Adobo Pork Smoked on the Primo Grill



The truth in acting is that we are all hired help. We are a commodity. There is no difference between being an actor and pork bellies.
Lorraine Bracco

I must thank Rainbow Meadow Farms yet again for such a nice pork butt that I slathered and marinated for several hours then smoked for some nice BBQ tortillas.  With such windy conditions just nothing seemed to work in keeping the grill temperature down and it required a peek about every 30 or so minutes that under decent conditions wouldn’t have been necessary.  Toss in the totally lousy meat thermometer (remote style) that was about as useless as the last piece of garbage that it replaced.  All in all dinner was only 30 minutes late, but the butt realistically only needed 3 1/2-4 hours of time on the grill and it went on at 1:30 and came off at 6!  A nice crispy char and good red/pink smoke ring to the pork. 

Finally served dinner at 7:15 with the last of the frozen corn on the cob from last year’s second season corn, grilled over the last of the flaming coals along with some red onions to top the tortillas.  Serve with the BBQ sauce.


I had plenty of alternative ingredients, but nothing drastic so I will direct you to the original recipe from Rick Bayless.

Slow-Grilled Pork Shoulder with Ancho Barbecue Sauce
New Red Chile Adobo
Adobo de Chile Seco Estilo Nuevo
The sauce keeps for months if sealed refrigerated. For a sweeter, toastier flavor, roast the garlic cloves (still in their papery skins), in a dry skillet over medium heat, turning them regularly until soft and blotchy black in places, about 15 minutes. Cool, peel and blend with the other ingredients.

Scant 1/2 cup good-quality ancho chile powder (the amount you’ll get from a typical 2-ounce spice jar)
8 peeled garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Scoop the powdered ancho chile into a blender or small food processor. Bring 1 ¼ cups water to a boil, pour over the chile, loosely cover the blender or secure the top of the processor and pulse to blend thoroughly. In a small microwave-safe bowl, collect the garlic, cover with water and microwave at 100% for 1 minute. Drain and add to the blender or processor, along with the spices, oregano, vinegar and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Process until smooth.

(Notes:  I made 1/2 the recipe, I used the garlic water as a portion of the of the 1 1/4 cups of water and regular cinnamon)

©Rick Bayless. All rights reserved.
Espaldilla de Puerco con Salsa “Barbecue” de Chile Ancho
Servings: 4to 6 servings

1 (about 4 pounds) bone-in pork shoulder roast
1 1/4cups New Red Chile Adobo (divided use)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, olive oil, bacon drippings or butter (each will add a different character to the sauce)
1 small red or white onion (red will make the sauce sweeter), thinly sliced
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
1 tablespoon balsamic or sweet sherry vinegar
1/2 cup agave nectar or sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire

Place the pork in a large plastic dip bag add ¾ cup Quick Red Chile Adobo, seal the bag and rub the marinade all over the pork.  Refrigerate overnight.

Light a gas grill, setting the temperature at medium on the side burners (off in the center); or light a charcoal fire, letting the coals burn until they’re covered with gray ash and medium hot, then banking them to two sides. Lay the marinated pork in a V-shaped roasting rack set in a roasting pan. Pour 1 quart water into the roasting pan, set in the middle of the grill (the coolest part) and cover the grill. Cook, basting every ½ hour with the pan juices, at 275 to 300º degrees until the shoulder reaches 190º degrees at the thickest part, 4 to 4 ½ hours depending on how diligent you are in keeping a consistent temperature in your grill. (Live-fire cooks will need to add a couple of pieces of charcoal every 20 or 30 minutes to maintain temperature.)

While the pork is cooking, make the barbecue sauce. In a medium (3-quart) saucepan set over medium, heat the oil, drippings or butter. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until it is soft and beginning to caramelize, about 7 minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup Adobo and stir for a minute, then add the tomatoes and 1 cup water. Lower the heat and simmer until the mixture has the consistency of tomato paste, about 20 minutes. Scrape the sauce into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the pan and stir in the vinegar, agave nectar or sugar, Worcestershire, a generous ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 cup water. Let the sauce simmer until it’s the consistency of thick barbecue sauce, 30 to 40 minutes.

During the pork’s final ½ hour of cooking, baste it several times with the barbecue sauce. When it’s ready, transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil and let it rest for about 30 minutes to reabsorb the juices. Reheat the barbecue sauce, thinning it out with some of the pork’s pan juices or water, if necessary. Cut the shoulder into ½-inch slices, arrange on a warm serving platter and set before your guests, passing the sauce for them to add to their liking.

©Rick Bayless. All rights reserved.