Friday, April 15, 2011

Brined, Rubbed & Smoked Pork Rack

It might be funny to announce that about eight or nine years ago I gave up on eating pork (I should note that this excluded bacon and ham). It was the chops, shoulder steaks and other boring, white, dry and tasteless stuff. It wasn't any political move, a statement or anything of that nature. I had simply had enough of the crap. It was never juicy, tasty or good when unadorned. My mother was a busy woman and had never put much effort into going beyond the basic stuff that her mother had done: salt, pepper and a bottled sauce (A1 my favorite, BBQ, etc). But in 2003 I gained my first education on what CAN be done with pork. I saw marinades, brines and aggressive seasoning bring an aspect to the other, more boring white meat, that I had not experienced. The following year I spent most of a year in Western France and got to experience even more ways of treating this fabulous meat to give me an even larger repertoire of tastiness.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Drinking is Getting Hard: Hard Cider pt. 2

This past week marked the point at which, based on my readings, it seemed safe to bottle the 5.5 gallons of Hard Apple Ciders I started at the end of last year (original post). The first three I made were from an organic cider out of Michigan that I had purchased at Whole Foods here in Chicago. I started these the last week of October, first week of November and the end of November. In the photo below they are the three on the right. I didn't add anything to the first one, but to the second, I added the sediment from another hard cider, and third was sediment from a Belgian Gueuze. As you can see, they are also the clearest of the 6. The remaining three versions were made from ciders purchased at Chicago's Green City Market. They were started the first week of December. The furthest left was from Grandpa's Mill, while the inner two left were from Seedling Farms. They have not cleared up as much as the other 3, though they are about a month behind in the process. I added some sediment to one of the Seedling batches. To understand why sediment was added, refer to the original post.