McEwan Foods for your BBQ

McEwan Foods has everything you need for your summer barbecue.

I know it’s chilly this week but remember two weekends ago when it felt like summer? So do I. I received a BBQ Foodie Basket from McEwan on the Thursday prior for my man and I to play with. He’s got the BBQ skills, while I’m the sous chef and writer. Together we make an great team. We are, after all, the Pork Ninjas competition BBQ team/Ninja Catering.

McEwan Foods cooler

The basket contents:

McEwan Ice Pressed Olive Oil
McEwan’s Own Riesling Apples (like an apple sauce, consisting of apples, riesling wine, salt, sugar, cinnamon & brown sugar)
North 44 Asian Rub
Belvoir Organic Lemonade
Belvoir Organic Ginger Beer
Ontario Crown Roast Pork
Maple Whiskey Glaze

McEwan basket

McEwan basket

What is a crown roast?

Basically, it’s fancy ribs. It is called a crown because two rib racks are bent into a circle with the ribs pointed up, tied together with kitchen twine. The rib chops are frenched, ribs slightly cut and cracked at the bone so that they can be bent into a crown shape.

Originally my idea was to have friends over for a backyard BBQ and have everyone Instagram and tweet it. However, the food delivery came before the weekend of Church Key Brewing’s annual Spring Revival festival, so Meat Man and I headed to Campbellford, Ontario to visit Church Key and our friends who live on a farm.

“Can we come visit you and cook for you?” asked Meat Man, as if ANYONE would say no to that.

And so we took a warm weather road trip with our small Pro Smoker cooker with accessories from Ontario Gas BBQ and a cooler full of meat. Brining  in a mixture of beer, salt and sugar began on Friday evening, in a food grade bucket with a lid. On Saturday morning we packed it with lots of ice and hit the road to Campbellford.

After an hour or so spent at Church Key – shoes off – we went on a mission for vegetables. The store was out of fiddleheads. We considered going to forage our own. Instead, we procured peppers.

The menu (recipes below):

  • Crown roast of pork rubbed with McEwans’ rub, stuffed with apples, smoked over apple wood. It was brushed with McEwan’s Maple Whiskey Glaze before serving.
  • Peppers stuffed with rice. The rice was cooked with Belvoir Cordials Organic Ginger Beer, which came in the McEwan BBQ Foodie Basket along with Belvoir’s Organic Lemonade. Both beverages are refreshingly sparkling and the ginger beer did give a spicy kick to the rice.
  • Grilled figs with chèvre, drizzled with McEwan Ice Pressed Olive Oil & balsamic vinegar. These were so good my eyes rolled back in their sockets.

A good time was had by all. Some of the comments I heard:

“To die for”
“Melts in your mouth”
“That pork is the best I’ve ever had”
“So moist”

Want information about barbecuing at home? I wrote a short how-to article for View the Vibe last week (the little guy on the right side is what we took with us to the farm).

The BBQ Foodie Basket makes a perfect host/hostess gift whether it’s in your friend’s backyard or the coveted cottage invitation. Imagine the fun of using basket contents to cook with your friends.  The BBQ Foodie Basket can be specially ordered or custom created at McEwan. For more information call  416-444-6262, visit them online at  or go visit them at 38 Karl Fraser Road Toronto, ON (Lawrence and Don Mills).


Brined Apple Smoked Crown Roast of Pork

Original recipe, ©BBQ pitmaster Jason Rees, 2013. 


15 cups water
1 cup non iodized kosher salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 bottle of apple cider (about 355 ml)
1 apple sliced
~ north 44 asian rub
~ McEwan’s Own Riesling Apples
~ Maple Whiskey Glaze


  1. Combine 2 cups of water with all the dry ingredients in a small pot. Heat while stirring, until the salt and other dry ingredients dissolve.
  2. In a non reactive (non-metal) container, combine with the remaining 13 cups cold water and cider and submerge the crown roast of pork. If you don’t have a food- grade bucket, a cooler or jumbo sized zip top bags make good substitutes. Let the roast sit in the brine for at least 12 hours, but no more than 48 hours.
  3. Remove crown roast of pork and rinse under cold water for 5 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle rub on all sides of the crown roast of pork, ensuring even coverage all over.
  4. Insert sliced apples in the centre of the roast.
  5. Cook over low (250°F) indirect heat for about 3 hours, adding handfuls of pre-soaked apple or other fruitwood chips to the coals (or in a foil smoke pack for the gas folks) for the first hour of cooking. Cook until the internal meat temperature reads 155°F. (We use Thermapen)
  6. Brush with Maple Whiskey Glaze and, if you can, turn up the heat to caramelize the glaze.
  7. When meat has reached desired golden colour remove from heat and sprinkle with brown sugar. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and set aside on a not-heated surface (e.g. kitchen counter) for at least 30 minutes to rest it.

Slice into individual chops at the table to show off your gorgeous crown roast of pork and top with a dollop of McEwan’s Own Riesling Apples.

Other recipes on Jason’s blog:

Also read

The Food Lab: How to Cook a Perfect Crown Roast of Pork (Serious Eats)

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