Monday, March 8, 2010

Pulling Our Weight: Pork and Chicken

Rachel here: Had John and I not already decided to make this little union of ours official under the eyes of the law before I first developed this recipe, I would be completely convinced that he married me for this meal. I imagine that when I am having one of my more, shall we say, difficult days that John thinks of this meal and it helps him get through my raging, take-no-prisoners, psychotic pregnant hormones. I was proud of it the first time I made it because I developed the whole thing myself (a personal first, I think). Then, when I put it on the dinner table and John began to dig in, I became exceedingly proud as he looked up at me between mouthfuls and said, "You really do love me, after all. This is the first time you've really fed me right." Of course, this is an exaggerated statement (John is nothing if not an appreciative partner); however, the sentiment that I had really hit the nail on the head made me beam. Like, my face hurt. It was awesome.

Anyway, since that fateful evening when I finally did right by my man I haven't made this recipe a second time (the accompanying sides, which I will post about later in the week, feature a lot of bacon...enough that neither of us would feel good eating this with regularity and enough that eating it is incredibly satisfying). This go around I did a few things differently (I made more pork for one thing since we were supposed to have company for dinner, though illness intervened in that plan, and I also used ham hock instead of bacon for the sides) and I feel like the recipe worked just as well. Anyway, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Falling Off the Bone Pork
feeds 2 to 4 depending on how many chops you use

2-5 pork chops (depending on size and how many people you're looking to feed)
1-2 large white or yellow onions, sliced (more onion for more pork)
1+ cup of apricot jam (to your taste)
3 c. dark and hoppy beer (I used Rogue's Mocha Porter)
2 T. white wine vinegar
garlic powder
chili powder
salt and pepper
olive oil

Season your pork chops in olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder and salt and pepper. Place them in the biggest pan you have over medium-high heat, browning both sides (approximately 4 minutes per side). Place the sliced onion on top of the chops. Combine 3 cups of beer with your cup of apricot jam to taste and pour into pan. Add white wine vinegar (if your beer doesn't have much bite to it, you might want to add more vinegar). Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for at least 2 hours, until the meat falls off the bone (if you're not sure if the meat is falling off the bone, it isn't...this is one of those awesomely obvious moments in cooking).

Tune in Wednesday and Friday to learn about the rest of what I do for this meal (including cornbread, which isn't pictured below)...

Janet here:
Or if pork isn't your fancy (it may be "the other white meat" but it isn't according to my food lexicon so I don't "do" pork) instead try this barbecue pulled chicken.

I had never made this before and, frankly, I think I missed out on a couple of decades of serving dinner to some picky kids who would have loved this. Oh well, maybe I can win points with grandchildren or lure my nearly-adult children back for a dinner if this is on the menu.

I got this recipe from my new favorite chef, Ellie Krieger (I'll be back, Ina!) whose recipes I clearly will be copying for quite a while since I have two of her cookbooks (see post on her muffins from So Easy, which are great!) and have yet to make a bad recipe. This recipe is perfect when you have had a rough day at work or with the kids and want something really easy. Unlike Rachel's pulled pork, which seems pretty labor intensive to me, this recipe relies on picking up a rotisserie chicken! Love that! The sauce is made from scratch, though, so this completely counts as a home-cooked meal, again referring to that personal food lexicon. Click here and enjoy!

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