A Meathenge Cottage Pie

editor’s note: This post’s purpose is more for the author’s personal diary of ingredients and ratios for future use. American Cottage Pie recipes are as ubiquitous as pet hairs, nearly everyone has one or nine million. Do we really need another variation?

Yesterday found Biggles wandering aimlessly throughout the local mega mart attempting to come up with something, anything for dinner. We’ve had ground beef for the previous 2 days, why not another? This time topped with mashed potatoes?

Yup, 3rd day in a row for ground beef.  I couldn’t believe it myself, but I just couldn’t come up with a better solution. In the past months I’ve run myself even stupider with chicken thighs and pork steaks. Covering a meat & gravy slurry with mashed taters seemed to be my only salvation.

Holy gravy Batman! I have no idea why this dish came out so light, tasty and perfect in every way, but it did.  And brother or sister? I wanted to make sure I put down the basics here so when the hankering comes up again, I can whip this out. My ability to remember even the largest of details has long since bid a farewell.

Ground Meat – 1 pound
Onion – White and small dice
Garlic – Mooshy and as much or as little as one wants
Thyme – Heaping teaspoon full
Mushrooms – Minimum of 16 oz slice – variatize them
Beef Broff – 1 & 1/3 cuppa
Tomato Paste – Heaping Tablespoon full
Salt & Pepper – To taste ya foo
Flour – 1/4 cuppa
Veggies – I used frozed mixed
Mashed Potatoes – Enough for 6 hungry people, give or take

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in center position.

Brown everything in large, wide fry pan. You’ll need the surface area to make browning easier.

The few key points I need to remember are to start the mashed potatoes first, get them boiling before you start on the filling.  Then brown the meat, onion, mushrooms together or separately depending on your fussiness level. Then toss in the frozen veggies to warm them. Add the flour and heat for no more than 3 to 4 minutes, just get everything coated.  Add the tomato paste, stir in. Then add the broth, simmer for 15 minutes give or take.  This will set the flour and reduce the liquid just a tad. Set aside until potatoes are tender and ready to be mashed. Use only real butter and milk/cream with as much butter fat as you have on hand or are willing to purchase. We used manufacturing cream with a fat content of maybe 38 to 40%. Install filling to appropriate baking device, smoove taters over the top with love.  Coat with butter or baking spray and install to oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.  Yank, let sit for 10.

Hooboy!  At first bite I couldn’t believe it turned out this good, so delectable! Yes, I impressed myself. I can hardly wait to make this again, with a few additions of course. Not sure what those changes might be though, it’ll come to me.  Probably while meandering through the store attempting yet again to come up with something for dinner.

xo, Biggles

ps – Chilebrown, please do not scroll downwards.  It’s a dessert and it was bucktoothed evil good. A homemade apple cake with Uncle Ralph’s tree ripened Granny Smiths, home made apple syrupy with bits and once again, whipped manufacturing cream.

 

Forgetful Entry #19 – A / wtf?

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And, Dang. I know it’s been a while, but dang. A few moments ago was cleaning out the folders on my desktop and ran across a few pictures I’d taken a few months ago for a post. Yet another meal that lingered, then fell by the wayside. It took me nearly 5 minutes to sit with the pictures and the name of the jpg before I could remember anything about the meal. Shake those cobby webs Biggles!
Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius gifted me a bottle of Kansas City Cowtown BBQ Sauce, and apparently I smoked a chicken, then glazed the sucker with the sauce. See?
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Um, I don’t think ol’ CB knew what he gave away. Or maybe he did realize the gift he gave me and I apologize for it taking me 2 months to post about it. But this BBQ sauce is hands down, among some of the best bottled BBQ sauces I’ve ever had. Heck, it’s a better BBQ sauce when compared to some of the ones I’ve made or been served over the years. The damned stuff is really good, tangy with a finish of sweet, smoky goodness and thick enough to stay put. Sure there are the purists and the elitists who won’t do sauce, but sometimes sauce is good. Sometimes I like having sauce with my smoked goodies and if and when I decide it’s time for sauce, dangit, I’m going to have some sauce! Even makes an impression 2 months later.
Hmmm, or maybe it could very well be that I only had a bowl of cereal for dinner and I’m hungry. Either way, if you see this sauce on a shelf or online somewheres, it’s Meathenge Approved. Hungry or no, it’s a solid contender.
xo, Biggles

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder mish mash

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I was sitting and watching tv an hour ago and had the idea of you’re looking at. Greens, shitake, onions, garlic, carrots, fresh rosemary, thyme, salt-free beef broth, little red taters, set to high all day.
Remember, crock pots take more work than one might think. Just tossing in ingredients and not browning the meat is a logical fallacy (thanks Cookie!). Don’t add much moisture, I just added 1/2 cup of beef broth and it will probably be too much, I can reduce it later. Also, season well, that’s what crock pots like. Now get to smell this sucker cooking on high all day!
xo, Biggles
But wait, there’s more.
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Umph. I’m full.
4.5 hours on high, 1.5 hours on low. Meat was 210 to 220 when pulled. Neither the meat, carrots, onions, or mushrooms were fall aparty. You could remove everything with tongs, just like that. Juicy, tender, fell apart in your mouth to ever last part. Even the meat had some tasty bark to it. As expected the sauce was a tad bland, good by any standards but I wanted perfection. So I separated all the bits from the juice and reduced by 1/3. Used it as gravy over the food and taters.
I’m full now.

Meathenge’s Mish Mash Eyeball Chicken – a crock-pot recipe

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I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to post this or not, but since the images came out and I did a few things differently this time I thought I would offer it up.
I’ve been wanting to do a whole chicken in the crock-pot since I did the pork, yesterday was the day. I called it Eyeball Chicken because I opened the fridge and looked for, then grabbed stuff. No measuring, used my eyeball for portion control. I did use a lot of the ingredients and portions from my Crock-pot pork shoulder taco heaven – Or, I did it, I did it, I did it !!!
As previously stated, ya can’t just dump stuff in to the pot and walk away, you must do some extra things to bring everything up. Meaning, after cooking for 3 or 4 hours, the chicken was not brown or appealing to say the least. I jacked my oven up to 550, installed the bird to a cookie sheet with a cooling rack, popped it in the oven for 15 minutes, worked like a charm.
Before you prep anything, put your cup of broth or beer in the pot and jack the heat, high or low.
Whole chicken – washed dried and trussed – rub with favorite rub – s&p, granulated onion, dried parsely and ground celery seed, whatever.
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liquid – 1 cuppa – add to pot, turn on
carrots – peeled & sliced
celery – peeled a bit and sliced
onion – mine was big so didn’t add it all
mushrooms – sliced a few times – way less than bite size
garlic – as much as you want, smooshed then sliced once
tomatillos – brown in broiler
I realize my choice of ingredients here pretty basic, except maybe for the tomatillos. Am still attempting to get my process down, then I can move on. Ya dork.
Install veggies to warming pot, lay trussed and rubbed chicky over the top. Install lid and walk away until everything is done, mine was on high for nearly 3.5 to 4 hours.
Sigh, looks like your typical crock-pot meal, the chicken was really pale and the broth was thin. What to do?
The chicken needed color, decided not to use the propane torch, figured I’d burn the rub. So, I jacked my oven’s temp to 550, rack in the middle. I needed it hot and fast as the chicken was already done, had to get the heat everywhere at once. Used a cookie sheet with a steel cooking rack, installed chicken to oven for 15 minutes.

before

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after

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A little better, non?

Separate the veggies from the broth, reduce broth by 1/2, added a little salt. I could have used a thickener to bring it to a gravy, but there were quite a bit of veggies left, quite a bit. Dumped half the veggie supply in to the broth and used the motorboat to whiz everything to the consistency you see in the spoon above. While it did have more of a vegetable taste to it, there was plenty of broth and chicken fat to bring it around nicely.
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I found with a little bit of work before and after can really offer up some great results. It was just me and Z for dinner, but nearly the entire bird was gone in 30 minutes, it was that good. I know what you’re thinking punk. “Oh Biggles, if I’m going to brown the meat or go to that much trouble at the end, I might as well just use the oven or stove-top.” I get that, I do. But you see, what you’re doing is breaking up all the work so you can go do something else for the rest of the day. And, if you’re late coming back, or forget to come home due to beers, it’s no big deal.
xo, Biggles

Crock-pot pork shoulder taco heaven – Or, I did it, I did it, I did it !!!

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Here’s the post I was talking about yesterday, did this a week ago or more.
Been looking for a simple crock-pot recipe/method, something that didn’t require too much effort. I have learned though, that one really should take the extra few minutes to brown this and/or that, reduce a juice, do a little more than just dump, cook and pray. I did it.
I’m still in the experimentation stage, so headed out to find some stunt meat. Something inexpensive and easy to deal with, a pork butt. My local grocery had some mystery butt in a clingy net, perfect. For all the reasons stated above, and because it was portioned in to an equal log of meat. I could count on the same cooking time from end to end, non-confrontational.
My Crock-pot is a 5 quart rig.
Pork butt – 4 to 5 pounds
BBQ dry rub
Flour
Carrots – 4-5 peeled & sliced
Celery – 2-3 stalks peeled & sliced
Onion – 1 whole – mediumish
Garlic – Fresh as much as you like (4-6 cloves depending on size), smooshed – whole
Chicken broth – 1 cup
If you’re actually reading this for a tidbit of juicy goodness for procedure, there is at least one thing in there you might enjoy. See if you can find it.
Either bring the meat to near room temp or not, considering how long this sucker takes to cook it probably doesn’t matter. I didn’t and it came out perfect.
Install broth to crock pot and turn to high or low depending on how fast or slow you want this to go. Clean, prep and slice all your veggies (not the dry rub) and install to pot for the pre-heat process.
Get your cast iron pan hot with some oil in there, maybe 3 swirls around the pan. Pat the roast generously with the BBQ dry rub. Then, roll the sucker with flour. Shake a bit to get any excess off, but make sure the roast is covered in both. Install to pan and brown well, 6 minutes a side?
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Install your butt to the crock and put the lid on, yer done.
8 some odd hours later, when your butt is soft and juicy, pull. Remove netting, using two forks shred the sucker, set aside. Strain the bits from the juice using a strainer of some ilk, use a fat strainer and get rid of the liquid fat (there’s enough already even for me) reduce juice by maybe 1/4 to 1/3. Combine everything together in the large stock pot you used to reduce. And here’s the tidbit I mentioned earlier, add more of your BBQ dry rub to the meat & juice slurry.
Here’s the scoop, it doesn’t matter if you’re smoking, grilling or roasting a large hunk of meat, getting your spicy flavors to the internal portions isn’t possible unless you’re injecting. I’ve tried injecting and it’s a pain in the butt, so to speak and doesn’t deliver the flavors I can get by adding a little of the dry rub later on. Try it.
Simmer a little more and you’re done. Do with it what you will.
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With little effort, this will work with any cut of meat that lends itself to a long cooking time. Even the boys did a face plant in the meat and devoured it.
I bless this recipe and method,
The Good Reverend Doctor Biggles

Beef Stew. Nope, beef soup! Naw, Meathenge does Beef Stewp?

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I really can’t take any credit here, the crock-pot did it. Or should I say, didn’t do it. Actually, it is my fault I didn’t follow the recipe. In my defense, I rarely if ever follow any recipe.
As everyone knows I bought a crock-pot a few weeks ago and came up with this, Is it a crock, or not? I’m finding more crock than not. I’m okay with it now, it’s become the Zen of failing or not having much control over what I cook, it feels good. Last week April mentioned something about wanting to have a decent beef stew recipe for her crock-pot, but didn’t want to end up browning the meat first, translucentizing the veggies and whatever else took place outside of the pot. Me being the Meat Buffoon that I can be, decided to break the rules and try making a beef stew by putting everything in the crock-pot without doing anything to it. Just to see what I came up with, basically reinventing the wheel. Sure I could have done the typical “research” on the internets, but couldn’t be bothered.
I did something really silly, this time, for this recipe. I knew the flour would need to be a part of the ingredient list for the subtle thickish sauce that we all crave in any good stew. But I wasn’t going to take the time to brown anything and end up cleaning a 35 pound cast iron fry pan in the process. All I wanted to clean was a knife and a cutting board, that was it. Um, so I dredged the meat in flour, then just plopped the meat in along with everything else. I did do one thing I was pretty impressed with, pre-heated the crock-pot. Add liquid and turn the sucker on, brilliant!
Ingredients:
Beef Stew Meat – 2 pounds (make bite sized or not, don’t matter. Looks like you get 50%+ shrinkage anyway).
A.P. Flour – 1/2 cup (makes a nice mess on your fingers and in your kitchen)
Onion – 1 Yellow er White – (I like the white ones)
Carrots – 4 – Peel & Slice
Celery – 3 – Peel a little of the ribbing and slice
Fresh Garlic – All you want (I did 5 big cloves)
Bay Leaves – 1 or 2 (I didn’t have any, so didn’t use them)
Salt – Kosher (add it)
Fresh ground black pepper – Grind it (add it)
Worchestershire Sauce – 1 tsp?
Chicken broth – 3/4 cup
Good hearty red wine – 1/4 cup

Note: Mess with whatever you want, but I suggest keeping the liquid amounts there.

Huh, lookie there. Sounds like a great beef soup recipe, don’t it?
After it was done, put a colander over a large pot and separated the bits from the juice. Used a fat separator thingy on the juice, put to stove and jacked the heat a bit. I reduced it until it tasted … flippen fantastic ! Woot. Reinstalled everything together and let cool, install to fridge for the next day.
Keeripes, that was most excellent. Both Z and I tore in to it like to rabid 3-legged weevils. So, I made beef soup. Duh. The flavors and textures were a lot more complex than one might think after so many hours and so little care, thought, effort. The small amount of wine added quite a bit of action to the final product, don’t leave that out.
xo, Biggles

Is it a crock, or not? I’m finding more crock than not.

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I remember way back when, nearly 30 years ago. My mother went through a few crock-pots and recipes, I did my own searching. Mostly I escaped the grasp because I wasn’t able to fuss with my food during the cooking period. You get what you get, no chance for tasting, changing direction and/or redirecting to a final end that tasted as good as you could do in the oven or stove-top.
As with any situation, time changes everything. I need help. No longer do I have hours in the late afternoon and evening to give what I want to eat and serve to my boys. I would really like to have something tasty and somewhat healthy at the end of the day wherein I would really like to only serve or cook rice, er mashed taters. I figured maybe the crock-pot would have another life here at Meathenge Labs.
Earlier today I picked up a large 5 quart rig, it was time. They feel as cheap as they ever were (no longer in the color of an avacado) But with the internet, I figured I could find some guidelines to use the damned thing. Nope! Between the included recipes and what I’ve initially found on the net is quite the contrary.
So far, it’s all about the canned, the packeted and then again, the can. Sure you can use the fresh vegetables and the meat, but if you truly know what you’re doing? The onion soup packet or the mushroom soup is an ingredient. If you’re really a Home Chef, you’ll add the fancy “Brown Gravy” packet.
It’s 2010 and was just only then 2009, so dreamed maybe the cooker would come with decent recipes. The first one I viewed about pork chops and rice included a can of mushrooms. A can of mushrooms?
My brother inlaw Darkleynoone, a skilled cook and crock-pot stud interjected that I needed to lower the moisture addition, it’s tough to do dried herbs in a crock-pot and to maybe cook the starches separately. I totally understood.
But what’s with the large glut of complete crap in regards to the crock-pot and ingredients?
xo, Biggles
UPDATE 6 hours in the pot:
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I work maybe a 6 minute drive from home, decided to come home to see how things were going. As I opened up the front door, the smells were really good. Nothing compared to my traditional pot roast, but still quite good. I probably added too many veggies, but wanted enough to use them to eat and not just a disposable addition. I did add a cup of chicken broth, maybe next time I won’t. If you click on the image, you can get a little larger idea and can see there’s plenty of moisture in there. Dang, those meat additives release a lot of moisture! And considering how little evaporates during cooking, I may end up reducing them later in a sauce pan. Yeah, pull meat and let it rest for a bit. Strain veggies from broth, reduce. So far, so good.
Biggles
ps – And two hours after that? It’s done.
Update a few hours after that – Dinner was served:
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I’m blown away, completely. This was better than good and for a Wednesday evening meal. I totally kicked your ASS. This isn’t to say it didn’t take some effort, it wasn’t something I just threw together and walked away. I’d added too much moisture (1 cup of chicken broffs). At nearly 8.5 to 9 hours I set the cooker to warm for another hour while I drove for 1.5 hours to pick up Z from school. When I got back I separated the meat, and then the veggies from the broth. I reduced the broth until it tasted how I wanted, then added a slurry of cold water and corn starch to give it some consistency.
If you learn the cooker’s ways, positive and negative, and can stay away from canned and packets, this cooker is Meathenge Approved. It may take a few tries, fortunately it only took me 1 try to make a National Class meal. I’m huge and need to go take a nap.
xo, Biggles

Cottage Pie – Meathenge used ingredients to actually cook something!

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Yeah baby! I cooked something! Even got a few pictures worth posting too. Sure, it’s no Bacon Tamales like Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius just did. But I was so inspired by Jerry of Cooking by the seat of my Pants recpie for Cottage Pie that I couldn’t resist.
I ran across the post a few weeks ago and thought to myself, I could totally cook that. Brown ground beef with goodies, make mashed taters, assemble, bake in hot oven. Yeah, it took me a few weeks before I would attempt such a feat, but I did it. Now I own its soul.
You already know how good they are and how easy it is to prepare, so I won’t go in to the gory details. It came together in a few minutes and I jacked the oven’s temp over Jerry’s version to 450. Z and I ate the entire pie it was so good, so perfect. I’ve always been a fan of the saying, “Less is More.” But now I’ve proven it yet again to myself, it’s true!
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Oh boy, I can still taste it, smell it crisping up in the oven, ungh. Wanna see that again?

POW !!!


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xo, Biggles

No Name Bacon – a review

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Lordy, it must have been 3 weeks ago when Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius gifted me more than a few pounds of No Name Bacon. It wasn’t long after when he posted his review of No Name Bacon. He and Ms. Goofy are a machine, they can get it done. I’m not a machine, I’m lucky to find clean underwear and get my wagon gassed up on a weekly basis.
After going through 2 pounds ourselves here at Meathenge Labs and 1 pound to my sister and husband Meathead, we’re giving the No Name Meat Company more than a few thumbs up.
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It’s a good, solid commodity bacon. Good fat to meat ratio, great smoke flavor while cooking, good smoke flavor for eating, a nice semi-low sugar content with an easy finish.
If you see it, and want good bacon, buy it. This bacon is Meathenge Approved.
xo, Biggles

American type casserole in a rice cooker?

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That was really weird, never even considered it.
Last night I really wanted a casserole type meal. Something rich, creamy and full of gooey flavors that didn’t take too terribly long. I was far to lazy and tired to deal with assembling the standard way, along with the extended cooking times. This would be a staggering 45 minutes to an hour, this wasn’t going to do.
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For the last week have been heavily using my Hello Kitty rice cooker to make rice & peas for dinner. Butter & chicken broth bring the flavors up so it’s a meal that I can deal with. Was sitting there last night thinking, “What if I use the rice cooker, as a cooker?” Everyone knows when you’re cooking rice, keep you paws off the lid so it can do its business. But what if I cooked a meal in it, opened the lid every 10 minutes to stir and add water or broth as needed?
I pretended I was making that casserole and added a cup of rice, knob of butter, can of cream of mushroom soup with a can and at least of water/broth along with some dumb ol’ frozen peas? Put it all together and hit the “on” button. Every 10 minutes or so I opened it up to stir and check on moisture content, wanted a certain juicy constancy. The automatic function turned off before it was done, so hit the “on” button again to jack the heat. While all this was going on I browned off a few sausages on the gas range.
Within about 25 minutes I had myself an excellent white trash meal and enjoyed it thoroughly. If you feel the need to thrash me for not eating locally produced, organic this and that, I don’t care. It got me through the evening and satiated my palate. And I have to say, if you’re doing College Food or Dorm Food, this can’t possibly go wrong. The Japanese rice cooker not only does rice well, but it can double as a faster than normal food cooker. 2 of these and a hot plate could do wonders, don’t pass it up as just a “rice cooker”.
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Remember though, with that amount of salt infusion, copious amounts of liquid will be required.
xo, Biggles

Pepper Rub Country Style Pork Perfection of Love

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Doh ! I cooked this about a month ago and it’s been one of the posts waiting in the wings. Yeah, it’s like that and I have more than just a few.
I been so tired of the chile powder, paprika and the likes. I’ve had so much over the years which is why I’ve been using mostly good kosher salt to marinate my meat in lately. A while back Eric the Knife Guy and his lovely wife Janet gifted me some spice blends from Oregon Spiceman. This particular blend is their Pepper Rub. Black pepper, white pepper, sweet basil, garlic powder and salt. Sounds good and smells even better.
I had a good load of fancy pork country style ribs from Ted of Highland Hills, it was time. Brought down the trusty clay cooker, sliced up an onion, too much garlic, rubbed the meat 2 hours before, installed enough chicken broth, and slid it in to a cold oven set to 400 degrees. I probably even soaked the clay cooker a bit, like you’re supposed to.
Pull when pully aparty, pull when broth is rich in flavor and texture. Probably around the near 3 hour mark.
How was it? The fancy pork and its flavors pulled right through, so tender, so juicy in its own perfection. But the clean bite of the pepper delivered to my waiting gullet everything I was looking for. The onions brought to the table a sweetness, the garlic rounded out all the flavors with a husky bellow. The pepper rub was a delight and packed a slight punch, tilted my head with complex flavor thinking. It wasn’t something I could serve the boys with their “tender” (read: undeveloped) palate. But brother, or sister, this juicy delectable is absolutely divine poured over a more than heaping pile of buttery mashed taters, even perfect for a mid July festival.
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Winter is clearly over, time for the fresh bounty of spring!

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Spring is everywhere, Cookiecrumb of I’m Mad and I Eat is in full swing with light soups and green garlic. The farmer’s markets are absolutely over-flowing with everything from the garden. It’s time to take advantage of the season’s bounty, face first. Eh?
Bah. I’m not done with winter yet.
I had a pork shoulder roast in the fridge that really needed to have something loverly done to it. I got it from Ted at Highland Hills Ranch at the Berkeley Farmer’s market, high quality pork!
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And by high quality, I mean he raises his own animals and brings them to market. Heritage breed stuff with nothing added and fed right.
And then? I realized it was Wednesday and I was going to be on the road picking up the boy in an hour, not back for way over an hour and by then it would be nearly 5pm. Whatever it was I had to do, it had to be done now. It’d take this little beauty hours and hours of slow roasting time. Oil, Survival Spice, a sliced white onion and 5 cloves of whole garlic. Installed to a cold oven set to 300 degrees in a water soaked clay oven.
Know what? It ain’t done yet. Why did I bother posting this? The smell coming from the kitchen is an absolute delight! Spring? Bring it on, but I’m dragging my comfort food in one hand and a club in the other this year. Nyah.
Biggles
ps – As Tommy of Tommy’s Kitchen requested, here are the results!
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There was tons of juicy liquid only from the meat & onions. It was exceptionally rich and turned my eyes skyward.
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When the meat reached 200, I pulled it. Both Z and I tore in to this within minutes, sometimes he’s picky about what he eats. Not this time, no sir. It was everything we smelled for a few hours and more.
Biggles

94 in the kitchen yesterday? Move it outside!

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Oh goodness me! Listen up, I pay a lot of money to live here, own a home in the San Francisco Bay Area. It rarely gets above 75 or below 40, this is how it is. Oh sure, we get a freeze now and then, maybe a few times it gets up in to the 90′s. I love my fog, fresh bay breeze and anything after that. What I don’t like is huge, nasty, bucktoothed HEAT.
And brother, or sister, that’s what we’ve had in the last few days. Yesterday at around 4pm it was 94 just outside my kitchen. It dropped to 86 soon enough, but when I was actually cooking dinner for the boys, the kitchen leveled out at 92. I only spent nearly 2 hours in there cooking & cleaning, so it wasn’t too bad. Gah!
This is not okay and planned on a different menu plan for Tuesday, tonight!
Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius sold me a badass propane stove a few years back, so I brought that out. Fired up the grill with some mesquite and hickory chips. The menu? Pork chops, beef burgers, mashed taters with a finish of corn on the cob.
Such a treat for the whole family. It was as though we were out camping in the wilds of Montana, sorta. Everyone got involved in making it go and had a great time. The indoor kitchen was ignored and the outdoor was enjoyed. LOVE !!!
If you’d like to see the rest of the story, please visit here and see Too hot, cook outside, everything!
Biggles

Meathenge’s White Trash Spaghetti Soup

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Only recently have I started making spaghetti soup again, and it’s as divine as I remember. Over 20 years ago my Uncle Ralph made it for me and it’s about as simple to make as a glass of milk. But just because it’s simple and trashy, don’t mean it won’t deliver an absolutely rich, warm and filling meal that everyone will adore as much as we do.
You know how you, like, have leftovers when you make a red sauce spaghetti type situation? Sometimes there’s pasta left over too, but I’m talking about the red sauce leftovers. Put it in a pot, add enough chicken stock or broth to bring it to a soup consistency. Either use the leftover pasta or cook fresh. Bring to simmer, turn off and serve.
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xo, Biggles

Clay pot cooker pulled pork sammiches!

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Every time I even remotely remember some of the downright stupidity and lack of thought versus research that C.I. magazine spews my mind goes in to a tailspin. One such largish article they put in to print was a review of pork and its many cuts. It was well laid out with pictures and everything. They wanted us to know what was which and how to play with each one. My jaw hit the floor when they said the pork sirloin roast was not recommended.
Not Recommended was all that cut got. It was too hard to slice they said, too uneven. Not Recommended. Wtf, over?
The pork sirloin roast is one of my top favorite cuts! It’s got the rich porky flavors that you’d find in a butt roast, the tenderness of a loin roast, you can cook it to 138 or 190. How could this cut not pass muster? They’re stupid, that’s all there is to that. And? For this recipe I didn’t use a knife at all! Gah.
Last Saturday found Biggles at the meat area, lifting up packages of this and that. I wasn’t inspired until I spied a sirloin roast in the back. Yoink! It was about 3 pounds of inexpensive perfection. I knew right where this sucker was going, in the clay cooker and it was going to be simple.
Jack oven to 400, rack on bottom. Sliced a white onion and laid on the bottom, 7 cloves of whacked garlic and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Kosher salted the roast and brought to room temperature. Put the lid on and toss in the hot oven for 25 minutes, drop to 350 for an hour. Turn temp down to 325 and cook for another 3 or so hours.
Use 2 forks to splay meat and let it sit for a bit to soak up the juices that collected on the bottom. Remove portion of meat to fry pan, add BBQ sauce and gently warm. Slice bun, install meat and enjoy! The pork could have been used in the sammich as it was, so perfect. Toothsome, rich and every bit a winner. It’s porky love at its best. MmMmMmmm, porky love.
Biggles