Category Archives: Pig Goodness

Mexican Style Pizza with Beer Braised Pork

This is part three of the chile & beer braised pork feast and easily the favorite of the three. I’ve been making a lot of pizza from scratch lately and this is easily the best one to date. The flavors and textures balanced each other in a way that made my mouth happier than words. While a 500F oven in 105F weather isn’t always the most ideal, it was well worth having to set up a fan in the kitchen and the few extra dollars spent on lowering the a/c temperature. It’s also a dish that’s best washed down with an ice cold light Mexican lager.

Preparing your own pizza dough is truly worth the extra time if you have the time to spare. It’s cheap and simple and it’s the best blank canvas, particularly on nights when your fridge is filled with leftovers and/or produce. Even if I don’t have cheese or a tomato based sauce on hand, I use this basic recipe for flatbreads.. just stretch it out a bit further and shape into a square.

Pizza Dough Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup of water + 1/4 cup more if you’re in Texas and it’s summer
  • 2 tbs olive oil
Pizza Dough Steps
  1. Mix flour, yeast, and 2 tsp salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup of water and 2 tbs olive oil.
  3. Mix until the mixture starts to form a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch – I prefer to do this in a stand up mixer. Add the extra water 1 tbs at a time if the dough is too dry. Add 1 tbs of flour at a time if the dough is too wet.
  4. Replace the paddle with the dough hook or turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand. Knead for a few minutes until the dough begins show a smooth surface. Round the dough by gently moving the sides beneath the middle; use your hands to guide the dough into a smooth ball.
  5. Grease a bowl and lay the dough in the bottom; cover with plastic wrap or a warm, damp towel.
  6. Place the bowl in a warm area and leave for 1-2 hours – until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
  7. Leave it and prepare the rest of the pizza.

Preheat the oven to 500F
and place the rack in the center of the oven; place a pizza stone on the rack. Prepare the sauce and toppings…

Lime & Avocado Crema
:
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • juice of 1/2 a lime, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small avocado
Mash everything together then whisk until it forms a smooth mixture that you’ll be able to drizzle over the pizza.
Store in the fridge while preparing the remainder of the components, can be made 1-2 days in advance.Black Bean & Corn Relish:

  • 1 ear of fresh corn removed from the cob
  • 1/4 cup of black beans
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • a splash of tequila
  • a squeeze of lime
  • salt & pepper to taste
Note: all of the relish ingredients are optional – create to your taste.

Gently mix all items in a small bowl to combine. Add an extra squeeze of lime juice if more acidity is needed. This is best prepared a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld together. Cover & store in the fridge.
Chile & Adobo Sauce:
  • 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid from the chile & beer braised pork
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 tbs of adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo (add more for additional smokiness and heat)

Add all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Allow to bubble away until the sauce reduces by about half, about 10 to 15 minutes; the sauce should coat the back of a spoon and resemble the consistency of pizza sauce.


Other Ingredients:

  • Cheese! We used monterey jack for melting and cotija for sprinkling once pulled from the oven
  • Some of your leftover Chile & Beer Braised Pork
  • Corn meal to coat the pizza stone
  • Cilantro to garnish and for the quintessential fresh Mexican flavor
Assembly:
  1. Shape the pizza dough. To shape, pat the dough into the desired shape (in this case , a round-ish circle, but it doesn’t have to be perfect!) From here I either a) gently pull the dough and shape by gently pressing on it with my finger tips or b) lift the dough onto both fists and move until it slowly falls on its own while rotating and moving so that the thickness of the dough remains consistent. This part takes a few tries before it becomes easier.. the trick is to let the dough rest for a few minutes after each stretch. The gluten will relax and it will be nicer to you when you try to stretch it again. If a hole forms, pinch the dough together to patch and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before shaping again.
  2. Top the dough with the chile & adobo sauce.
  3. Cover with a layer of chile & beer braised pork (or other meat).
  4. Cover with cheese.
  5. Sprinkle corn meal on the pizza stone in the oven.
  6. Carefully slide the pizza onto the pizza stone; we use the back of a sheet pan, but a pizza peel is even better.
  7. Close the oven and allow to bake for ~10 minutes. Check on the pizza around 8 minutes and again every 3 or so minutes after that to ensure the pizza does not burn.
  8. Remove from the oven when the the edges are golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  9. Now for the toppings.. drizzle with the lime & avocado crema, spoon on the black bean & corn relish, crumble on the cotija cheese, and garnish with fresh chopped (or torn) cilantro.

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Chile and Beer Braised Pork

This recipe is great for so many things.. we turned it into tacos (recipe below), chilaquiles, and pizza (recipe to follow). I’m also guilty of stealing late night bites out of the fridge. It’s seriously that good. The options are endless, just use your imagination and whatever you may have in the fridge & pantry. What’s also nice is that you can prepare according to the season and your schedule.. the pork can be cooked on the stove top, in the oven, or via a slow cooker while you’re at work.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 large dried ancho chiles
  • 2 large dried red chiles (your choice, I used New Mexico chiles)
  • 2-3 dried chiles de arbol
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 10 ounces dark beer (I used Negra Modelo)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 12-ounce can of tomato sauce (or canned tomatoes)
  • 1 4-5 lbs pork shoulder (or 2-3 smaller roasts – which is all we could find and it worked beautifully)
Taco Ingredients (all optional w/ the exception of tortillas):
  • corn or flour tortillas
  • your favorite salsa
  • radishes, cut into thing slices (a great crunchy texture addition)
  • avocado (creamy texture)
  • pickled onions (acidity)
  • cilantro (freshness)
  • fresh lime (freshness & acidity)
  • cotija cheese (a perfect salty addition)
Steps:
  1. Remove the stem & seeds from the chiles and place them in a small bowl; cover with hot water; allow to steep until the soften up, about 20 to 30 minutes. Save the liquid.
  2. If you’ll be using an oven – preheat to 350F.
  3. Place 2 tbs of oil in a heavy pot (with a lid if you’re cooking on the stove top or in the oven).
  4. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 7 to 8 minutes; add the garlic, cumin, coriander, allspice, bay leaves, and oregano; cook until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and cook ~5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat.
  5. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the chiles, lime juice, and sugar in a blender with 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Puree until it forms a smooth paste.
  7. Rub the pork with the chile mixture (marinate overnight, if possible).
  8. Add the pork with chile paste to the pan with the onions and pour in the beer. If using a slow cooker, add the onion mixture and the beer; place the pork in the slow cooker, cover, and turn to low.
  9. If cooking in the oven or on the stove top, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover; allow to cook in the oven for ~2 1/2 hours; on the stove top this will take ~1 1/2 to 2 hours over a very low heat. If using the slow cooker, cook on high heat for 4-5 hours or on low heat for 7-8 hours.
  10. This dish is best made 1 day in advance and left overnight in the fridge. The flavors will meld beautifully and the fat will solidify on the top, allowing you to easily remove.
  11. Remove the pork and shred with two forks.
  12. Strain the braising liquid and save; this can be spooned over the pork for even more flavor.
Taco Time:
  1. Warm tortillas over a burner or in a heavy pan; use foil to keep tortillas warm.
  2. Create a taco station with all of the fixings.
  3. Allow guests to assemble tacos to their taste.
  4. Serve with micheladas and/or good Mexican beer

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Beer Peanut Brittle

Sweet, salty, slightly hoppy goodness..

This is my variation of peanut brittle and it disappeared before the lunch hour when I brought it to work, but the recipe is worth playing around with until you find a variation that suits your taste.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup lard (or sub for more butter)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 to 1 1/4 cups of unsalted peanuts (I use Spanish)
  • 1/2 cup beer (I used an amber for the maltiness, but a citrusy and hoppy IPA is equally delicious)
  • 1-2 tablespoons red chili powder (optional, I love with the amber and love a little less with the IPA; smoked chili powder also works really well)

STEPS

  1. Grease a baking sheet with some butter; set aside.
  2. Lightly toast the peanuts over medium low heat.
  3. Combine the butter, sugar, salt, and beer in a saucepan over low heat. Slowly bring to a boil to a “hard crack” stage while carefully watching the temperature. You want it to be around 300-310F. You can bring it up to 320F for a slightly darker, but don’t let it go over that. Sugar goes from kind of hot to hotter than you want very quickly and hotter than you want will cause the brittle to taste burnt.
  4. Once at the right temperature, immediately cut the heat and remove the saucepan from the burner. Mix in the peanuts, pour onto the baking sheet, and spread evenly. Optional: sprinkle the chili powder over the brittle to your taste.
  5. Allow to cool until the brittle reaches room temperature. For easier clean up – wash the saucepan immediately after using to make clean up easier (otherwise it’ll stick to the sides, but hot water works at this stage).
  6. Once the brittle has cooled, crack and eat, or store somewhere airtight.

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Bacon Candy

I don’t have many pictures for this one.. so I’m going to need you to just trust me. Pork candied with brown sugar = HEAVEN IN MOUTH.

This recipe was taken straight from uchi: the cookbook with only a few minor adjustments. Perhaps that will better defend my case for this delicious treat?

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cut bacon (the thickest you can find)
  • 4 ounces water (uchi:the cookbook recommends 6 ounces)
  • 4 ounces brown sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 325F.
  • Cut bacon into a 1/4-inch dice.

Steps

  1. In a small sauce pot, bring water and brown sugar to a boil. Let mixture boil for a few minutes to reduce the water content. This is important – boil until you reach a maple syrup like consistency.
  2. Add the bacon. Cook for about 5 minutes to ensure that the bacon is well coated and the syrup has cooked all the way through the bacon.
  3. Strain the bacon out of the sugar-water mixture (save this liquid!) and place on a silicon mat or a parchment-lined baking tray.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy with a thin, sugary coating. Sugar burns very quickly, though, so watch it closely.
  5. Leave the bacon out for a few minutes until it hardens. It will harden as it cools and your patience will be rewarded.

PS: There’s no beer in this recipe. But! That doesn’t mean you can’t add some.

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Tex Mex Eggs Benedict

It was a Sunday morning and I felt like cooking. I opened the cabinets and this is what happened. Simply put – it was incredible.

Eggs Benedict: Chorizo & Black Bean Cakes with Black Bean, Corn, Roasted Pepper Relish, and IPA & Hot Sauce Hollandaise

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 lb of Chorizo (I get mine from Dai Due)
  • 1 pepper (I used an anaheim)
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 5 eggs (4 for poaching, 1 for the patties)
  • 3 egg yolks (for the hollandaise)
  • Hot Sauce & a balanced IPA (optional for the hollandaise)
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 10 tbs unsalted butter
  • Corn meal
  • Cilantro
  • Vinegar
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Start by cooking the sausage until cooked through. At the same time, roast one large chili pepper over a gas burner. You can roast an ear of corn over another burner or throw it in the oven for a bit to bring out more of the sweetness
  2. Drain a can of Black Beans and reserve a smidgen less than 1/4 cup. Add the rest to a food processor and rough chop until chunky, but moldable. You want to retain the texture while making it soft enough to mold into a patty.
  3. Add the sausage to the black beans and season with salt & pepper. Add an egg to act as a binder, mix, and store in the fridge. I found that the patties are less likely to crumble when the mixture isn’t too hot.
  4. Once the pepper is sufficiently roasted, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the pepper to sit for 10-15 minutes. The steam will make the skin easier to peel off and the pepper will cool and make it easier to handle.
  5. Once the pepper is cool enough to handle, remove the skin & seeds. Take the ear of corn and remove the kernels. Dice the pepper and add to the corn kernels and reserved black beans. Add: 2 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs vinegar (I used rice wine), salt, pepper, and some freshly chopped cilantro. Set aside.
  6. For the hollandaise sauce, I have found this recipe to be fool proof: Blender Hollandaise by Simply Recipes. The only difference is that I added a dash of hot sauce and a quick pour of a mellow pale ale instead of the cayenne. After it was done, I placed it in a glass jar next to the pans on the stove to keep the sauce warm. I created this in between the other steps as I had time..
  7. Now here comes the fun part.. making a good eggs benedict is a balancing act and this is the best part.
  8. Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to a simmer to poach eggs.
  9. Form the chorizo and black bean patties. I found it easier to keep my hands somewhat wet – just enough so that the meat doesn’t stick, but not so much that the patties become soggy – and form into english muffin sized cakes. Dusting them with some corn meal helps them stay intact and gives a nice crispness to the edges.
  10. Heat a heavy drizzle of oil in a pan and lightly fry each side until crisp.

And that’s it! Placed a poached egg on each patty, cover in hollandaise sauce, and top with the relish. I served alongside a cilantro pesto with a tasty IPA.

Then.. enjoy.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cooking with Beer, Pig Goodness, Recipes