pork roast

Roasted Piglet

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Once  in a while I like to roast a whole pig. When Maria was still alive and we had once or twice a month a party at the house for 30 or 40 friend’s, I usually cooked two 45 pounder. Last night I only had one friend over for dinner at 9.30 pm and another one at 1.00 am, so 25 lbs seemed just fine.
I seasoned the pig with sea salt, sriracha and soy sauce on the inside, then stuffed the cavity with lots of garlic, cilantro, orange wedges, lemon wedges and onion wedges. The outside got sea salt, sriracha, granulated garlic and soy sauce. Roast for half an hour at 425F, then 4 hours at 275F, then the last half hour at 425 again. Basting the little darling every 15 minutes with beer is the secret to the beautiful skin and great taste. After removing the piglet from oven, let it sit for 30 minutes before carving. The result: Perfectly crisp on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, extremely flavorful. Accompanied by sour dough bread, cornichons, horseradish, mustard and sea salt mixed with freshly ground black pepper.  A couple of Stella Artois during the meal and a couple of shot’s of Chivas afterwards. Aaahhhhhhh…. 🙂
Bella and I had the last little bits and pieces for lunch today.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Kümmelbraten ( Caraway Pork Roast )

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I wish  I would have been able to get a pork neck for this dish, but I couldn’t, so I used the next best thing, a pork butt (shoulder). For pork steaks and roast, I prefer the neck, because in my opinion the flavor and texture is far superior to any other cut of the pig. However, the butt is also a great cut to roast or braise, so at the end I was happy with what I got.
This dish is very common in the south of Germany where I grew up, so whenever I prepare this dish it alway’s brings back happy memories of a more simple time in my life. But on Friday when I cooked this, I had Daryl and Leo over for dinner, so it was a happy meal after all.  (Some wine and rum also made sure of that) 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Kümmelbraten  (roast caraway pork)

Kümmelbraten (caraway pork roast)

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Pork butt (shoulder)

Pork butt (shoulder)

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Pork butt (shoulder)

Pork butt (shoulder)

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Pork butt, knuckle removed

Pork butt, knuckle removed

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Knuckle

Knuckle

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Seasoned with mustard, thyme, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and caraway seed

Seasoned with mustard, thyme, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and caraway seed

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Place on a rack above red wine and beer, add chilies, scallions and tomatoes, roast at 420 F for 30 minutes, turn down to 270F cook for three hours

Place on a rack above red wine and beer, add chilies, scallions and tomatoes, roast at 420 F for 30 minutes, turn down to 270F cook, for three hours

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Add potatoes, cook for another hour or until potatoes are soft. Remove meat, cover lightly and let rest thirty minutes

Add potatoes, cook for another hour or until potatoes are soft. Remove meat, cover lightly and let rest thirty minutes

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Meanwhile, remove sauce, potatoes and vegetables to a small pot, add tomato paste and simmer for fifteen minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer sauce, potatoes and vegetables to a small pot, add tomato paste and simmer for fifteen minutes. Check/adjust seasoning and texture of sauce

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Kümmelbraten  (roast caraway pork)

Kümmelbraten (caraway pork roast)

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Kümmelbraten  (roast caraway pork)

Kümmelbraten (caraway pork roast)

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” Schweinebraten Madness ” ( Lot’s Of Butt )

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It was alway’s a mystery
to me why Americans call a pork shoulder a pork butt.
However, pork butt (shoulder) seems to be one of the most revered
cut’s of meat around the world, at least in cultures where religious
motives don’t forbid the consumption of pork. ( I wish there there would
be the same restriction on consumption of dog meat, in ANY religion).
Since I live alone with Bella for the time being, cooking a whole butt would
have been too much for one meal, even for Bella and I.   🙂
So, I had it on three consecutive evening’s and I id not get bored of the
repetition by the same main ingredient at all, even though I did not
transform the meat into different dishes, such as stir fry, salad, soup, etc.

The first night I enjoyed it straight from the oven, accompanied just by
apple sauce and sour dough bread. The meat was still slightly pink, although
the butt was in the oven for five hours. I usually don’t like pink pork meat
because of it’s texture and temperature, but these slices were piping hot and
the texture was great.

The second night I made potato dumplings to go with it, to mop up the unusual
jus I made from the drippings and served it with horseradish cream and chimichurri.

The third night I just could not resist but have pasta , again to mop up the jus
but also because after three day’s, serious pasta-withdrawal symtoms started to appear.
All in all, three day’s of great dinners with a minimum of effort but a maximum
of satisfaction. ( Chew on that, Mick Jagger   🙂
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First portion, day one

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Second portion, day two

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Third portion, day three

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Ingredient’s :

Pork butt,                 skin and fat scored,
(knuckle removed for another dish)
Kosher salt,             to taste
Cayenne,                  to taste
Garlic powder,        to taste
Onion powder,       to taste

Method :

Rub butt on all sides generously with the seasoning,
roast at 425 for thirty minutes, turn down to 260 and
cook for four hours. Turn up heat to 425 and cook for
another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for
at least 30 minutes in a warm place before slicing.
If you like to cook your meat to a complete well done,
add another one to two hours at 260 degrees, depending
on the size of the butt.

Jus :

Deglaze  roasting pan with white wine, strain and remove
to a small sauteuse. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, rasted garlic paste,
scotch bonnet hot sauce, maggi seasoning and apple sauce and simmer
until well combined.

Potato Dumplings :

Ingredient’s :

Potatoes,                  Boiled, riced, dried overnight
Egg,                           whole
Egg,                           yolk
Salt,                           to taste
Cayenne,                  to taste
Nutmeg,                   to taste
AP flour,                  as needed

Method :

Mix all ingredients without overworking or the potatoes will get soft and gooey.
Form tennis ball sized balls, add to boiling salt water, return to a boil for one minute.
turn down heat and slowly simmer until dumplings are cooked through,
about 45 minutes.
You might want to remove one and cut in half to make sure they are done.
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Ingredients for potato dumplings

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Dear friend’s,  here we have a typical example for the reason why I usually
don’t include measurements in my recipes . It is almost impossible to give the
EXACT proportions of the ingredient’s of the dumplings. There are too many
variables, such as the exact size of the eggs, the ratio of the yolk to the white,
the exact moisture content of the potatoes, the amount of starch in the particular
potatoes used, etc. Those variables are the reason why folk’s who rely on
following recipes to the dot will usually be blessed with very mixed results.
Remember, most recipes in savory cooking should be used as guidelines,
mixt with practice, practice practice. That’s one of the reason we have so
many young chef’s failing to do simple dishes to perfection, because without
practice and a thorough understanding of the influences of temperature,
moisture and many other factor’s, cooking great and near perfect dishes is mostly
a game of chances (as sadly proven around the world on a daily basis in a sea of
lousy restaurants) with food prepared by what I call recipe cook’s who, in most
cases, don’t understand the basics of our great profession.

So, there you have it, my opinion.
Sorry recipe cooks, you must add practice to your recipe’s. No way around it.
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Guten Appetit !   Life is Good !
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