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140-character Restaurant Reviews

This one thanks to Celebrity Chef and Gourmet Ginger Bobby Flay.

Had an amazing dinner last night at Girl and the Goat in ChiTown.Gorgeous place, amazing food. Pork shank was off the chain.
@bflay
Bobby Flay

He’s a New Yorker, in case you couldn’t tell.

20th Century review: “Piquant, with lingering notes of…”

21st Century review: “Off the chain.”

Bacon-y Night!

Bacony Night

Bacony Night

We’re all about the various interpretations of Van Gogh lately, god knows why. But we are. While we’re on the topic of the fine art of Baconation, here are a few other images that you might enjoy:

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Oven Carnitas for Five-O de Mayo

Well, Drinko de Mayo is coming up, an American drinking celebration commemorating a relatively minor battle in Mexican History where the Mexican Army in the Battle of Puebla in 1862 scored a surprising victory over French Forces. Widely celebrated in the United States, it is of minor note in Mexico. It is akin to St. Patrick’s Day, where those of Mexican Heritage in the United States can celebrate their roots. However, it is also a good reason to hoist a glass and for the rest of us to pretend we are Mexican, or at least un poco Mexican. It is also a good time to dig in to some great Mexican food, such as –

This is a very easy and great recipe for Carnitas. Instead of having to slow roast the pork for hours and hours, this recipe takes very little work. It takes time, 2-1/2 to 3 hours start to finish, but mostly that is just having things in the oven. So, whip this up and impress your friends. It has a great pork taste and makes wonderful carnitas tacos, or really outstanding carnitas burritos. If you are going to make burritos, I highly recommend black beans rather then refried or other types.

I did, once, go to a true Mexican Carnitas roast where they butchered the pig right there, cooked the carnitas and some other stuff for several hours while we drank beer and anything we could get our hands on. I was pretty useless for butchering a pig, but I could certainly hold my own in the drinking department. The carnitas were awesome, but this recipe is easily as good and about a thousand times easier.

Oven Carnitas

Serves 6-8 depending on garnishes and stuff.

Ingredients

*Pork Shoulder, boneless – about 4 lbs. Trim fat cap and cut into large (2-3 inch) chunks

*1 teaspoon ground cumin

*1 medium onion , peeled and quartered

*2 bay leaves

*1 teaspoon dried oregano

*2 tablespoons lime juice

*2 cups water

*1 orange , halved

* salt, pepper

Instructions

1. Put oven rack to lower-middle position and heat to 300 degrees. Combine pork, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cumin, onion, bay leaves, oregano, lime juice, (optional ground chipotle pepper) and water in large Dutch oven (you should just barely cover meat). Squeeze orange juice and remove seeds. Put juice and spent orange halves in. Bring mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover pot and place in oven; Cook about 2 hours turning meat once. Meat should tear easily.
2. Remove pot and turn on broiler. Strain chunky junk from pot (do not skim fat from liquid). Place pot over high heat and simmer liquid, stirring frequently, until thick and syrupy, 8 to 12 minutes..
3. Tear each piece of pork in half. Toss in reduced liquid; season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread pork in even layer on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet or on broiler pan (meat should cover almost entire surface of rack or broiler pan). Broil 5-10 minutes per side until meat is browned and edges are very brown but not charred. Serve immediately with warm tortillas and garnishes.

Suggested garnishes are shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, salsa fresco, lime wedges, sour cream, a good bottle of bourbon, Mexican rice, a good bottle of bourbon, guacamole, thin sliced radishes, and perhaps a good bottle of bourbon

Ummm, Ummm, Bueno!

Which would you rather?

Celery pills, because who wants to EAT the damn stuff?

30 days’s worth of celery pills for the sake of your cartilage OR
Wanton pork! Come up and soo-ey me some time!

Be honest. Who doesn’t like a good wanton pork now and again?

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Piggy career

Green peas blended with cilantro spread on crackers? Sounds a trifle British, what? Wrong. It’s French, arguably. Mr. Henry found it on a food blog devoted to French language as well as French cuisine called chocolate and zucchini.
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To this eater it sounds enticing. Peas were baby Henry’s first green vegetable. Thanks to the miracle of flash freezing, peas remain a perennial household favorite. Mrs. Henry mixes them still frozen into her pot pie before baking. They emerge piping hot but not too soft.

Until he went searching for what to eat as an accompaniment to charcuterie the thought of making peas into a cold spread never entered the Henry imagination. After returning from the land of jamon iberico, however, he needed to host a tasting event to compare and contrast its great rival prosciutto di Parma.huli-woman-holding-a-pig-tari-papua-new-guinea-oceania-posters.jpg

Jamon iberico de bellota, cured ham made from pigs that forage principally on acorns in the western forests of Spain, is denser and chewier than Italian prosciutto. While grinding your molars on jamon iberico, moreover, your mouth is overcome by a sensation foreign to the American palate, namely, the insistent flavor and texture of lard.

There are societies in Papua New Guinea that consider raw pig fat to be the epitome of luxury, something reserved for extra special visitors. At such events each member of the village takes turns stuffing a loving handful of fresh pig fat into the honored guest’s mouth. If the honored guest happens to be a shy Princetonian anthropologist unaccustomed to meat in any form, the experience will be life transforming.

In fairness to the fatty acorn-eating pata negra pigs of Spain, it should be noted their fat is very high in oleic acid, a beneficial monosaturated omega-9 fatty acid also found in olive oil and Brazilian açai.

Whatever the merits of fatty acids, frankly the name doesn’t sound so appetizing. Mr. Henry and his tasting group all preferred prosciutto. Its sweet saltiness and melt-in-your-mouth texture simply cannot be improved upon.

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Yesterday at a new Upper West Side eatery on Amsterdam at 73rd Street, Salumeria Rosa, Mr. Henry tasted their signature prosciutto, one called parmacotto which is slowly cooked for days. It was beyond great, the best prosciutto of Mr. Henry’s piggy career.