Category Archives: Pork

Bacon on a Stick

This is a recipe that was inspired by several postings on Smoking Meat Forums. It is spareribs  cured like bacon and glazed like ham to make Bacon On A Stick. It has the great texture of ribs, the wonderful taste of bacon and the sweet crust of ham. Who could ask for more! Well, actually, everyone asks for more of these.

It uses regular spareribs and cures them like you would ham or bacon. The ribs are cured by putting them in a brine recipe that includes curing salts. These are also known as pink salt, Instacure 1, Prague Powder 1 and several other names. The main thing is to make sure it is 93.75% salt and 6.25% sodium nitrite. Too much or too little is bad for your health so use the exact amount in the recipe.

I posted a detailed process of how I prepared these in Smoking Meat Forums and the link is:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/151369/first-bacon-on-a-stick

I used a smoker but you could make this in the oven and get almost as good a result. Just put the ribs in the oven at the temperatures noted in the recipe instead of the smoker.

The Verdict

You have to try these. They are sweet, salty, tender and just so good. Make sure you let your guests know they are pink like ham because they are cured and not because they are under cooked and enjoy!

The Old Fat Guy

Canadian Andouille

I love smoked cured sausage but it is so high in fat. At least the stuff I make myself is a little lower in salt and fat.

Andouille is made in different ways in countries around the world. My recipe is based on a Cajun style adjusted for my mild Canadian taste buds. It is moderately spicy with a nice onion, garlic finish.
If you would like to see more details on how I made it, you can seem my post on the Smoking Meat Forums. The link is:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/152882/canadian-andouille#post_1095056

It looks complicated but all you really do is cube some pork, season it, grind it, stuff it and smoke it. If you don’t have a smoker, you can make it by putting it in a 180 F oven instead of the smoker. It will be good but that smoke flavour really adds to it.

The Old Fat Guy

Smoked Picnic Shoulder

This dish is not technically a ham. A ham comes from the shank portion. However it tastes, looks and cooks like a ham.

I was in the supermarket and they had an uncooked smoked pork shoulder on sale for a really good price. Normally, they are obscenely expensive but then they will go on sale for an
incredible price. I think it is because most people don’t know what to do with them.

I had intended to smoke it as I have never done one in the smoker before. However, She Who Must Be Obeyed wanted me to make it this way. She has the ability to persuade so I did so.

I posted the process on the Smoking Meat Forums and the process is at there at this link:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/152782/smoked-picnic-shoulder-i-meant-to-smoke-it-i-really-did#post_1094147

I really like this recipe and I highly recommend it. However, it must be served with scalloped potatoes (I will post my method for making them tomorrow). I don’t make the rules, I just follow them.

The Old Fat Guy

Passing Wind Estates Bratwurst, The First Post

I am rapidly learning that something you make yourself tastes better and has the advantage of you controlling the ingredients.  I made bratwurst but I used chicken and pork to lighten it up a bit. You need a grinder and  something to stuff the sausage casings to make this.

I do have a KitchenAid mixer with a grinder attachment and stuffing tubes. In my early attempt to make sausage, I found the KitchenAid does a decent job of grinding meat. However, trying to use it to stuff casings is like getting a root canal from a proctologist. If you are going to make sausage, get a dedicated sausage stuffer.

I posted the details of making the sausage on Smoking Meat Forums. The link is:
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/152078/passing-wind-estates-bratwurst

Because of the nature of the forum, I didn’t go into the use of casings. If you are going to make bratwurst, get some hog casings. You may be able to buy some from your local butcher or you can order them on line. They usually come packed in salt and can be kept for months in the refrigerator.

When you want to use them, rinse them inside and out with water and then put them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight. Rinse them again and then force them over the medium stuffing tube. Tie the end off and start forcing the meat through. Don’t overstuff the casings and let them come off the stuffing tube naturally. Then poke any air bubble with a needle. To cook the bratwurst, poach it in water or beer for 10 to 15 minutes. Brown on a grill or in a frying pan. Serve in a hoagie or hot dog bun with sautéed onions and peppers.

S0000 good!

The Old Fat Guy

Garlic Sausage Soup

I love homemade soup. I make it with ingredients I have on hand and it always makes canned soup seem like seawater. Most commercial soups rely on salt to bump the flavour. I found I was out of soup so I started making a batch. This is what turned out.

I started by blanching some tomatoes in hot water for one minute and then rinsing them in cold water. Then, I cut the stem core out and chopped them in large chunks. I ended up with about 500 ml (2 cups) of chopped tomatoes.

I chopped up about 250 ml (1 cup) of onions, 1 clove of garlic and about 175 ml (3/4 cup) of trimmings from my homemade back bacon. You could use regular bacon I guess, if you must.

I microwaved some homemade fresh garlic sausage. If you haven’t made your own garlic sausage (poor devil), you can substitute polish or garlic sausage and you won’t have to precook it. Cut it in bite size slices. You want about 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of sausage.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of butter or margarine. When it starts to foam, throw in the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

I added the diced bacon and sauteed until the bacon started to colour the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes.

I added the sausage and sauteed for 2 more minutes. You’ll note the pot starts to get brown stuff stuck to the bottom. That is just what you want!

At this point you need to add 3 liters (6 cups) chicken stock. Now, my chicken stock was homemade (whose isn’t) but it was in the freezer. I microwaved one container to get it liquid and threw the others in frozen. I added the tomatoes. You can use canned or packaged stock if you are underprivileged and don’t have homemade.

I increased the heat to high to bring it to a boil. While it was getting up to temperature, I chopped up 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of green and yellow beans that I had grown (you do grow your own vegetables, don’t you?). You can use carrots, peas, broccoli, or whatever vegetables or you like.

When the soup came to the boil, I lowered the heat to low to simmer. I added the beans, 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) each of dried thyme, rosemary and oregano. I also added 3 ml (3/4 teaspoon) of extra hot Cajun spice. You can use any spice blend you like, just add it a little at a time until you like the flavour.

I let it simmer for 45 minutes and then added 1/2 cup of orzo pasta and let it simmer 20 minutes more.