Mail-Order BBQ

by Amy Ephron
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porkbutt.jpgConfession: I love food that comes in the mail.

I, also love having something in the freezer just in case we decide on a whim to have eight people for dinner tomorrow night. Or tonight for that matter, but this only works if you decide this early enough in the day to defrost whatever it is you have in the freezer just in case you’re entertaining on a whim.

A few weeks ago, I was sent samples from Edwards & Sons Virginia Traditions BBQ. It was summer and I was really excited to get them, especially since the samples included an entire pork roast butt (completely suitable for a dinner party of eight or more).

I don’t write about things that are sent to me unless I love them. Those “crabcakes” from Baltimore come to mind, the ones that sort of resembled a baseball. We tried everything – we even put them in a tomato sauce and put them on top of spaghetti – no luck. A crabcake should not resemble a meatball!

But I cannot even explain how great the Virginia Traditions pork roast was. I knew the moment I defrosted it and tried to put it in a roasting pan – the pork was so tender a bit of it fell off the bone before it had even been put in the oven – that we might be in luck. But...can I just say the greatest pork roast butt this side of the Mississippi ever (I realize it’s from that side of the Mississippi but since it came to me in the mail, I regard it as a West Coast object). The bbq sauce has no additives and is its own form of deliciousness (and don’t start me on the mustard sopping sauce – it makes you want to run out and buy a ham!)

mustardgreens.jpgWe served it with a combination of mustard greens and collard greens stir fried with a little bacon (might as well go with the theme) and a small dash of excellent balsamic to give it a little kick.

A friend came to dinner from Georgia and declared it might be the best one she’d ever had either (and she should know, she’s a big foodie, well travelled, and a BBQ afficianado and grew up on a farm outside of Atlanta).

The next day, I California recycled. I cut some of the fat off the leftover pork roast and on a light flame, sauteed the pork, added some fresh chopped jalapenos from Alan’s vegetable garden in our front yard and had BBQ Pork Tacos which were also divine.

So all I can say, we’ll be ordering one next week to keep in the freezer and if we’re really lucky, Virginia Traditions might send us one of their hams to “test” for the holidays. We promise to invite people for dinner then, too.

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