Tag Archives: pork




Pozole.  Oh, my sweet Mexican princess.  This comfort dish is great any time of the year.  Combines pork and hominy with great spices.  Despite its great flavors it has kind-of a gory history.  According to research by the National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, on special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human. Yes, that’s right folks…  After prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with corn. The meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion.


Well, that’s appetizing.  Who’s up for a recipe with non-human flesh, hmm?



3 Lb Pork shoulder

Chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper




2T corn or canola oil

2 onions, chopped



1 Jalapeno, minced


6 Garlic cloves, minced


2T chili powder, 1t cumin, 1t oregano


24 oz Chicken stock


4 cans green chilis



1 can (15oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 cans of hominy



Trim the pork shoulder of any excess fat, and season liberally with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Place in a baking dish, tent with foil, and bake at 350-400 for about 1 1/2 hours (or until internal temp is 160).  I also like to pour a little bit of chicken stock in the baking dish.


After baking allow the pork to rest for 20 minutes.  Then pull, shred, or dice.  Reserve pork and any liquid.


Over medium heat warm the oil and cook onions and jalapeno for about 6 minutes.  Then add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and mix spices to cook for about 1 minute.  Add the chicken stock, green chilis, fire roasted tomatoes, hominy, pork, and any reserved liquid.  Bring to a boil over high, then reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes.


Serve in warm bowls with lime wedges, cilantro, sliced avocado to garnish.  Serve with warmed tortillas.


No humans were harmed in the making of this pozole…





















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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in Cooking, Recipes


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The Last Pork Chops You’ll Ever Make…

To quote Homer Simpson:

“(Lisa) “I’m going to become a vegetarian” (Homer) “Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?” “Yes” “Bacon?” “Yes Dad” Ham?” “Dad all those meats come from the same animal” “Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!””


“Porkchops and bacon, my two favorite animals.”

After this recipe I will never prep pork a different way again.  In researching some well known chefs many say that you should always brine pork (especially chops).  So I did…and so should you.

Grab three bone-in double cut pork chops.

Prepare the brine: Boil 2 quarts of water.  Add in 3/4 cup each salt and sugar to dissolve.  Take off of the heat and stir in a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary, 1 T mustard seeds, 1 t whole peppercorns, and 1 t coriander seeds.  Add about 2 quarts of ice and stir to dissolve.  Allow the brine to cool completely.  Then place the chops in the brine and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

This is my little pork chop aquarium…

Remove the chops after brining and pat dry.  Allow to come to room temperature.  In a large skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of oil (canola, sunflower, etc).  Brown the chops for about four minutes on each side.

Then add 2 T butter to the pan, melt and baste the chops constantly for about 5 minutes (turning the chops every couple of minutes).

During the last few minutes of cooking add in one crushed garlic clove, and a sprig each of fresh rosemary and thyme to infuse the basting juice.  Continue basting.

Cook to an internal temperature of 125.  Remove from the pan and let sit for about ten minutes.  Baste again with the pan drippings if desired.

I guarantee that you will never cook chops any other way again…


The Grilled Atheist

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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Cooking


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The Cuban…

Oh, the Cuban Sandwich.  If I had to rank my favorite sandwiches, the Cuban (more specifically MY Cuban) would probably make the top 5.  It is just a perfect combination of meaty, cheesy, gooey, mustardy loveliness.  And the ingredients are relatively simple…  Ham, roast pork, cheese, pickles, mustard, and bread.

It’s not entirely known when the Cuban was invented, but there is some evidence that it goes back to the turn of the century.  It apparently was very popular in sugar mills, where vendors would set up shop and serve these “mixto” sandwiches to the mill workers for a quick bite.

When I’m not making my own version, my favorite one is at Kaya in the Strip District in Pittsburgh PA.

It’s one of those things where I SAY that I’m going to order something else every time that I go…and then I always get the Cuban.

Ok.  Ready for the simplicity that is the Cuban sandwich?

Bread – The best to use is obviously Cuban bread.  There’s a special variety called “pan de agua.”  Here’s a description: “This bread is longer and thinner than a typical bakery loaf and slightly under baked so that when it arrives from the bakery the crust is only lightly browned. This allows the sandwich to spend more time on the plancha (griddle) without getting overly brown. The result is a sandwich that is golden brown and crunchy.”  If you can’t get it you can use French or Italian bread.  But in my opinion the best at your disposal is ciabatta.

Ham – Roast ham or sliced ham from the deli.  Without any of the flavorings (eg, honey baked).

Roast pork – Same thing.  If you have the time make your own…I will eventually include my recipe.

Cheese – Swiss or provolone

Mustard – It must be whole grain.  Well, it doesn’t have to be…but it should!  I am partial to Maille.  You can use yellow mustard in a bind.

Pickles – Sliced kosher dill pickles.

Slice the ciabatta rolls and spread with the mustard.  Add your ham, pork and cheese slices.  Easy, right?  Now it’s actually the WAY that you cook it that makes the Cuban so fun.  There are several things that you can do:

The traditional way is to use a plancha, which literally means “grilled on a metal plate.”  Think panini press without the ridges.  But if you don’t have one, have no fear…

A panini press.  Fine.  Quick and easy.  Grilled in a skillet.  On the grill (my preferred way).  Over a coal fire.

But the real secret is the pressing.  You want to thin the sandwich out by about one-third.  If you’re using a panini press this is easy.  If not, you have to be more creative.  Butter both the top and bottom of the sandwich (use melted butter to brush, or better yet there are parts of Cuba where they use garlic butter).  Then when cooking place a brick or heavy cast iron skillet on top of the sandwiches.  When using the grill I also like to wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil.

When finished (maybe 15 minutes…you’ll know, the cheese will be nice and melty) cut diagonally.  You can serve the pickles on the side or place them on (you can put them on before or after cooking; I prefer them to be cool and crispy so I put them on after).  You can serve them like Kaya does…with a chipotle, garlic, mayo dip that I describe in the Flank Steak Taco entry.


The Grilled Atheist

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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Cooking, Grilling, Recipes


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