Planning for this dinner started two or three weeks ago during a visit at Side Hill Farmers in Manlius. (SIDE NOTE: If you haven’t visited this place yet, you really are missing something special. Yes, it’s in Manlius, but they are about 200 feet from Lune Chocolat and right behind Sno-Top, so you really have no excuse.) I had asked Kevin — the Culinary Institute of America-trained chef/butcher who patrols the joint with a holster of very sharp knives at the ready — if Side Hill stocked pork bellies. He said that they typically get thrown on salt for bacon since that moved quicker than a belly. But, he said, if I wanted one he would set it aside.
And I did.
So he did.
And that’s where this story begins.
Continue reading Pork Belly and Smoked Sausage Cassoulet
“I want comfort food.”
The Wife makes this pronouncement frequently during the winter, a statement that typically results in my braising something. Short ribs. Pot roast. Chicken. Short ribs.
“I think I want Mexican.”
She took an interesting turn. Mexican comfort food usually results in Chipotle or a trip to The Mission. I wasn’t really interested making a messy enchilada or cooking all day to make a burrito. I thought maybe posole, a rich stew made with hominy, might work but time was going to be an issue and, from what I can tell, a good posole needs a solid six hours to simmer. I would have half that.
I came across this recipe at one of those aggregators that pop up at the top of the Google results when you search for something. Booze works for me, as does pork shoulder. I mean, you can never go wrong with pork shoulder.
Continue reading Saturday Dinner: Shot-And-A-Beer Pork
This is the perfect New Year’s Day post-hangover dinner. Throw a bunch of stuff into a slow cooker, press a button and go convalesce while watching The Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy.
But, as a semi-responsible 36-year-old husband and father, a lot of the above no longer happens. I don’t remember the last time I was hungover. It was probably the New Years Day that inspired the blog, or The Weight Loss Story. I don’t stay up all night on New Year’s Eve anymore. I’ll hang that on The Kid and her wakey-wakey times that could be between 5 to 8 a.m. on a holiday (We spent a very nice New Year’s Eve at our friends’ house, eating pot roast and watching children scream and run around.) And, well, The Twilight Zone stopped being an option a long time ago.
Continue reading New Years Day Dinner: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Dr. Pepper
Something is wrong with my gas grill. Some of you will say that the problem is that I use gas and not charcoal. That’s fine, and to each their own. My problem is more of a fire/explosion hazard.
About two weeks ago, I got the propane tank refilled. When I reconnected it to the grill and turned the valve on, I heard the hiss of gas leaking. I could feel the gas seeping out around the connection. When I tested it the other night on my neighbor’s grill, it was fine, sooooooooooo, this means something is messed up with my grill. My best guess is a a shot o-ring. On first glance, Char-Broil says that I need to replace the hose and regulator — an $80 fix. We’ll see…
With the grill out of order on the Fourth of July, I went to the Cameron Stovetop Smoker. I only bust this little guy out once or twice a year, as it takes about a week for the smokey smell to escape. I typically do ribs, but I was looking for something else. I’m not sure what inspired this brainstorm, but it hit me like a derecho.
Brisket. Continue reading Bar. B. Q.: Smoked beef brisket