Friday, May 13, 2011

Grilled Pork Kebabs with Ginger Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Now that grilling season has begun, I was just itchin' to kebab something. I tried this recipe more for the barbecue sauce than the pork. Truth be told, I didn't think I liked pork much because I've tried pork chops a few times and couldn't understand the appeal. Turns out it wasn't slathered in enough sauce and there wasn't enough char (because I really liked these).

Yield: 6 (12-inch) kebabs

barbecue sauce:
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons molasses (regular or robust; not blackstrap)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh serrano (or other small hot green chile), including seeds
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt

1 (1 lb.) pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt

special equipment:
6 to 8 (12-inch) metal skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes)
Make barbecue sauce:
Stir together all sauce ingredients in a heavy saucepan and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, about 15-20 minutes (sauce will thicken a little more as it cools). Transfer to a medium bowl and cool to room temperature.  Can be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered.

Make pork kebabs:
1.      Line a tray with plastic wrap. Thread the skewers with pork (about 1/2-inch apart), and place on the tray.  Sprinkle pork with salt and brush both sides generously with barbecue sauce.  Chill, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour (and up to 6 hours).
2.      Preheat the grill on high, covered, for 10 minutes.
3.      Oil your grill rack, then grill the kebabs, uncovered (turning over once and basting with more sauce), until just cooked through, about 8 minutes total.  Serve with more sauce if desired.

slightly adapted from Gourmet Magazine, August 2003

ginger, serranos and garlic
grated/chopped ginger, serranos and garlic
pouring in the molasses
barbecue sauce ingredients mixed
barbecue sauce cooked
threading the skewers
You can see how the barbecue sauce thickens even more as it cools.
brushing on the barbecue sauce
pork kebabs marinating
on the grill
brushing with more barbecue sauce
I may have let these go a minute or two longer
than intended, but nobody seemed to mind.

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