To showcase how smoke can be used in cooking, popular Islay distillery Ardbeg has joined forces with DJ BBQ (Christian Stevenson) this summer to bring big, smoky flavours to barbecues around the globe.
Giving fans of the smoky dram the chance to try new BBQ dishes, Ardbeg has partnered with the ‘catertainment’ star to create “The Smoke Sessions” – an online series which offers a guide to barbecue dishes and smoky whisky cocktails.
Fuelled by their shared obsession with smoke, “The Smoke Sessions” will see DJ BBQ apply the fundamental laws of smoke, wood and heat to perfect BBQ dishes and drinks created using Ardbeg Ten, An Oa and Wee Beastie.
Brendan McCarron, the Distillery’s head of maturing whisky stocks, said: “Ardbeg is famous for a lot of things. But first and foremost, it is famous for being an incredibly smoky whisky – one of the real talismans of Islay, which is renowned for its smoky whiskies.
“When I’m speaking to people about the whiskies that I help to make they ask if it just tastes like smoke. The answer is yes and no, it is really smoky but the smoke is just one element of the whisky – albeit one of the big elements.
“Ardbeg is actually very sweet as well as being salty and medicinal – flavours that complement the smoke and when people realise that, they start getting really into the taste.
“We spend a lot of time telling people how the whisky is smoked and how the flavour is imparted and that got us thinking about who else is obsessed with smoke and using smoke to create flavours as well as using it to complement other flavours – and that led us to what DJ BBQ was doing with food.
“We got talking to him as we thought we were doing similar things and decided to create this collaboration to show how smoke comes through in different flavours and how it shows up in certain foods, and of course, in certain Ardbegs.”
18 hour Ardbeg whisky-smoked pulled pork
- 1 x 4-5kg pork shoulder, neck end with the rind removed and blade bone left in
- 10 x brioche rolls
- Half a bottle of Ardbeg whisky
- 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- ½ small white cabbage, finely sliced
- 1 x red onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 x red chilli, sliced
- 3 x tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 x tbsp malt vinegar
- Foil tray
- Dried wood for fuel
Set up and heat your smoker with the dried wood to 150C. You’ll need to start smoking your pork 18hrs before you want to eat.
Mix all the rub ingredients together and liberally rub over the prepared pork shoulder. Place in the smoker and reduce the smoker to 115C.
Fill the foil tin with 100ml whisky and 100ml water and place the tin next to the pork in the smoker. Keep an eye on the liquid level as it may need topping up with the same quantities midway through.
While the pork smokes, flick over more of the half water and half whisky with your fingers to keep the crust moist.
After 18 hours, carefully remove the cooked pork from the smoker and place in a roasting tray.
Pull the pork into tender pieces, checking the seasoning once you’re done.
To make the slaw, mix everything together in a bowl and set aside.
Toast your buns on the firebox and serve the smoked pork with the slaw and the toasted buns.