Monday, December 26, 2011

BBQ Snob at Cane Rosso

I've had my brush with fame. Actually, I just had a great time working with the guys at Cane Rosso who did most of the work on my night as Cane Rosso pizza chef. There were two pizzas offered up. One had smoked porchetta with Mozzarella Company smoked mozzarella, mushrooms and caramelized onions. The other had Pecan Lodge's smoked pork sausage with a smoked sauce, ricotta and fried greens.

Porchetta Pizza

Pecan Lodge Smoked Sausage Pizza

If you're unfamiliar with porchetta, it is a fatty roll of highly spiced pork. In this case it was a pork tenderloin wrapped in a pork belly, which I then smoked instead of the traditional roasting method. Matt in the Cane Rosso kitchen let me document the rolling of the pork.

Seasoning the tenderloin

The rolling begins

Completing the tying

I then rubbed the pork roll with an aggressive rub of freshly cracked black pepper, kosher salt and smoked paprika. It was then hickory smoked at around 300 degrees for about four hours before I stoked the fire to get the heat up around 375-400 for the last hour and a half to really get the outside crisped up.

I also smoked some peppers and onions to mix in with the Cane Rosso's tomato sauce to give it all a smoky flavor.

Almost done

Ready for pureeing

After trying the completed porchetta, it will be tough to fire up the smoker again without having a pork belly on hand. The flavors work so well together that I now find it hard to believe that no Texas pitmasters have successfully toyed with it. It needs to make it onto some local menus.

I really appreciate Jay, Dino, Matt and the rest of the team for letting me play in the kitchen. I also appreciate all the friends and readers of this blog who came out in support. I had a blast, and I think I may just have sold more pizzas than Dean Fearing. We'll have to wait until the official results are released by Cane Rosso at the end of February, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

- BBQ Snob


Ben said...

That porchetta pizza looks excellent.

DrillerAA said...

Looks and sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Dammit, you make me sad that I've moved to Houston. :-)


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.