The weather may have put a damper on the plans to BBQ for my dad’s birthday and make him a special meal, but it didn’t stop the planning and discussion of what to do for the meal for next time. As with the last few meals we’ve cooked with him, this one draws from an Iberian ideas and incorporates some of our own unique flairs. For me, these meals are especially nice, not only because they are good family bonding, but being half-Portuguese, it is a way to learn more about my heritage, even though, it’s the other side of my family that is Portuguese. I find the juxtaposition of the flavors between the two parts of the meal work really well.
The basis for this meal is a slow cooked pork that is marinaded in port wine, a fortified red wine. Make sure you chose one of a high enough quality to drink, picking something that’s not will make the meal quite disappointing. The marinade is finished with some aromatics including a very spicy pepper called a piri piri. You can substitute whatever kind of chili pepper you’d like, but regardless your choice, I highly recommend you cut it in large slices because you’re going to want to pick it out if you end up reducing the marinade and serving it with the meat. As for the grill, it’s a slow and low cook. One trick is to put all the heat on one side of the grill and then place the meat on the other. Depending on your heat source it can be as little as 60 minutes or as much as a couple of hours, the internal temperature needs to come up to 160-degrees, so pull it a little early as it will continue to rise after removed from the heat source.
The beans side draws from the spices of the Azores which take more advantage of the Iberian spice trade than most of the staple mainland dishes. Whole spices are preferred and pre-toasting them in a skillet before use will help bring out the natural oils and increase the flavor, however, using pre-ground is acceptable as well. When using dry beans they will require an overnight soak, but canned would work just as well drained. Veggie stock is good to keep the flavors even but it is quite possible to use a pork or chicken stock or water. The consistency is completely up to you, the more liquid the more like a soup, the less liquid the more it’ll be a typical beans side dish, both are very good.
cut piri piri pepper
marinade vessel (bag, or bowl with a cover)
Combine all the elements for the marinade in a plastic bag or deep bowl
Add the meat so it is completely covered by liquid and allow to marinade for several hours to overnight
Preheat your grill
Remove the meat, pat dry
Lightly score the flesh
Roll the meat in the spice rub
Gently massage the rub into the meat
Place the meat on the bbq and allow to cook slowly
As the meat’s internal temperature gets close to being done put the marinade in a sauce pan
Over high heat reduce the marinade into a sauce, roughly by 2/3
Strain the veggies out of the sauce (some may make it though straining, just be sure to remove the piri piri)
Once the heat is cooked remove from heat and allow it to rest
Slice and serve with the prepared sauce
Dice the onion, garlic and tomatoes, and the charise
Prepare the spice mixture and set aside
Begin to render the charise in the stock pot over low heat
Add the onion and garlic and allow to sweat
Add the veggie stock, spice mixture and tomatoes and bring up to a boil and then reduce back down to a simmer. If using dried beans post-soak add them with all the other ingreds, if using canned after everything returns to a simmer.
Simmer the beans for up to 2 hours or until they are soft and all the flavors have melded.
Readjust seasoning as necessary if using ground spices about half way through… don’t forget to remove cinnamon stick and whole allspice, peppercorns if whole spices were used once the beans reach the desired tenderness