|Candied Bacon Steaks with Double Corn Hoecakes, Coca Cola Glaze, “BTFO” |
BBQ Sauce Drizzle, Southern Braised Collard Greens, & Pickled Shallots
|a gourmet southern date night|
|look at the collard green "green-ness" + the pickled shallot "pink-ness", it's so beautiful|
|perfectly fried hoecakes + a shot of the sauce drizzles|
|CANDIED BACON STEAKS. enuff said.|
|Homemade "BTFO" South Carolina Mustard Based BBQ Sauce|
For the Candied Bacon Steaks:
2lbs House Cured Pork Belly, Cut into Large Squares
½C Sorghum Molasses
1C Coca Cola or Cheerwine Soda
1t Paprika, Chili Powder, & Cayenne (these can be reduced for a less spicy version)
Fleur de Sel + Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste
For the Coca Cola Glaze:
1C Coca Cola or Cheerwine (whatever soda you used to braise the pork belly)
2 Limes, Zested & Juiced
1 ½C Light Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
For the Signature “BTFO” BBQ Sauce:
1T Canola Oil
¼C Minced Shallots + ¼C Minced Garlic
¾C Classic Yellow Mustard + ¼C Stone Ground Mustard
¾C Sorghum Molasses (maple syrup may be substituted if needed)
¼C Brown Sugar
1T Worcestershire Sauce + 1T Sweet Potato-Habanero Hot Sauce (I use Cochon’s)
½t Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, & Chili Powder
1T Freshly Cracked Pepper
1T Red Pepper Flakes
¾C Cold Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2T Roasted Garlic Paste (can be homemade or store-bought)
For the Self Rising Corn Flour:
1C Corn Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Corn Flour)
1 ½t Baking Powder
For the Double Corn Hoecakes:
1C Self Rising Corn Flour (the entire batch you just made in the previous step)
1C Southern Ground Cornmeal
¼C Corn Powder (this can be made by processing freeze dried corn kernels into powder)
2T Buttermilk Powder
2t Baking Powder (possibly just 1T of this instead)
½t Salt + ¼t White Pepper
1T Sugar, Optional
2 Beaten Eggs
¾C Well-Shaken Buttermilk
¼C + 2T Potlikker Stock (chicken stock or water may be substituted here as well)
¼C Canola Oil/Melted Bacon Fat/Melted Butter (plus extra for frying)
1. For the Candied Bacon Steaks: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Cut in the pieces of cured pork belly into large squares or extremely thick slices. This will help the pork belly remain in tact during the braising process. Line a baking dish with tin foil, spray with Pam, and arrange the pieces of pork in the pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum molasses, Coca Cola, and assorted spices until completely incorporated. Pour the liquid evenly over the pork belly, so that the meat is only halfway submerged. Sprinkle the dry tops of the meat with fleur de sel and fresh cracked pepper. Cover the entire pan with tin foil, so that all of the moisture will be sealed in, which will create super tender pork belly. Bake for 4 hours, making sure to flip over the bacon slices at the halfway mark of the cooking time (two hours each side). Once it has cooked, remove the pork belly from the pan and put on a plate or in a container to chill in the refrigerate overnight.
2. For the Coca Cola Glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the soda, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt & pepper to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until it is syrupy, about 30-45 minutes. If serving right away, keep warm until you are ready to plate. But this glaze can also be made the night before and refrigerated until you need it.
3. For the “BTFO” BBQ Sauce: In a medium pot, warm the canola oil over medium-low heat until hot. Add in the minced garlic and shallots and cook until soft and transparent. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yellow mustard, grainy mustard, sorghum molasses, and Worcestershire sauce. Sift the dry mustard, garlic powder, and chili powder over the mustard mixture (this will help avoid lumping). Pour it into the pot containing the sautéed aromatics. Next, whisk in the fresh cracked pepper, red pepper flakes, and water/apple cider vinegar. Simmer the BBQ sauce on low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring often throughout cooking time. Once the timer has expired, mix in the roasted garlic paste, and then season to taste, adding any needed seasonings, water, or vinegar to reach the desired taste to your liking. Cool the sauce before refrigerating or keep warm if ready to serve.
4. For the Self-Rising Corn Flour: In a small mixing bowl, sift together the corn flour, baking powder, and salt until you have a thoroughly combined mixture. Pour it into a container or plastic bag for storing.
5. For the Double Corn Hoe Cakes: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the prepared Self-Rising Corn Flour, cornmeal, corn powder, buttermilk powder, baking powder, salt, white pepper, and sugar until the components are distributed evenly throughout. In another bowl, whisk together the two beaten eggs, buttermilk, potlikker stock, and ¼C melted fat. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the center. Using a fork, gently whisk together the mixtures until a hoecake batter is formed. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add some fat to the pan for cooking (I personally like to use equal parts of canola oil and bacon fat/melted butter/duck fat because the canola oil helps to raise the burning temperature to the other delicate fat). Once the fat is hot enough, scoop or drop ¼C of batter into the hot skillet to form small silver dollar cakes. Fry them until they are golden brown and perfectly crispy, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove the hoe cakes to a paper towel lined plate and briefly drain them of excess oil.
6. Crisping the Pork Belly: Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with just about 1T of canola oil to lube the pan. Score the top of your braised pork belly squares with diagonal lines to create hatch marks. Season with a little salt and fresh cracked pepper, and then place the square (marked side down) onto the scorching hot pan. Sear for roughly 3-5 minutes until it has developed a deep brown color and the fat has begun to render. Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the pork belly cook at a slower pace, making sure to fry all sides of the square. The overall cooking process should take about 15-20 minutes. Remove the pork belly to a cooling rack that is fitted on top of a baking sheet pan, and then lightly dab with paper towels to remove excess fat. Heavily brush the Coca Cola Glaze all over the crisped pork belly and broil in the oven for 5 minutes per side, making sure to brush once or twice more with the remaining glaze until a candied bacon steak has been formed.
7. Assembling the Dish: On a serving plate, either drizzle a circle or brush a streak of the “BTFO” BBQ Sauce around the circumference or through the center of the plate (this will create a rim or middle division, creating a place to plate your dish). On one half of your sauce base, place a small stack of buttered silver dollar hoecakes, while on the other half, lay down a glazed square of braised pork belly. Ladle one last spoonful of Coca Cola glaze over the candied bacon steak. Next, create a small mound of cooked Southern collard greens in between the two main components. Garnish with crispy bacon lardons, fried garlic chips, & minced chives.