Flashback Friday

Pulled Pork Shortcut (April 16, 2010) – a year ago I was trying to figure out exactly how I was going to get 8 pork butts cooked for an upcoming graduation party. This first attempt wasn’t bad, but I eventually went with a hotter & faster cooking method that let me get all the cooking done in one weekend.

Gluten-Free Egg Rolls (April 12, 2009) – two years ago my dear wife helped me make up these treats. They were tasty, but a bit putzy and didn’t freeze well. I’d like to try them again, but fry them this time and then freeze off the extras.

Bacon – Buckboard and Canadian-style (April 15, 2008) – three years ago I took my first shot at curing my own bacon. It was such a hit that nowadays I regularly make 15 pound batches and freeze it off for later.

4 thoughts on “Flashback Friday”

  1. ooh! i recently discovered pork shoulder bacon at a local store here in seattle, and it’s fantastic! and $7.29/lb. i missed your earlier post on how to make it at home – i always stock up on pork butts when i find a good sale, so i am definitely going to try this soon. thanks for flashing back! 🙂

  2. dave, i also have a question about your carnitas. i’m curious for your thoughts on the liquid to pork ratio. i’ve made the first recipe that you ever posted several times, but i’m making them this weekend for a larger group. i was going to double the batch and use two pork butts, and i noticed that you have several different versions of carnitas. i’m curious about the liquid quantity that you use! i love the results using orange juice, cumin, and lime. i noticed your 14 lb batch only used about 1 1/4 cups liquid, but your smaller first recipe (for only 3-4 lb butt) used much more, a total of 3 cups.

    did you get super tender, flavorful results still when you used only 1 1/4 cups simmering liquid for 14 lbs pork? i think it was posted before you started doing ratings of how good the meal was, or what you might want to do differently. 🙂

    1. The liquid amount has been really variable, mostly based on how much fat I see rendering from the meat. Ideally, I’m using just enough liquid to render the fat, but not so much that the meat ends up boiling. When in doubt, start with 11/4 cups and add more as needed.

      Things get complicated when you change the amount of meat. assuming you use the same size pan, 3 cups of liquid boils off surprising quickly from 4 pounds of meat. While it can take forever to get 3 cups out of 14 pounds. It’s the difference between how much surface area you have versus how deep the meat is in the pot.

      I don’t notice much of a tenderness difference between batches. What does matter is how large the chunks of meat are – the bigger the more tender, the smaller the more crispy.

      Anymore, I also don’t rely on the liquid to flavor the meat much. The citrus is there to cut some of the greasy taste that pork can get, and you have to have cumin, but I mostly want my pork to taste like pork, so I don’t use a ton of spices or flavoring.

      Of the batches of carnitas I’ve made, the best was the last one, but isn’t that the way it always is 😉 ? If you’re going to make a double batch (8 pounds of meat), try starting with 1 1/2 cups of liquid and give yourself enough time to let it boil down if it ends up being too much.

      Hope this helps. Email me if you have more questions. Let me know how it goes.

  3. thanks so much for the response! i’ll definitely let you know. i was using a 5 quart lodge logic dutch oven for the 3-4 lb batch, but we recently got a big 9 quart le creuset dutch oven. in the 5 qt, with 3-4 lbs of meat, it took several hours for me to simmer off all the liquid! i also want serious porky flavor – other flavors can be in the toppings. 🙂 i think this will work well to do the reduced liquid in a much larger pot with more surface area. nothing about boiling meat sounds very tasty. i’d love to do it on our smokey mountain, but the pot is too new and beautiful to risk the exterior enamel getting blackened!

    thanks again!!

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