From the Kitchen, from the Bar – pork shoulder, ales and kibitzing about music, movies, etc

???????????????????????????????The weather has finally decided to be lovely and not the sauna it was a week and a half ago.  So, it became time to cook since I could have the oven on for hours and not feel like I was committing hara-kiri by sweating.

Since it was on sale ($1.49/pound) and we love it, I got a whole pork shoulder aka “fresh ham” aka a lot of other terms.  In this cut you have no choice but to admit that meat does indeed come from animals since you’ve got the skin, bone and it’s quite recognizable as a leg.  This one ran about 8 pounds, so this isn’t one of the big hogs I grew up with on the farm where their legs were probably double or triple the weight .  All told, I got about 4 pounds of useable meat and fat from this beastie, the bones being quite large.  You also lose weight when it comes to the skin. Some of the skin on this roast did crisp up into cracklings but the majority didn’t.

How I made the pork roast:  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Place shoulder in pan that will hold it (we used our speckled roaster with the lid).  Pour a bit of water around the meat, a cup or so.  Leaving lid off for now, place in oven, and roast at temp for about 20 minutes.  Then lower temp to 350 degress F (177 degrees C), place on lid and roast until bones are loose and skin is golden (about 4 hours total in our case).  Replace water if you’d like, that’s where the juices for the gravy comes from.

I would not suggest that you give the bones or skin to a dog since pork bones have a tendency to splinter nastily and the skin isn’t that easy to digest.  Cats, being obligate carnivores, seem to have no problem with the skin and these particular bones are too big for them to do anything with other than perhaps lick them.

Pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw
Pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw

One meal was pork, gravy, and mashed potatoes (you can get an idea on how I make gravy and potatoes here).  The rest of the pork was then cooled, and shredded for future use in barbeque pulled pork sandwiches and the infamous bao that have been discussed on this blog before.  I consumed the cracklings, since my husband isn’t as fond of them as I am. These aren’t the fried pork rinds you can buy, which are deep fried and very light and crispy. These cracklings are hard crunchy, and occasionally a little too hard to eat.

The beer we had this weekend was two of the larger bottles, 1 pint 6 oz and a 750 ml one.  The 750 ml was Grand Cru (website does have autoplaying audio but I forgive them since it’s a clever intro)  from Rodenback, a Belgian ale quite high in lactic acid.  We like Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale so we also like the sweet-sour vinegaryness of this ale, though this ale is a little less sweet than Monk’s.  It’s very good with succulent fatty pork.

The second new beer was Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot.  Now, both husband and I are guessing that they couldn’t use the actual Whiskey Tango Foxtrot since some twit would think that bottle was filled with whiskey and whine about it. WTF does rather describe this ale well, at least for us.  The label says “malty robust jobless recovery ale”. So I bought it since my husband doesn’t like too much hops in his ales.  Well, this ale certainly has a lot of hop flavor in it.  I guess it’s considered an “imperial brown ale” which would indicate that there would be a lot of hops but that’s not on the label.  I really find that the hops overwhelm any strong maltiness.    All in all, a decent hoppy brown ale but nothing terribly special.  I really do wish some American brewers would get off the hop wagon; everything tastes much the same.

Since the pork took a long time to cook, we had time to kill.  We watched an odd little movie called Trollhunter.  It’s a Norwegian film made rather like the other “cinema verite” types of movies like Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, etc.  It’s not particularly scary but I did find it clever since I did love “Three Billy Goats Gruff” when I was a wee lass. I also found it to induce motion sickness with the herky jerky camera work.   I will have to admit, I always find the characters in this type of movie utterly stupid and end up cheering for the monsters.

We also found ourselves listening to the 1970’s music channel on our cable system.  We both grew up through the 70s and 80s so we do have a predilection for that music.  We heard “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot.  We both love that song (and yes, I do get sniffy over it).   


That led to listening to some filk, since the tune from “The Wreck” was used for another excellent song, “The Ballad of Apollo 13”. 

Which also makes me sniffy, and I wish that this would have been on the ending credits of the Apollo 13 movie.

Just before we broke for more food prep, we listened to One Tin Soldier.  Of course, we like that song.  It does make me laugh when I note that the wiki page about it links to the lyrics for it on “Scout Songs”. Yes, the Boy Scouts.  It strikes me as just a bit ironic.   🙂

A very nice weekend and a good start to me being back to work, at least part time.

Eat well!

(If you are looking for more atheist stuff, check out comments in some of my older posts.  They are quite active and amusing, but alas nothing new in theistic evidence.  I’ll be replying to those comments in the next day or two.)

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