GATESVILLE — Here is what is going on this week in Coryell County.
First of all, happy Valentine’s Day to all.
In Texas, nothing says “I love you” like barbecue. The same also may be true in the Carolinas, Memphis and Kansas City.
If you are new to these parts and hail from one of those other regions that claim barbecue superiority, let me set the record straight about all the competing styles of ’cue.
It’s all good.
As a Texan, I generally lean toward the cowboy style of dry-rubbed brisket and ribs, along with spicy sausage, gently caressed by smoke from mesquite, pecan or oak wood. Peach wood also works nicely, and if you have it, Mexican plum.
I like my sauce on the side. Why? If the meat is moist and the flavor from the smoke and spice rub is just right, sauce just gets in the way.
I am not a barbecue snob, however. I’ve enjoy my share of Carolinian and Virginian pulled pork. It’s good eats. In fact, my choice for a Valentine feast this week was a dry-rubbed pork shoulder roast (called a Boston butt) with a Midsouth Carolina dressing of vinegar and mustard.
The rub was the same spice mixture I use on brisket and ribs. The meat was an 8-pound bone-in shoulder roast. Rubbed it, wrapped it and chilled it for three days.
My smoker is old and ugly but gets the job done. Three hours of low-and-slow cooking with oak and mesquite smoke, followed by two more hours foil-wrapped in the oven, resulted in a fragrant chunk of succulent pork that came easily off the bone at the touch of a fork.
Cooled, pulled, slightly chopped and lightly dressed with Carolina Gold sauce, this Valentine meal only needed buns and coleslaw. You can maybe add a pickled jalapeño on the side.
Half the meat went into the freezer, so this Valentine treat will be around after those roses have dried to a crisp and those chocolates are long forgotten.
Another way to show your love is to haul off all the hazardous waste around the house. (How’s that for a Valentine segue?)
Central Texas Council of Governments is collecting hazardous waste Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center rear parking lot at 3601 South W.S. Young Drive.
Residents of Coryell, Bell, Lampasas, Hamilton, Milam, Mills and San Saba counties can drop off old paint, batteries, oil, oil filters, antifreeze, pesticides, household cleaners and electronics.
There will be a charge for disposing of old vehicle tires, but all other items can be left for free. Take proof of residence, such as driver’s license or a water bill.
For details, call 254-770-2376.