Pork Mafia just took home the Gold in the 2021 Reader’s Choice Award for best take-out in North Delta, so Craig and crew were on the case to see what they are made out of. And after much investigation, we figured it out: pork. In fact not only have they won awards in Delta for their Southern-style smoked hog, but pitmaster Jamie has also gone head to head with the biggest names in the bbq biz, ranking thirtieth in the world for his pork shoulder.
Pork Mafia also does a mean chicken wing which has garnered him eleventh place worldwide about a decade back in competition with over 500 other pit pros. So imagine our surprise to discover some of the best barbecue in the world right here in our own backyard, tucked away on a pig farm fittingly enough.
Not to worry though, the heritage oinkers you see grazing away on the pumpkin patch out back are not the ones served up from Joan Rivers here (yes, guys will name anything mechanical, including the smoker in his truck “Sexy Pig”). Pork Mafia’s whole hogs are Jamie’s specialty since he’s been catering for 20 plus years, and those are sourced locally. For the food truck he gets his pork from Thunder Creek farm out in Saskatchewan, and he sources quality beef from Alberta.
The meal Pork Mafia had prepared for us was supposed to feed three people. I was more than a little concerned since I had brought the girlfriend along making us a party of four, and being Filipina she can make pork disappear so fast it will make your head spin. When I saw the spread they had prepared I was even more than more than a little concerned, since there was NO WAY the four of us could get through this without shopping for new belts!
What we have here is Texas smoked Oyama sausage ($7 a link) plus one massive full rack of pork back ribs ($33) plus a bunch more pre-cut and ready for gnawing.
The Oyama sausage was a tad dry on its own but when wetted down with Cochon dipping sauce it hit the spot. The Cochon sauce is mustard-based with a strong dose of apple cider vinegar. I hadn’t had anything like it with barbecue before and it was a welcome accompaniment. A little goes a long way as it is quite strong.
The ribs were smoked for four hours leaving a beauty of a smoke ring. The glistening tamarind-based sauce they were lightly brushed with added a unique tang to the South Carolina-style barbecue. At $33 a rack these are a steal since they weigh in at 2 1/2 to 3 pounds before they get thrown into Joan Rivers gaping maw for the low-and-slow treatment.
Speaking of low and slow, Pork Mafia’s Brisket ($28 a pound) sits in the smoker for a whopping 16 hours! The brisket is done Texas-style with a bit of Pork Mafia twist, just salt and pepper with a hint of rub on occasion. It was incredibly moist due to being cooked in a little reduced tallow for added fatty goodness. When you add the side sauces it is pure deliciousness dipped. Brisket is expensive and cooks down a lot, so we think Pork Mafia’s is a very good deal considering it could well be the best smoked brisket we’ve sunk our teeth into.
If you want more pound for your pound the Pulled Pork is $18 per. This one comes with that sweet n smokey tamarind sauce which we were all hopelessly addicted to by meal’s end. But the meal was just getting started….
Another whopping one-pounder and an absolute steal, the Loaded 1 lb. Smoked Potato ($15) comes topped with gooey cheese, smothered in Pork Mafia’s famous Pit Beans, piled with pulled pork, and crowned by a slab of his kingly brisket, all slathered and dripping in tamarind sauce. I don’t know where this guy finds his potatoes but they are absolute monsters and could feed two people easily. If you are just looking to fill up on the cheap this is the best deal.
Loaded Mac and Cheese ($18) is yet another heavyweight; 12 oz of macaroni and cheese (you guessed it, smoked!) with brisket, pulled pork, and Oyama sausage. Get it drizzled with Cochon or tamarind sauce and oh my GOD!! It’s truly a revelation.
We rounded off the meal with a couple of sides: Smoked Pit Beans ($6 regular $9 large) and Smoked Mac and Cheese ($7 regular $10 large). I’ve mentioned both already in the other dishes, and while I didn’t get too deep into the beans to spare Kreezus the aftermath, the Mac and Cheese is a must-try on its own to experience the smoked flavour. Whatever you order at Pork Mafia be sure to at least include this side in some form. Thank me later.
We were barely making a dent in all this meat when Jamie brought out yet ANOTHER rack of loin back ribs! We had set up an impromptu folding jobsite-style table (there isn’t any official seating on-premises) and our meal was cooling off in the cold November rain so Jamie was kind enough to bring us these ribs hot off the smoker. This time they were smoked in a Louisiana bayou rub that worked up our appetites all over again. Again, these are ginormous especially considering the average restaurant will serve up a measly pound at similar price points. Craig’s hand should give you an idea of the epic scale.
As you can see Jamie was quite the hospitable host. He struck me as particularly humble and probably doesn’t want anyone writing about this, but too bad Smoking J — you’re getting put on blast! Thanks to a customer who tipped me off about his giving nature I discovered that Jamie is very active in working to support the community that supports him. He has gone out of his way to feed the BC and Fort Mac wildfire fighters, has prepared meals for the frontline workers at various hospitals during Covid, and does fundraising for youth sports in the community amongst other good deeds. Being mainly in the catering business Pork Mafia must have been hard hit by the pandemic, and I know that supply chain issues are a problem as well so it really struck me that this guy is still out there helping others. Solid dude.
Pork Mafia can be reached for catering requests through their website. For the food truck orders are taken in advance, so check out their Facebook and Instagram pages where their rotating menu is posted every Monday for the following weekend. Orders can be picked up between 3 and 6 o’clock Saturday and Sunday.
Pork Mafia serves true “slow food” and it is most certainly worth the wait and anticipation. We are really lucky to have access to award-winning American-style barbecue here in our community, so let’s get our orders in and keep Pork Mafia going during these tough times.