Smoking Pork with Mexican Street Corn

Smoking Pork with Mexican Street Corn


This lesson’s dish is made up of pulled pork sliders, a Mexican street corn salad, and Virginia slaw. The preparation work involves marinating the pork for 12 to 24 hours, so you may want to do that step before proceeding with the rest. Keep in mind that smoking the pork will take an additional 16 hours. The corn preparation will take 12 to 16 hours.

Pulled Pork, Corn Salad, and Virginia Slaw


Marinating and Smoking the Pork
To prepare the pork, clean and trim the pork of any excess fat. Submerge in the brine and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Once that is complete, remove the pork and pat it dry. Put it in a mixture of pickle juice and yellow mustard, moving the pork around to coat it.

Next, put the pork onto a seasoning tray. Season it with a liberal amount of spice mix, covering every inch of the pork. After that, put it in a pan with a rack. The smoke should be able to get under the pork.

Set the smoke box to a temperature between 205 and 225 degrees. The most important factor is that the pork should reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees. Additionally, when you open the door of the smoker, the smoke that comes out should be white. Place the pork in the smoker and keep it in there for about 16 hours. Check on it periodically; the pork will be ready when it is fully tender and breaks apart easily.

Starting the Mexican-style Corn Salad and Slaw
To start the Mexican-‑style corn salad, begin with corn on the cob in the husk. The goal is to keep the husk on but remove the silk from the inside. Peel away the outer leaves. You can remove particularly big or small leaves, but you need to keep some of the leaves on the outside to protect the corn. Remove the silk, using a towel. Then, put the husk back on top of the corn. Do this for all of your corn, and then place the corn in a bucket of water for eight hours. Place them so that the stalks are up.

After eight hours, take the corn out of the water, keeping a bit of moisture on the outside. Brush a grill with oil and get it very hot. Get the grill very hot and put the corn on. Be careful of steam. Leave the corn on long enough to char the outside and turn the inside bright yellow.

While you are waiting for the corn to grill, you can start the onions. Take off the top third of each onion and remove the stem scar. Dice the top portion for use later.

Sauté the bottom two-‑thirds of each onion in a pan. The goal is to char the onions without burning them. Additionally, periodically check the corn, turning if necessary.

While you wait for the corn and onions to cook, you can start on the slaw. The first step is a chiffonade cut of the cabbage. Remove part of the stem scar and cut the cabbage in half. Put half of it aside. Remove the outer leaves if necessary to make the cabbage more manageable. Roll up the leaves and shave them down into very thin slices. Do not use the very bottom of the cabbage. Repeat this process with the other half, periodically checking on the corn and onions.

If the corn is ready, remove it from the grill. If you have more corn to cook, grill it in the same manner. Once the onions are charred, remove them from their pan and put them in an oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Once the cabbage is cut, put it into a bowl. The bowl has to be bigger than the actual product is. Add julienned carrots and julienned onions, salt and pepper, apple cider vinegar, and a small amount of grainy mustard. Mix all of the ingredients together. Put the mixture in your refrigerator for 30 minutes. Check on the corn and onions.

Making the Barbecue Sauce
To begin making the barbecue sauce, heat a small pot. Put a small amount of oil in the bottom. Grapeseed oil is fine to use.

Put the diced onion tops in the pot, followed by cut-‑up red peppers. Sweat the mixture down. Add salt to speed up the process. Adding a lid to the pot can help speed the process up as well.

Once the onions are translucent and the peppers begin to soften up, add the peaches. Mix them in. Once the peaches heat up, add the rest of the ingredients: light brown sugar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and salt and pepper. Bring this to a boil, then back down to a simmer. Let it cook for 20 minutes.

Mexican Corn Salad, Continued
Check on the onions in the oven, giving them more time if necessary. Remove the outer husks from the corn and shave each piece down in a plastic container. Once the corn is off, milk the cobs using the back of the knife.

You can leave the corn in the container and use the container to make the salad. Add the onions produced when dicing the onion tops from before. Also add diced green and red peppers, salt, red pepper flakes, diced tomatoes, cheese, and lime juice. Mix the ingredients up.

Next, prepare green onions by removing the stem scar, trimming the leaves, and slicing the rest thinly. Use the white slices for the salad and the green slices for garnish. Prepare cilantro, keeping as much of the stem as possible and chopping roughly. Add this and the white portions of green onion to the salad. To prepare the watermelon radish, cut it in half and then cut the halves into a small dice.

Finishing the Barbecue Sauce, Onions, and Salad
Check on the onions in the oven. If the outside is starting to shrink, they have started to dehydrate. This is a good indication that they are fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let them sit at room temperature. While the onionsare cooling down, you can puree the barbecue sauce. If the sauce is too dry, you can add more liquid. Water works well. Turn the flame off and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce, turning the pot for purchase. Once the sauce is smooth, return it to low heat.

Once the charred onions are cool enough that you can hold them comfortably in your hand, use a small knife to pull out the center of each. Once a couple of layers are out, you can use a spoon to scoop out the rest of the middle. Fill the scooped-out onions with the salad. Garnish them with leftover cheese and green onion.

Finishing the Meal
Check to see if the pork has reached an internal temperature of 190 degrees. Squeeze it to see how moist it is, and then see if you can pull the meat apart. If it is falling apart, it is ready to go, so take it to the kitchen to pull it.

Put gloves on to handle the pork, as it will be hot. Break apart the muscle groups of the pork and separate them. Remove any large pieces of fat. The goal is to produce pieces ideal for sliders.

Once the pork is pulled apart, put a small amount of sauce in a pan. Add pork on top. Add water if necessary to hydrate the food and spread the sauce more evenly onto the pork. Cook this in the pan at a low temperature.

To begin plating, start off with the slaw, placing it in a serving dish. Cut the slider buns bigger on top than on the bottom. Put the pork on each slider bun. Serve the sliders with the slaw and salad-filled onions on the side.

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