Cooking Stuff

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Getting the Phrase “Master Stock” in My Categories

Really, that’s pretty much all I’m doing. I had posted about master stock at my old blog and had gotten some response to it so I figured I’d post the update to it here. I wish I could remember how many times I used it since the end of November, at least five possibly a couple more. I kept it frozen in between uses, always boiled it before using it again and ran it through a cheesecloth every few times.

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Even in this small a time span/limited uses the stock has really changed. It started off as pretty much plain water and you can just see how dark it is now. That is only like an inch or so deep down there. I’m only using this stock for chicken/pork, but I’m going to make another one for beef and lamb. 279 This is just a big chunk of pork loin, I bought a 1 1/2 lb one, cut it into portions and froze it. There’s a good single person cooking tip for you, freeze small portions of large inexpensive cuts. See, this post is about more than just filler and admin stuff. Heh.

Anyway, yeah, gonna braise it, shred it and… something it. Not sure about what, it’s going to be braising for a while though so I have some time yet.

Filed under: asian, broth/stock, Freezer Food, leftovers, master stock, pork

Smokey Barbecue Pulled Pork in the Oven with a Quick Barbecue Sauce

From the Vault: So busy this week, no time to write. I do however have some good stuff to post about so once I’m done with my doctors appointments and various other non-internet activities I’ll be sharing, I promise. In the meantime, more oven barbecue. I’ve made this particular recipe about a million times, it’s some kind of amazing. The smell it fills my apartment with is like some kind of wonderful pork potpourri, it’s wicked good. I suggest you all make it, eat it and then sit back and smile contentedly.

Pork shoulder
1 tbl liquid smoke

all purpose rub:
3 Tbls brown sugar
1 Tbl ground cumin
1 Tbl paprika
2 Tbls kosher salt
1 Tbl black pepper
1 Tbl chili powder
1/2 tbl mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbl garlic powder

For the sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1-2 tbls dry rub
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tsps cider vinegar
1 tsp molasses

For the pork: Mix the spices well. Score skin to allow fat out. Reserve 1 tbl of rub and coat pork with the rest. Cover and roast at 300º for 5-6 hours, until meat shreds easily with a fork. Pull the pork out and allow it to cool enough to handle.

Pour 1/2 cup of water into the roasting pan, bring to a boil and deglaze pan. Pour the liquids off into a heat proof bowl and cool. With two forks (or hands), pull the pork into shreds, discarding excess fat and skin. Skim fat from the liquids and discard. Pour the liquids into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Add the cider vinegar. Stir in the shredded pork, return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Or just pour 3/4 of the hot liquid over the shredded pork. Serve hot on a bun. I recommend pickles and coleslaw.

For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and let simmer, stirring occasionally for at least 10 minutes or as long as 30.

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Here it is, smoky barbecue pulled pork from the oven. If my calling this barbecue upsets you, please see my comments on it here and here. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but even more I don’t want to get involved in any “right name” crap. So, let’s just move on. How do you make pulled pork from the oven smokey? Liquid smoke baby. I really like liquid smoke. It’s not perfect, but it is really good. Since I’ve already done a big post on pulled pork I’m just going to hit the highlights here, then move on to the sauce. Which also might upset people, since apparently there is a “no ketchup in barbecue sauce” camp. Well, that’s for later.

Ok then, first the dry rub.

I changed it up a little bit this time by using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, it makes it easier to work with. I’ve used this rub on chicken and beef too and it’s been really good. Just so you know. Then I scored the skin and rubbed the rub in.

It’s good to get lots of rub on there, more rub = more flavor. Then you plop it on a rack, cover it with foil and cook it at 300 for many hours. I had a commenter, erin, on the last one say that you should do it 40 minutes a pound, but I found that wasn’t enough time. Even with this shoulder that was only two and a half pounds needed five hours before it was easy to shred. But after five hours it was ready to go.

This folks, is what fork tender looks like.

The meat should just come right off the bones in nice big chunks. Like this.

I wanted to just drop this piece on a bun as is and mow.

But I didn’t, I was good. I put it all in a bowl and shredded it.

Then I poured the juices into a gravy separator.

You would have thought there would have been more fat, but I guess most of it melted into the meat. Which is why it’s so good. Anyway, I poured the juices into a sauce pan, added the liquid smoke

and vinegar.

You could brush the shoulder with liquid smoke before putting on the rub too. That was what I had meant to do, but flaked on it. Ah well. This way worked out just fine. Then I added the water, brought it to a boil and let it go for about 5 minutes. Then I just poured most of it over the pork.

And ate a forkful of it.

Man that stuff is good. Smoky, slightly sweet and spicy. Good times kids.

Ok, now quickie barbecue sauce. I remembered reading in a Cooks Illustrated about a sauce for ribs they made where they used some of the rub to make it. I thought it was a great idea. So I stole it. Now, some people have a problem with using ketchup to make barbecue sauce (and some people think barbecue sauce itself is wrong) and if you are one of those folks then feel free to not use this recipe. But again, please don’t come on here and tell me it’s an abomination. I really just don’t care. I like it. I had wanted to use tomato puree for it, but didn’t have any. So I used ketchup and it came out fine. I just winged it, really.

I put one cup of ketchup,

half a cup of apple cider,

one tablespoon of the dry rub,

about a teaspoon of molasses

and two teaspoons of vinegar.

Then I mixed it up and let it simmer for a while.

The longer it simmers the better it is, but you could just do it for ten minutes if you are in a huge rush. Of course, you just spent five hours cooking the pork, you might as well take a half hour to make the sauce. Heh.

Filed under: barbecue, pork, sauce, slow cooking

Barbecue Spare Ribs from the Oven

From the Vault: This one is a wicked old post, way back in ’09. The pictures aren’t great, a lot of them were taken at night and all of them were taken before I really had any idea what I was doing. But the recipe is solid, I’ve made it a bunch of times and it’s always fantastic. Just reposting it here makes me want to make it again…

one rack of spare ribs

for the rub:
4 tbls light brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt

1-2 cloves of garlic, cut in half
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (optional)
liquid smoke (optional)

Preheat the oven to 225, place a deep sided pan of hot water (I used a jelly roll pan) on the bottom rack. Mix together all the rub ingredients making sure to break up any lumps, particularly of the brown sugar. Trim the skirt off the ribs and remove the membrane. Rub one or two of the garlic halves all over the pork. Brush both sides with liquid smoke, if desired. Rub the rub generously on both sides of the ribs. Put the ribs on a roasting rack over a sheet pan and let cook for 4 hours, turning once halfway through. After 4 hours brush them with BBQ sauce and let cook for another hour.

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Ok, let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: is this “real” barbecue?

I don’t f*@#^&g care.

I don’t want to hear “oh, it wasn’t done in a smoker/grill/whatever, so it’s crap”. If you want to be like that, dandy, that’s your prerogative. But I don’t want to hear it and you are missing out on some seriously awesome ribs if you turn your nose up to these.

If you don’t have access to a grill or smoker or whatever then whip these up and you will be happy with the results. Unless you are a purist, then you can just go to a BBQ joint if you don’t have the equipment you feel you need.

Whew, sorry. In doing my research for this recipe I came across a great deal of venom from BBQ zealots towards people who dared to make ribs in the oven and I just want to nip that in the bud. I don’t need any of that crap here.

The only thing these were missing was that smokey flavor and if I had remembered to brush them with some liquid smoke before putting on the rub they would have had some. Or if I had used smoked paprika, but I didn’t have any. Or I could have made my own BBQ sauce and put liquid smoke in that. None of these are the same as a smoker, but they are still good options. And on the other hand, doing them in a smoker (if I had access to one) wouldn’t have made my apartment smell so good. So, pros and cons all around.

I want to give props to Cary over at Bakespace who suggested this method. A lot of people gave me good advice over there, but due to space and equipment restraints this is the one I picked. So, here we go.

Ok, spice rub time: brown sugar, chili powder, mustard powder, thyme, fresh black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and paprika.

Mixed together with the lumps broken up.

Well, most of them anyway. Next I took my great big slab of pig. Folks, this is not a drill. This is a full rack of spare ribs.

Three and a half pounds of porky goodness. I am going to cook it. It will be fantastic. Now, I read several articles about trimming a rack of ribs. I wound up ignoring a lot of the advice. I don’t care if I have those edge bits that have small bones and cartilidge. I did however trim off the skirt from the back, that’s this flap of meat.

I wound up tossing it in the freezer, I will do something with it at some point. I also did my best to get off the membrane, but frankly I’m not sure how well I did. I must have done ok though because we didn’t notice it when we ate. Now I didn’t have any garlic powder to put in my rub, so I cut a couple garlic cloves in half and rubbed them all over the pork.

I don’t know if it did anything or not, but the ribs sure weren’t lacking flavor. Next time I’m going to make the rub the night before and rub some garlic on kosher salt to make fresh garlic salt for it. Anyway, then I rubbed the rub all over the ribs.

Now to get them in the oven. I had to cut the rack in half, there was no way the whole thing was fitting in my tiny oven. Plus the only roasting rack that is a decent size is a V shaped one for roasting poultry. It did a fine job, in fact a flat one wouldn’t have worked out for me. Again, due to my tiny oven.

I have the roasting rack in an aluminum foil lined baking sheet to catch the drippings and keep my oven from being a mess. On the bottom rack I have a jelly roll pan full of water. Which I forgot to get a picture of. Oops. Heh. I tossed the garlic cloves that I rubbed on the pork into it, I don’t know if it added flavor but it sure smelled nice. Ok, the oven is preheated to 225 and the ribs go in, bone side down. And let me tell you, after about a half an hour the aroma coming out of there is unreal. When my girlfriend came home from work the first words out of her mouth were “Oooooo it smells goooood in here!”. Two hours after they go in they come out and get flipped.

Two more hours of olfactory pleasure (or torture, depending on how hungry you are) and they get flipped again,

but this time brush them with BBQ sauce first.

And then again on the other side. Now this step is optional, with that rub you don’t *need* sauce. But on the other hand, BBQ sauce rules. And after another hour in the oven (no need to turn it up or broil it) it turns into this sticky glaze that you just want to rub all over your face.

Ok… maybe not quite so far. At least, you may not. But it is really good. And there you have it, oven barbecued ribs.

I had a hard time taking pictures of this particular dish once it was done. Not just because it was so delightfully messy, but because my girlfriend didn’t want to leave them alone long enough to let me snap the needed photos.

But once I was done we demolished them.

Is this a low fat, weight loss friendly meal? Oh hell no. But it is wicked, wicked good. I will be making this again.

Filed under: barbecue, pork, slow cooking

Freezer Stuff: Ham and Red Potato Hash

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equal parts ham steak and potatoes, cut into 4-5″ chunks

onion, 1/4 part of ham AND potatoes

black pepper to taste.

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until it’s the consistency you want, this may take a few batches. Mix everything together in a large bowl, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for several hours. Pour off any water that comes out, preheat oil/fat in a frying pan on medium heat. Spread thin layer of hash, let it brown then mix or flip it. Brown the other side. Keep mixing and flipping until the potatoes are cooked and everything is nicely browned. Serve with eggs and sriracha ketchup.

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Alright, this is the first post in my Freezer Stuff category, so let me sum up. The deal with it is that recipes in this category freeze well enough to suit me. It may not always thaw out perfect, but if it’s not good I’ll let you know. Fortunately this ham hash worked out great. This wasn’t actually planned as a freezer dish, but I kind of didn’t know that I was making so much. Here’s the ingredients, except for black pepper.202Yep, potato, onion, ham and black pepper. Four ingredients and you don’t even need more salt, the ham has plenty. Although some bell pepper in there wouldn’t hurt.206I did everything in shifts in my food processor and then just mixed it all together in a bowl. 208There was more than I had anticipated.

211So I browned up some for dinner that night, with some scrambled eggs.

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Then I put serving sized portions of the uncooked hash on aluminum foil, flattened them out, wrapped them up and froze them. Didn’t get a pic of the packaging pre-freeze, but here is one that I pulled out to make something awesome with this morning. 089Like I said, what I made was awesome and it involved sriracha ketchup, but I’ll post about it next week. Because I’m cruel. Heh.

Filed under: breakfast, eggs, Freezer Food, ham, pork, potato

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