Monday, October 26, 2009


An old friend from high school recently posted a link on Facebook about how viruses incubate in pigs and then jump to humans. He suggested perhaps we have one last giant bbq and be done with them once and for all.

Wwwwhhhhaaaaattt? Be done forever with perhaps the world's tastiest meat? I shudder at the thought. (If not at the thought of influenza spreading hither and yon via the delectable porcine morsels.)

Pork has perhaps the most uses and versatility of any meat on the face of the earth. What would life be without bacon. Or prosciutto? Or the myriad number of sausages that can be made from pork? Just think about how integral small amounts of bacon can be to a simple dish like Brussels Sprouts pan seared with golden raisins and carmelized onions. The dish is simple to make, but without the salty smokiness of two strips of bacon it would be merely ordinary. Or the easy versatility of prosciutto. Wrap it around some melon or figs and pop open a bottle of Spanish Cava and you have a party. (You do have at least two bottles of some type of bubbly wine ready to go in your wine rack at all times, don't you? I do.)

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Golden Raisins

2 strips (or up to four if you really like bacon. But keep it to two and you won't feel as guilty)
1 Lb Brussels Sprouts, cleaned, trimmed, cut in quarters
kosher salt
1/2 C golden raisins
1 onion, sliced and carmelized in two T of olive oil
1 1/4 C chicken stock

Cut the bacon into lardons, (that is thin, matchstick sized pieces) and cook in a saute pan until crispy.  Remove bacon, but leave the drippings. Add the Brussels sprouts and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken broth and cook until reduced to a few tablespoons and the sprouts are tender,about fifteen minutes. Add the raisins and onions, cook a couple of minutes until heated through, season with salt and pepper.

And gee, we haven't even scratched the surface of the wonderful delights of pork. We still need to talk about all of the fabulous uncured cuts. And we haven't even mentioned ham. Here is another recipe, though to whet your appetite, for mustard glazed spareribs

Mustard Glazed Spareribs
1 rack pork spareribs
1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C dijon mustard
3 T cider vinegar
1 T molasses
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard

Season both sides of ribs with minced rosemary, chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Combine brown sugar, dijon, vinegar, molasses, and dry mustard in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for two or three minutes.

Remove ribs from oven and baste with sauce. Finish cooking on the grill until lightly charred. Fight with your family over who gets the last rib.

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