Sunday dinner has traditionally been roast in our house. Just because we have moved our Sunday dinner out into the backyard does not mean me can’t enjoy a good roast, a smoked roast. Add to that fruit in the form of a grilled watermelon and feta salad and chocolate fruit fondue.
It’s expected that a good cut of meat will yield great results but that can be cost prohibitive for many families. We discovered that using our Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker could make a fantastic meal even when using a cheaper cut.
Smoked Pork Loin Roast
For this BBQ Sunday dinner we tried a pork loin French cut roast, rubbing it with The Epicentre’s True North (by Southwest) all natural rub. I stumbled upon this company at our local specialty food store The Mercantile. Although the container isn’t the easiest to open, the rub is great and I’m looking forward to experimenting with some of their other rubs. The taste had a bit of bite with a little lingering maple tone. So good. And it provided a nice barque on the roast when smoked (and that’s a good thing).
With the smoker warmed to about 250 F, we placed some roast potatoes in a foil pan on the lower grill (smoked mashed potatoes are amazing) and set the roast directly on the upper grill. Like when smoking ribs, you want to keep the smoker closed to avoid heat loss. To monitor the temperature we used Weber’s Digital Thermometer. The wireless thermometer lets you keep track of your meat’s temperature while you’re away from the grill, ideal for long cooks on the smoker. You tell it the type of meat you’re cooking and the doneness you would prefer and it will beep when it’s ready. We didn’t have to open our smoker once while cooking.
With about 4 to 4 and a half hours on the clock for the roast, we occupied the kids with a game from our outdoor game box. KOOB is on a traditional Vikings game and is a perfect activity for outside. I love that this game is made in Canada and that it is flexible, in both playing field size and number of players. It was easy to set-up in the backyard and get right into the game. Even the adults got into it.
Grilled Watermelon Salad
We have been experimenting with grilled fruit on the barbecue, trying grilled bananas and grilled apples, but instead of a dessert we wanted to try something a little different. How about a grilled watermelon salad?
We used half of a large watermelon, cut acrcoss the circumfrance at about 2 in each slice and then cut each circle into quarters. This size made it easy to grill and turn. We brushed each side with a little olive oil and placed directly on the grill (medium indirect heat). We cooked each side for about 4 minutes. The Weber Sear Grate (from their Gourmet BBQ System) left wonderful crisscross marks on the watermelon. Once the slices had cooled slightly, I cut the rind off, chunked up the watermelon into bite-size pieces and crumbled some feta cheese on it. It was a nice compliment to the roast, served either warm or chilled.
Sitting in the backyard, enjoying the results of labour on the grill and smoker, we shared a bottle of STLTO Wine’s Chardonnay. According to owner Sarah Liveberator, the name is based on ‘the brand [being] (S)ophisticated, (T)imeless, (L)avish, (T)rendy and (O)utstanding, just like all of the amazing women in my life, so I decided to name the wine STLTO’. I’ll admit it, I tend to select new wines to try based on the label and the Stiletto shoe label may not have been one I would have picked up (not being a big shoe person). But I had heard from many women I know, who also enjoy a nice glass of wine occasionally, that it is worth a try and I’m glad I did. This Italian wine offers a nice light taste, perfect for a summer afternoon. It seems I’m not the only one who feels this way, according to other reviewers. This just reinforces you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or in this case a wine by its label). I’m looking forward to trying the STLTO red.
Chocolate Fruit Fondue
Fruit makes a lovely dessert anytime but the selection offered in the summer makes fruit an ideal treat for after a barbecue. Top it off with warm chocolate using a Velata fondue warmer and premium belgium chocolate. The nice thing about this pot is that it keeps chocolate warm with a simple 25-watt light bulb versus a flame, making it great for the family. I also loved that the chocolate is never too hot to enjoy; no worries about burning little mouths. Just warm the chocolate in the microwave and pour into the lid, ready for dipping. We tried Velata’s premium dark chocolate (which is sinfully delicious without being overly sweet) but they also have Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate and Caramel Milk Chocolate. Oh so many wonderful flavours. And surprisingly, one package was enough to satisfy our whole family and the pot and forks can be tossed right in the dishwasher (who doesn’t love that).
The best part about moving dinner into the backyard, is spending the whole day with the family and experimenting with different foods, foods you love. You don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy a great BBQ dish. So this weekend we sleep with full bellies, dreaming about what to grill for next Summer BBQ Sunday. What are you cooking on your grill.