Most of the ideas I get are inspired by seeing something good from other cooks and making my own version. For these Mojito style pork jowls things went somewhat different. I don’t like to waste products and decided to use the way to sweet “sprite mojito” as brine base. Don’t buy the product I guess there are better alternatives we’ll talk about later.
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After the succes of my “signature dish” the whisky smoked pork cheeks I shared with you earlier I decided to try some different ideas. Both ideas were Cuban inspired. Besides the Mojito style pork jowls I tested “Cuba Libre pork cheeks” but they weren’t much different from the once I made before (however they looked and tasted fabulous). We ate them the day before with the refreshing apple fennel slaw I often make. I will do them again later on to get more coke taste in it. Why Cuban? Well recently I bought me some aweful tasting sprite mojito. It is way to sweet to drink so I thought why not using it in a brine? This way I can compensate the sweetness with more lemon, vinegar and the other ingredients.
Mojito style pork jowls
I guess most of you know the cocktail classic Mojito? If you ask me it’s one of the best cocktails there is! A little touch of sweetness, the refreshing lemon and mint taste and RUM! Lovely. I’m looking forward to those hot summer day’s longing for the refreshment of a ice cold Mojito. And while writing this I realise I forgot to add mint to these Mojito style pork jowls… Anyway you could add some mint but after all they pork jowls did taste delicious without it too. You can add a pinch to the rub or some fresh leaves to the brine! I will try one of these methods next time (so no promises it will actually work).
I used a wet brine to see what difference it would make to the texture of the meat and as told before get rid of the sprite I bought. To be honest I prefer the texture of the dry cured ones. The dry cure is faster and brings more taste to the meat. The biggest advantage to me is the way the cheeks firm up by the dry cure. The wet brine brings a more subtle taste and brings you softer tender pork jowls. The peppery rub adds some extra punch to the “Mojito smoked pork jowls”. With the rub I tried to stay with the lemon and can sugar hints. Actually some notes of mint would have been at their place in this stage.
As long as you don’t forget the rum it’s all OK! Moreover spraying the jowls with a mixture of equal parts rum and vinegar. When cooking low and slow this could extend the cooking process leaving you with a delicious tasteful taste and texture in the end! Besideds the spray I also opted for the smoking wood made out of rum barrels. You should smell it’s delicate sweet slightly rum fragrented smoke. Heaven! I served these little pieces of cuban love in a roasted sweet potato and topped with cheddar and cilantro. As a side I made a bowl of bell pepper and corn. I will share the recipe of this sidedish as soon as I got some nice shots cause it was a delicious side I will make more often! In conclusion: every one of us should make more cheeks! If these “Mojito style pork jowls” don’t convince you take a look at the “whisky smoked pig cheeks” mentioned before!
That’s it for now! Hope you get some inspiration for your next barbecue session! If not take a look at the recipe index for more ideas! I Hope to hear about your experiences on Facebook. How pleased I am with the 1500 followers I gained last week (woop woop indeed) I would like to read more about your cooking adventures. Probably they will bring me more inspiration too. So take a moment and share the foodporn with all of us! And while talking about social media: Please share with your friends to support this blog.
- 1 kg. pork cheeks
- 1.5 cup (or 1 can) sprite mojito (or preferably regular mojito)
- 1/2 cup brown rum
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. salt cure
- 1 lemon
- 8 parts cane sugar
- 4 parts lemon pepper
- 2 parts ginger powder
- 2 parts dried cilantro
- 1 part cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp. rum
- 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- Plate setter when using a kamado style smoker. When using a kettle BBQ or gas BBQ make sure you your coals or burners are not directly beneath the cheeks. Ask for more information on Facebook if needed.
- Rum barrel woodchunks
- A cheap spray bottle
1. Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook until all tastes blend together.
2. Cool the brine and pour it in a bag or brine can. Add the pork cheeks. Make sure they are completely covered in brine.
3. Brine the cheeks for a night.
4. Remove the cheeks from the brine and pat them dry.
5. Mix all rub ingredients and rub the cheeks with it.
6. Set aside in the fridge while starting your fire for indirect cooking at low temperature (110°C/230°F).
7. Add rum flavored wood chunks to the fire (2) and wait till smoke turns blue.
8. Once the smoke has a slight blue tint you can add the cheeks to the grid.
9. Smoke the cheeks for about 2-3 hours. Spray every 30 minutes with a mixture of equal parts rum/vinegar. You need an internal temperature of 88°C/190°F.
10. Serve with your favorite sides. I stuffed a sweet potato with them and served with a corn salad. I will share both later on!
Have a nice meal
My intent with this blog is sharing you some recipes as a source of inspiration you could access for free. Bringing this content however isn’t free. Therefore I make use of affiliate links to cope with the costs. These links bring me a small referral commision for the products you could buy after clicking the links. This support helps me running this blog. I guarantee no false statements will be made on this blog and only products I believe in will be linked. Hoping you understand this decision. Thank you! :). In this post: - There's an affiliate link on the "Platesetter", "Spray Bottle" and "Rum Barrel wood chunks" All opinions shared are my own.