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  • Writer's pictureMatt Chinnery

Buffalo Trace BBQ Pork Belly Burnt Ends

I have been thinking about branching out a little from beer blog posts recently, so it seemed like perfect timing when I was contacted by Buffalo Trace asking if I would like to try some Bourbon. I had been thinking about some BBQ recipes using Whisky, and although I had a few ideas up my sleeve I knew that I had to give my mate Clayton a call. For those of you who follow me on social media you probably recognise Clayton, or more likely his wizardry skills on the BBQ that can be seen in many of my posts. We had spoke in the past about collaborating together on a blog post recipe, this seemed like the perfect time to do so.

Family owned Buffalo Trace Distillery has been producing Whisky in Kentucky since 1773, surviving floods, tornadoes, fires and of course Prohibition by being allowed to continue producing for "medical purposes", they have been going from success to success all the way up to present day where they have become a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Holding the claim of "most award-winning distillery in the world" racking up 35 distillery titles since 2000, more than 1,000 awards for its range of premium whiskies and most recently has won 4 first place medals at International Whisky Competition 2020.

I admit that my Whisky and Bourbon knowledge is limited to say the least, but I found myself really enjoying Buffalo Trace. Pouring a dark caramel, with aromas of sweet toffee this Bourbon went down smoothly with flavours of vanilla, brown sugar and butterscotch. Sitting at a very affordable price on supermarket shelves I could see a purchase in my near future.

In addition to trying this recipe we have put together for this weekend, Buffalo Trace have been working on some BBQ recipes alongside Hot Box, Spitalfields very own BBQ connoisseurs, if you fancy trying a different recipe to ours you can see their video for Bourbon gazed chicken and cocktail pairing here.

Buffalo Trace BBQ Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Pork belly 1-2kg

Your favourite BBQ rub or see recipe below

60ml honey

Bourbon & Milk Stout Glaze

32g cup granulated sugar

32g brown sugar

60ml Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Small splash of Fierce Coffee and Vanilla Porter / Milk Stout / Vanilla Porter / Coffee Beer

60g butter

Rub Recipe

2 tbsp sea salt

4 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

2 tbsp white sugar

2 tbsp light soft brown sugar

2 tbsp chilli powder

1 tbsp chipotle powder

1 tsp English mustard

2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

Prep your BBQ, you can use any BBQ with a lid for this recipe, a smoker is perfect but you don't need a fancy BBQ like my friend Clayton! Fire up your BBQ, and set it for indirect cooking (so the pork isn't directly over the coals) you need your BBQ to reach 250°F - 275°F (120°C-135°C). We added Cherrywood chunks, for that smokey goodness, if you have any wood chunks or chips then feel free to experiment with what you have but Hickory or any fruit wood works well.

You can buy standard pork belly in the supermarket already cut, or if like us we got a special cut including the ribs from a butchers than you will need to butcher yourself and cut the ribs from the pork belly (you could use the rub or the glaze for the ribs if you like!). Using a sharp knife, trim any extra fat that you can and cut the pork belly into inch cubes . Either mix all your rub ingredients together, or just using your favourite BBQ rub you have stashed away in the spice draw, and rub the dry spices all over the pork belly cubes. If you have any rub left over then save this for future BBQ recipes!

When your BBQ reaches temperature, place the belly chunks directly on the smoker grill fat side up. Let the pork belly cook for 2 hours.

On a hob and in a saucepan melt the butter, add the rest of the glaze ingredients and reduce till it is a sticky sauce. Once the pork belly has had 2 hours remove from the BBQ and put in a baking dish, cover the pork belly in the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Glaze. Wrap the tray in tin foil and cook for a further hour., keeping the BBQ temperature at 250°F-275°F (120°C-135°C). Remove the foil and cook for another 15-20 minutes so that the glaze caramelises. Enjoy, if you have a little bit of the glaze left then drizzled extra glaze over the burnt end for even more filthy BBQ delight! Eat with a glass of Buffalo Trace on the side.

Disclaimer - I was sent a bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon free of charge after discussing using it for this recipe. Big thanks to Clayton for collaborating with me so I could dig into his BBQ knowledge and create this outrageous BBQ dish!

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