Archive for the 'Pork' Category

Julio’s Basics: Lasagna

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The title of this post says it all – this is about as basic a lasagna recipe as you’ll find.  It’s great for a group and makes wonderful leftovers.  It even freezes well.

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Slow-Cooker Cassoulet

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By now you may be doubting the authenticity of the recipes on this blog.  Last week, I posted an Irish Stew recipe that didn’t include lamb and now I’m posting a Cassoulet recipe that doesn’t include duck.  In the past, I have made this the more traditional way (using the recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook) with duck confit, tarbais beans, and pork belly.  It was outstanding and I will likely make it again.  That being said, I was specifically looking for a slow-cooker recipe to make on Christmas Eve.  This was part of a perfect Christmas Eve – get the dish ready in the morning, get the kitchen clean, spend the day with the family, head to church in the evening, and come home to a delicious-smelling house and a hearty meal.

Merry Christmas to all, and to a good night.

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Texas Chili

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This is a pretty classic chili recipe – no beans, no noodles, etc – just well-seasoned, slow-cooked pork and beef.   You could easily add cooked (or canned) beans along with the masa harina in the last few minutes of simmering.

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Mustard Sauce

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Pork tenderloin is one of the easiest and best cuts of meat for the grill.  It’s lean, cooks evenly, and is just the right size for a small family (or, in our case, a medium-sized family when the kids are still little).  Any kind of rub will do here, though I am particularly fond of the Tom Douglas rubs.

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Tamales, Two Ways

Click here for a PDF of the recipe for Green Chile Chicken Tamales.

Click here for a PDF of the recipe for Red Chile Pork Tamales.

This weekend, I wanted to make a big batch of tamales to entertain a large group (and as an excuse to use the new tamalera I just bought).  There are two common wrappers for tamales – dried corn husks and banana leaves.  Since I was making two different varieties, I used both types of wrapper to make it easy to distinguish between them.  A huge pot of steamed tamales – along with a big pot of borracho beans (or charro beans) and some rice – what could be better?

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Pozole is a stew made primarily from nixtamal and pork.  It is served in various parts of Mexico and the American Southwest.  Even if you’ve never tasted this dish, you’ll recognize it as distinctly Mexican with dried red chile, tender pork, lime, and Mexican oregano providing most of the flavor.  It’s also the perfect thing to serve during a football game on a cool autumn Sunday.

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Chipotle-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

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If you’ve been following this blog for very long, you know that I’m a huge Rick Bayless fan.  Rick Bayless is famous for, among other things, his frequent use of Twitter.  He recently began a twitter recipe contest that involves him publishing a recipe via his Twitter feed (which is limited to 140 characters for those unfamiliar with the application).  His fans can then make the recipe and send him a photo of the results.  The 10 best responses in signed copies of his latest book, Fiesta at Rick’s.

Unfortunately, I missed the contest (which has been through 4 different recipes so far) while I was in the process of moving, but I still thought I’d give some of the recipes a try.  Here is the exact text of the recipe for Chipotle-Glazed Baby Back Ribs:

Proc 4 grlc,6T ancho,4t sugr&peppr,5t salt,1t oreg,½t cumin.Rub 4 slb ribs;ovrnite.Bake 300 75 min.Blend:7oz chiptles&3/4c honey.Grill;glaze

My longer version is below, but it is essentially identical to his tweet.

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Rack of Pork Arista

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Sticking with the Thomas Keller theme, I made this dish for Sunday dinner.  As with the chicken, brining the meat for 10 hours or so before cooking is key.  After the pork reaches the target temperature and comes out of the oven, it needs to rest for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving.  This provided the perfect window to roast some spring vegetables (baby carrots, new potatoes, pearl onions, radishes, and asparagus) and make a salad to serve with the pork.

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Eastern North Carolina-Style Barbecue

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Right after my wife and I got married, we moved to Raleigh, NC where we lived for almost seven years.  During that time, I learned a great deal about Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue.  First, let me get the definitions out of the way.  North Carolina has two entirely different styles of barbecue: Lexington-style (sometimes “Western North Carolina-style) and Eastern North Carolina-style.  Eastern North Carolina-style features slow-cooked pork (whole hog or shoulder only) with a vinegar-based sauce.  Lexington-style uses a tomato-based sauce.

In addition to living in Raleigh, my job provided many opportunities for me to head “down east” to Wilson, Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Greenville, etc.  As a result, I sampled some of the best barbecue that the region had to offer (Bill’s in Wilson, Parker’s in Wilson, B’s in Greenville, Wilbur’s in Goldsboro, Pete Jones in Ayden, etc).  I also have a good friend with a retired-state trooper dad who knows a thing or two about cooking a pork shoulder.  There is plenty of debate about the right way to cook this (whole hog vs. shoulder, coal vs. gas, etc), but I’d like to think this recipe is authentic enough that Benny’s dad would be proud.

From my perspective, there are only a few things required to make outstanding pork barbecue.  They are:

  1. Set your grill or smoker to somewhere between 210 and 230 degrees, ideally indirect heat.
  2. Cook the pork until it reaches 190 degrees internal temperature, then let it rest for 30 minutes or so, during which time it will increase to 195 degrees.
  3. Baste or “mop” occasionally to add moisture and flavor.

That’s all there is to it!

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Momofuku Bo Ssam

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I received the Momofuku cookbook as a Christmas gift and quickly zeroed-in on this recipe.  It includes the words “pig candy,” so it’s pretty much a sure thing.  The list of ingredients (and this is true for most of the recipes in the book) includes several items that my usual grocery store doesn’t carry.  Fortunately there is a large Asian supermarket right across the street from where we live, so finding everything I need is no problem.

The whole idea of this recipe is to make all of the accompaniments and serve them on the side of a huge hunk of sweet, crispy, fatty pork shoulder.  People take a lettuce leaf, add some rice, add some pork, and add one of the sauces.  You’ll be surprised how much pork six adults can consume in this manner.

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