a picture again). Add another layer of tortillas to the top and pour on the rest of the enchilada sauce. Spread it around evenly, top with shredded cheese, and the rest of the olives (after you slice them). Then take a picture.

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Now that assembly is complete, put it on the grill (in my case, the BS Keg running at about 350°F) for about 30 minutes or until it looks something like this.

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From here it is slice, serve, and eat. Oh, and take a picture.

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And there you have it, just in time to join the rest of the leftovers in the refrigerator. Based on the lack of space left in there, looks like I won’t have to cook for the rest of the week…

Rekindle the Fire: Butternut Bison Cottage Pie

by zydecopaws on November 10, 2014

Another two weeks has gone by, and once again it is my turn to pick from a list of ingredients used by Tom Porter of Big Butz BBQ last week as part of the Rekindle the Fire series/challenge. Those of you following along (I believe the number might be as high as 4) know that Tom used red onions (off limits for this cook), beef arm roast (aka chuck roast, but who’s keeping score?), butternut squash, and spaghetti. Since it’s getting late in the year, the butternut squash was the obvious choice to use as the carryover ingredient, mainly because the are fresh, plentiful, and cheap. That and BBQ spaghetti was way too obvious and easy…

The real challenge here was to use it in a way that was a bit more unique than simply serving it up as a side after it spent some time on the grill. After a bit of thought (and more than one adult beverage consumed while surfing the Net) I came up with the idea of an old traditional dish (Cottage Pie) with a twist (squash instead of potatoes) on top. I give you Butternut Bison Cottage Pie.

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For those wondering what cottage pie is, it is another name for a shepherd’s pie made with a meat other than lamb/mutton/goat/things-that-shepherds-watch and a crust of mashed potatoes. It turns out that there are a lot of regional variations of similar dishes so I don’t feel real bad about messing about with tradition.

In keeping with our local philosophy of cooking as much of the meal outdoors as possible in all sorts of weather (it was raining the night I made this one, not unusual for this time of year here in the Pacific NorthWet), the butternut squash was split in half and cooked on the BS Keg for about 40 minutes, then joined by a deep cast iron skillet.

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The squash came off, and the meat and veggies mixture went in the skillet (not all at once, but in the usual stages of meat and garlic, followed by veggies and a bit of sautéing, then the liquid ingredients) and were brought to a boil so that a picture could be taken.

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Actually, this one was taken before the liquid was added so that you can get a better sense of the other three ingredients for this particular cook, which were butternut squash (not shown in this picture, but coming soon), ground bison, carrots, and mushrooms. Also making an appearance were leeks, shallots, garlic, and fresh ginger, any of which I suppose I could have used as one of the featured ingredients as they all contributed heavily to making this dish what it was.

Now it was time for the unconventional part of the dish (as if ground bison weren’t enough). Instead of layering on a crust of mashed potatoes, I used a mash of butternut squash, butter, and a bit of salt and pepper.

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This was left on the grill for another 20-30 minutes to brown the squash and give it a bit of a crispy top. Little did I know that too much liquid in the bottom of the pie would turn the top into a food representation of the La Brea Tar Pits…

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Fortunately my family isn’t too caught up in visual mistakes of this sort, especially as the results were fantastic. Good enough that there were no leftovers and many cries to make it again in the very near future.

I guess that sometimes it pays to mess with tradition…

Butternut Bison Cottage Pie
Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 leek
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushroom
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • cornstarch & water
  • butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Process

  1. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Roast/bake/cook indirect on the grill until al dente (about 25-40 minutes at 350, depending on the size of your squash).
  2. Brown ground bison (or beef, pork, turkey, lamb, whatever you decide to use) in a deep skillet or casserole with the garlic and ginger. Drain the excess juice if you use a fatty ground meat; with bison this is totally unnecessary as it is so lean.
  3. Add carrots, leeks, shallots and saute until veggies are fully heated.
  4. Add mushrooms, thyme and any other of your favorite herbs and spices you might like. Stir well.
  5. Add beef stock, wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  6. Add cornstarch dissolved in a bit of water to thicken. Bring back to a simmering boil, stirring regularly.
  7. Mash butternut squash in butter and add salt and pepper to taste. Use a spatula to spread mash over the top of the other ingredients.
  8. Bake/roast for about 20-30 minutes at about 350°F or until top is browned (cooking outdoors is not an exact science where you get exact times and temperatures; get over it).
  9. Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy.

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