Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Meal of 2013: Pork, Beans and Cabbage


If you ask the Internet what the significance of black eyed peas and cabbage on New Years Day was, you might get an idiotic awesome super-great! response like this:

Oh really?
The Kombucha Man is here, and had some similar hackneyed answer, but is too busy playing "Modern Warfare 3" to be bothered to repeat it to me. Something about money or wealth or I don't know. All I know is that it's hard to mess up braising pork shoulder with beans and a select few aromatics.

It's 2AM, PST. I could call my mom and ask her, but not at 5AM EST (although, knowing her, she'd pick up and gladly wax philosophic about it... at length).

Some form of the trio of pork, black eyed peas and cabbage was usually made by my mom for New Years Day, and as I was often hung over to the point of being totally useless, this was a welcome hang-over cure (and several bloody mary's, courtesy of Tim Smith during his annual "Hair of the Dog" food drive).


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After finishing off our grand "ris de veau" meal from 2012, the Kombucha Man and Mr 99% Bittersweet stood around my kitchen drinking beers as I started to assemble the braise.

Pork Shoulder Braised with Yellow-eyed Beans:
  • 1 3lbs cross-cut blade-in top pork shoulder roast.
  • 1/4 lbs of pigs feet, rubbed with salt and Fee Brother's Old Fashioned Bitters and cured overnight.
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced.
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced.
  • 1/4 cup diced celery.
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced.
  • 6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped.
  • 1/2 Jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced.
  • 1 1lbs package of Yellow Eyed Beans (or Black Eyed Peas), soaked in cold water overnight, rinsed, and covered again with cold water for several hours.
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seed.
  • 1 good beer.
  • 2 tbsp molasses.
  • Salt to cover pork roast + salt to taste.
  • 1 sprig of thyme.
  • Fresh ground pepper.
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill.
  • Water to cover.
Many colours in the New Years rainbow.

Preheat oven to 250ºF.

Sear the pigs feet, followed by the pork shoulder, in a hot cast-iron pan. This should require a few minutes per side to get some nice color.

Remove to a standby plate or tray and sautée the vegetables in the pork "fond". Deglaze with beer and reduce slightly over medium heat.


Pour beans and water into a larger pot or casserole (enough to accommodate the pork, beans, vegetables and plenty of liquid). Arrange the seared pork among the beans, add the aromatics, water, molasses, herbs (reserving 1 tbsp of dill for garnish) and enough water to come up 3/4 of the pork shoulder.

Bring to the boil, cover and transfer to a cookie sheet and place in the middle rack of your oven.

Go out and get drunk. Take a cab home, don't be a jerk.

Return 8-12 hours later and remove from oven. Garnish with remaining dill.

Serve in small bowls and top with a generous amount of sauerkraut.

Home made, home canned sauerkraut. Courtesy Aunt Jane and Uncle Ted.
--

"We need to watch Akira," demands the Kombucha Man.

"I don't see it in the store, can't put it on the TV."

"Well, just google it, I bet the whole thing is on YouTube."

"Sigh... fine..." I click around and find a version in HD dubbed in Portuguese. I hook up the TV and put it on.

"Zzzzzzzzzzzz," the Kombucha Man.

So much for Portuguese Akira.

Good night, and Happy New Year!


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Post-script: 6:32AM, phone alarm is going off. I snooze until 7:09AM then roll out of bed.

The Kombucha Man snores on my couch as I fry young potatoes in animal fat (as 99% Bittersweet calls it "medley of fats") along with some whole wheat pita.

I slice up some Russian black bread. I prepare a spread of condiments: hummus, deer liver mousse, sauerkraut. I reheat my pork and beans.

It is hangover breakfast time: