pulled pork


by Anne Maxfield on November 4, 2019

While great BBQ might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of restaurants in the Hudson Valley, your chances of finding some good ribs and brisket are awfully high here.

82BBQ which opened recently in Verbank (near Millbrook) has raised that BBQ bar a little higher. We went for lunch on a Friday and quickly became fans.

It’s a nicely designed room with your choice of a communal high-top table, or smaller tables for 2 or 4 and there’s a big patio with cheerful orange chairs for outdoor dining.

I started with the smoked wings in hopes that they would match my favorites from Billy Joes in Newburg. They were really good, with crispy well-spiced skin, but being the smoke fiend that I am, I would have liked a bit more smoke flavor coming through. They came with a Sriracha blue cheese dipping sauce that gave them some heat and played well with the spices on the wings. I loved that you could get 6 or 12 as it’s usually a struggle for me to get through more than 6 (and it gives you a chance to nibble on more of the menu).

To go with my wings, how about some smokehouse fries with pulled pork and Monterey Jack cheese?  The fried potatoes were fried half-moons of potatoes which made them great for scooping up the pulled pork and cheese. Think of them as being the fry version of nachos. Great snack food and for once you could really taste the cheese!

My friend went for the pulled pork and 2 sides, this time mac and cheese and green beans. The pulled pork was yummy, with nice crispy bits—like my favorite burnt ends. Mac and cheese was creamy, buttery cheesy and delicious. The green beans were not cooked to death, which may insult some Southerners, but I like my beans to have a little life left in them and these did. The pickled veggies that came on the side were a nice touch that I got to enjoy because my friend is not a fan of anything pickled.

What struck me about the food at 82BBQ, and it may seem strange when you’re talking about BBQ, was that all the dishes tasted fresh. It wasn’t just gloppy BBQ, produced on a large scale. I mentioned it to the chef when we were chatting after the meal and he confirmed it, telling me that he made everything fresh daily and when it was gone, it was gone. I also appreciated that the portions were good-sized, but not overwhelming.

We went back for dinner to try their take on some of the more traditional BBQ items, like ribs, brisket, chicken and their custom-made andouille sausage. Everything was really good, and we’ve eaten through most of the main dishes and sides. So far, my favorites are the ribs and pulled pork, but the brisket and sausages are close contenders. For sides, I’d definitely go for the braised greens—perfectly cooked with a nice vinegar kick — and the mac and cheese. Skip the coleslaw, it’s the only thing on the menu that needs work, and save room for the (I can’t believe I’m writing this) amazing bread pudding. It’s warm and creamy with a good dose of real maple syrup. I’ve never been a bread pudding fan, but 2 bites of 82BBQ’s and I’d go back just for the bread pudding. Yup, that good.

Open for lunch Friday-Sunday and dinner every day but Monday.


3134 Route 82, Verbank NY





A Big Pig (Roast)

by Anne Maxfield on July 20, 2015

Accidental Locavore Mark and PigIf you’ve ever been to a pig roast, you know it’s always a great feast with a golden brown pig taking center stage! Center stage in this case was a very large grill where the pig was perfectly roasted for hours until it was falling off the bone tender.

Accidental Locavore Pig Roast GuestsThe Accidental Locavore and Frank decided to celebrate a couple of birthdays ending in zeros, with the pig, a tent, and a large group of friends. As the invitation said, “the pig needs accompaniments, so please bring a dish…” and everyone stepped up to the plate. It helps that quite a few of our friends are great cooks, so we had no doubt that we’d all be eating well.

The pig was left in the hands of Mark, of Hudson Valley Sausage. Our chef friends, threatened to boycott the pig roast if Mark wasn’t doing the pig, so that was a no-brainer. He arrived early Sunday morning, towing the roaster with a 100 pound pig. The dog happily followed him up the driveway, eagerly licking anything that dripped from the roaster.

Accidental Locavore Pig Roast CharcuterieWhen Mark returned to finish the pig, he brought a big platter of some of his charcuterie. Early arrivals, sitting around chatting or waiting to play tennis, were treated to a wonderful variety of soppressata, pepperoni and salamis along with some provolone. All delicious with the pepperoni, being my personal favorite! Now, we’ve got to go over to Highland and check out his store.

But wait there’s more…and more amazing charcuterie! John, one of our chef friends, who also teaches at the CIA, brought a platter with his selection of prosciutto, ham and salami (and a copy of his book on charcuterie, which I can’t wait to dive into). Now, I don’t want to start any cured meat wars among friends, but this was also some spectacular food! The salami, which I got to enjoy the following day, was one of the best I’ve ever eaten anywhere!

There were lots of other great side dishes, including some wonderful Asian style baked beans, a bunch of terrific cole slaws, and what looked like a pasta salad with goat cheese but turned out to be thinly julienned squash. I’ve got to get the recipe for that and some of my other favorites!

Accidental Locavore Rif With an EarAnd not to leave out the star of the show—the pig was wonderful, tender and juicy, cooked to perfection. Several of us, jumped right in and grabbed chunks of the crunchy skin to munch on. Even Rif was happy, munching on one of the ears (his favorite treat).

If you still had room, there were lots of desserts! Great brownies, a citrus tart that everyone demolished (so I never got to taste it), along with cakes, tarts, cookies and watermelon cut into spears-easy to pick up and go!

We had a wonderful caterer, As You Wish, who took care of everything, so Frank and I got to sit back and enjoy the party. It was such a good time, we’re already thinking about next year—maybe a lamb roast?



Another Pig, Another Lunch, Another Country

by Anne Maxfield on May 18, 2015

Accidental Locavore Billy Joe's RibsWhen the Accidental Locavore singled out Billy Joe’s Ribworks as being my favorite chili (as well as Frank’s) in the recent Chili Cook-off, Jonathan Gatsik, one of the owners, sent me an invitation to come and have lunch, so the other day Frank and I set off for the Newburgh waterfront.

Accidental Locavore Billy Joes DeckBilly Joe’s is a huge place perched on the edge of the Hudson. There’s a large patio with a stage for summer concerts and a beer garden for exploring their large selection of local craft beer. During the summer they serve over 3000 diners a week, which means their three smokers are going non-stop from May through the end of September. The smokers are immense, with a capacity of 13-1400 pounds of meat each.

And we sampled a good amount of that meat! Starting with some smoked chicken wings that they then toss on the grill to crisp up. They come to the table with your choice of dipping sauce and blue cheese dressing. Whether you choose “Devil’s Revenge” or their own barbecue sauce, everything is made in-house. Frank’s reaction (“the wings were a revelation”) pretty much sums it up—they were!

Accidental Locavore Billy Joe's WingsWe tried not to stuff ourselves solely on the wings (although they would have been a fine lunch) because we knew Jonathan had ordered a lot more food for us to taste. There were three types of ribs: baby backs, St. Louis and beef. All were great, but my favorites were the beef ribs. Huge and naked except for a generous seasoning of salt and pepper, they were smoky and beefy and delicious! The baby backs were cut with the tenderloin, which made them super tender and both types of pork ribs were dusted with their special rub before the trip to the smoker.

Accidental Locavore Billy Joes BrisketAlong with the ribs there were three types of smoked sausages, both sweet and hot Italian and some spicy andouille. Definitely one of Frank’s favorite foods, he was happily devouring all three types. Not to be overshadowed by the ribs and sausage – some really great pulled pork, wonderful brisket and smoked chicken! And if you’re not into meat but find yourself there, the “Good Ol’ Grilled Salmon” is perfectly prepared (I stole a bite of Jonathan’s) so you won’t be left out!

Side dishes included homemade corn bread, some wonderful smoked baked beans, very good coleslaw and exceptional mac & cheese! My favorite mac & cheese is always really cheesy and creamy and this fit the bill completely! From now on, if I’m craving it, I know a trip to Newburgh will be just what I need!

Accidental Locavore Billy Joes CrewJonathan calls Billy Joe’s a “very, very happy place” and it ‘s apparent the minute you walk in the door. His chef, Kevin, also deserves a shout-out for all the great food. Managing that kitchen has to be a herculean task and they both do it with a big smile! Jonathan says “I love it every single day of the week” and you can too!


Thanks to Jonathan and crew for a great lunch and to Frank for the photos!



Labor Day Grilling: Szechuan Pork Chops

by Anne Maxfield on September 5, 2013

Accidental Locavore Pork Chops and CornBecause it’s probably unconstitutional not to grill on Labor Day, the Accidental Locavore decided to do the patriotic bit and grill some pork chops over the weekend. Looking for something different to marinate them in, I went back to Jeff Parker’s great grilling site and found this recipe he used to make Szechuan pulled pork. It makes a little too much marinade for a couple of chops, but hey…
•    1 large clove garlic, run through a garlic press
•    1/4 cup soy sauce
•    1/4 cup rice vinegar
•    2 tablespoons peanut oil
•    1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
•    1 tablespoon brown sugar
•    1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
•    2 bone-in pork chops (about ¾ pound each)
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the pork chops in a Ziploc bag, add the marinade, seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Remove the chops from the refrigerator an hour before you want to cook them and allow to come to room temperature. Grill over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes a side, depending on the thickness of your chops. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: It doesn’t get much easier than this marinade! Jeff’s got a sauce for his pulled pork that sounds great, but these chops were just delicious (perfectly grilled by my husband) with just the marinade! Toasting and grinding the Szechuan peppercorns add a nice depth of flavor to them and only takes about a minute. You pop them in a small frying pan over medium-high heat for a minute until they just start to smell fragrant. You can do them in the microwave on a plate for a minute or two, but since it can be a slim margin between toasted and toast, I like the control I have with a frying pan. I deviated from Jeff’s recipe and added garlic-a little fresh ginger, grated, might go in the next time. Don’t think you can substitute regular peppercorns for the Szechuan ones, not even close!


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