Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This is one I made some time ago and turned out spectacularly, but isn't much of a recipe in that there aren't any amounts. To make it you'll really have to do what I did and mix a little spice in, pan fry a small amount, taste, adjust, and continue until you like the flavor. Try not to eat the whole batch in this process :p
So, ingredients:
Pork shoulder
Salt pork
Caraway seed

The dominant flavors in this (roughly in order) should be caraway, allspice, and garlic, but it takes some work to find the balance; either add the spices slowly or reserve some of the meat in case you over season. The salt pork is there to add extra fat if needed (it's easy to tell if the sausage is too lean as it'll be dry when cooked). Traditionally bratwurst is a force meat, meaning that it's pureed rather than ground; I don't puree mine, but instead double grind it to achieve a finer texture. Once you have the seasoning correct stuff it in casings (hint: using the tip of a small knife to prick the end of the casing just above the starting knot will help eliminate the initial bubble of air). Tradition would call for a hot German mustard, but a little ketchup wouldn't be considered high blasphemy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chiles Rellenos

Tonight was a first for me in attempting chiles rellenos, and I don't yet have anything I would call a recipe, but as general idea: saute of onion, garlic, and serrano, then add a mixture of ground beef and pork. Season with cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, ancho, and some paprika. A can of corn (and this is one of those things I'm thinking of changing, namely to hominy to give a richer corn taste and more texture without as much sweetness) and a little chicken stock to round it out. I stuffed that mixture in to roasted and peeled poblanos with a sprinkle of monteray jack cheese and baked it; battering and frying would be a more typical approach, but given the mess of trying to keep the peppers together with the stuffing I'm glad I went with the baking for the first run. All in all it turned out fairly well, but if you have any thoughts I'd love to have some new view points.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Carolina Style Pulled Pork BBQ

This is my take on a Carolina pulled pork BBQ prepared on the stove top with rosemary. The rosemary makes it veer away from traditional, and Carolina BBQ can vary between tomato and vinegar/mustard based (this splits the difference and leaves the mustard by the wayside), but it works remarkably well.

pork (two to three inch thick pork chops, trimmed of fat, roughly 2 lbs)
2 onions (minced or quartered, depending on preference)
4-5 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 c vinegar (adjust to taste)
2.5-3 capfuls liquid smoke
2 handfuls sugar
salt to taste
1 t paprika
1-2 t rosemary
1-2 t black pepper (ground)
2 bayleaves

Saute onions and garlic then add water to fill pot and cover other ingredients. Boil the other ingredients until almost dry, but leave some liquid for the meat to soak up later; remove from heat. Shred meat and put back in pot.

little water
3 cloves garlic
1 t rosemary
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 c vinegar (adjust to taste)
handful dark brown sugar
1 T lemon juice
1/3 small can tomato paste
splash balsamic vinegar

Boil sauce ingredients separately from the meat until syrupy and mixed. Add sauce to shredded meat and heat on low for a couple of minutes while stirring to mix flavors. This can also be done as a side so you can adjust the amount of sauce you put on each serving of pulled pork.