Thursday, February 11, 2010

I like pork

I like pork. It's one of the shameful truths with which I live. I like sausages, barbecue, pork tenderloin, pork chops, spare ribs and ground pork in meatloaf and meatballs. I like a BLT, a sausage biscuit and a ham sandwich. I haven't made it yet, but I am saving a recipe for beef stew that calls for pigs feet, and later in the recipe they are referred to as "trotters," which is twee, but somehow not too twee.
I mollify my guilt a little by eating humanely raised pork. I'm looking for locally humanely raised pork, pigs I can visit. I don't want to pat them or know their names, scratch their backs, fondle their ears and gaze through their big soulful eyes into their sentient souls. I just want to see them looking contented in a field and hear some brief assurances that they are slaughtered "humanely" whatever that entails.
And I can't bring myself to watch that movie "Pig" although I know I should and I feel like a coward for avoiding it.
Because I like pork, I read a lot of pork recipes and I've always been intrigued by pork cooked in milk. I tried it once and I guess my dutch oven was too large because instead of curdling down into a nut brown sauce it just remained milky and runny and was really not the result I wanted for my hours and hours of patience.
I looked at the recipe again, this time from a Rose and Grey cookbook. You had to add the milk a little bit every half hour and check that it is cooking down to a nut brown sauce. That defeats the purpose of long slow cooking. If I wanted to be opening the oven door and messing around in there every thirty minutes, I'd bake several batches of cookies. So I tried a pork w milk from Bon Appetit. It was more of a stew.
Pork shoulder cut into cubes, I left it in large chunks, about 1"x3". Browned it, rendered some bacon, sweated some onions, carrots, celery and garlic, added some pureed tomatoes, white wine and milk. Then you make a roux from a stick of butter and a half cup of flour and whisk this in. Then you cook the whole thing at 350 for several hours.
I served it with polenta. It was so rich I nearly gagged. I tried the next night w ww pasta. Still, not so sure. I liked it, but not enough to want to make it again.
The bf liked it, but what makes the bf so great to cook for is that he likes everything. I made a grilled cheese sandwich for him and he said, "Why is it that whatever you make tastes so much better than anything I get anywhere else?"
So back to the drawing board with the pork. I think it needs a stronger sauce, barbecue sauce with some vinegar, or maybe just tomatoes and wine and leave the milk out. Leave to pork shoulder whole.
Or maybe I'll gird my loins and try again with the real pork in milk. I could always bake cookies at the same time.
Only one month to go in the baking moratorium which has been renamed the baking hiatus because it was decided that moratorium sounded too lethal and permanent. The baking moratorium is a one way street to the baker sanatorium.

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