Friday, January 6, 2012
Pork and, Yes, Beer
Clearly at least two of the writers of this blog have pig on the brain. First we get the Edna post (that almost made me become a moral vegetarian) and now we have a much lovelier post about roast pork, a favorite of mine back when red meat was on my personal menu. (I know pork is the "other" white meat but you get what I mean.) Anyway, without further ado, this month's post from Mike the Gay Beer Guy — Janet
Hi Janet, Hi Rachel -
Happy 2012!!! Can you believe it’s here? As I write this on Christmas Day, it’s hardly imaginable that the new year is upon us once again. Last night we made a roast pork shoulder based on a recipe from the TV show, America’s Test Kitchen. Of course, not knowing there as a copy of the recipe online, I set out putting this whole thing together by memory — and actually came pretty close! America’s Test Kitchen also suggests a peach sauce, but we made one with our Weizenbock from last month’s post...enjoy!
Roast Pork with Weizensauce
Based on America’s Test Kitchen Recipe - either from the TV show, or also found here:
Bone-in Pork Shoulder (2-3 lbs for 2 people with leftovers)
Kosher Salt & Brown Sugar, equal parts
Mix the salt and sugar in a bowl making sure there aren’t too many big clumps of brown sugar. Take the pork, fat side up, and score the top; press the salt/sugar mixture into the pork on the top. Wrap the roast in plastic and put on a baking sheet in the refrigerator overnight... as you can read in the ATK link, the salt acts as a brine or curing agent, making sure the meat is flavorful throughout. When you’re ready to roast, take the pork out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature; for us, this took the better part of an hour, or maybe longer (I forgot!).
Heat your oven to 325*, unwrap the pork making sure to brush off all the excess salt and sugar, and season with fresh pepper. Place the pork on a greased up V-Rack set inside a roasting pan or high-rimmed baking sheet; add some water to the bottom of the roasting pan so that the juices from the pork don’t burn during roasting. As the pork is in the oven, make sure to replace the water as it evaporates... it’s ok if the sugars caramelize a little!
The pork should be done when a thermometer inserted into the middle of the roast reads 190 degrees; for our 2-3 lb roast that was about 3 hours. Take the roast out, move it to a cutting board, and tent it loosely with foil.
Prepare the sauce from ATK or try our Weizensauce! Serve with your favorite festive sides... we had roasted acorn squash and zucchini (multi-task... as the roast is finishing, put your veggies in the oven!!).
Drippings from the Pork Roast
Weizenbock Beer, about 6-8 oz from a bottle or your keg
Thyme, we used 3 sprigs of fresh, but you can used dried too
Collect the drippings from roast pork; let it sit for 5-10 minutes so you can separate the fat from the juices. As the drippings are resting, prepare your shallot and saute in a small pot. When the shallots have caramelized a bit, stir in the beer, bring it to a boil so the alcohol burns off, and begin reducing. Add the pork drippings to the pot along with the thyme; check your seasoning, but the pork drippings should be salty enough. Reduce by at least half; when finished, remove from heat, remove the thyme and add the honey to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Beer of the Month - Sour Wit
Over my Christmas Break, I will be making an experimental beer based on something we had in Minneapolis at the Herkimer Pub and Brewery in Minneapolis, MN. I think everyone should try sour beers, especially if they aren’t beer drinkers; although sour and complex, most people actually enjoy this style (which is very broad) as opposed to the very bitter IPA, for example. Often you will find fruit lambics in the store, which have been soured with fruit and sweeteners added. My favorite non-fruit sour beer is from Rodenbach, which falls into the Flanders Red subcategory. This recipe will combine a Witbier (think Hoegaarden or Blue Moon) with a sharp sourness... it’s my goal that the sour will accentuate the citrus and coriander normally found in Witbiers. I am only making a half batch, just in case something goes wrong! Cheers
FG: 1.014 (apx)
ABV: 5.5% (apx)
(3 gallon batch, as opposed my usual 6 gallons!)
3.15 lbs Wheat Liquid Malt Extract
1 lb Flaked Oats (or 1 Minute Oats)
1 lb 2-Row Base Malt
2 oz Munich Malt
1 oz Hallertau Hops at 60 Minutes
½ t Coriander
Zest from 3 different citrus fruits (naval orange, blood orange, and lemon perhaps?)
Witbier Yeast (Wyeast 3944)
Lactobacillus (Wyeast 5335)
Mini-mash the oats, 2-row, and Munich malts (hold anywhere from 149-158* F in about a gallon of water for about an hour. Make sure to use a grain bag, paint strainer bag, or other filter of your choice... if after an hour the liquid tastes sweet, you’ve done it right!!). After an hour and you have separated the liquid (wort) from the grain, dilute the liquid to about 4 gallons and add your wheat malt extract. Bring to a boil, add your hops, and continue to boil for an hour; add the coriander and zest with about a minute or 2 left in the boil. Cool using an ice bath or other method of your choice, move to a glass or stainless steal fermenter (plastic is not a good choice with this beer because of the bacteria involved) and ferment with Witbier yeast in the mid 60s* F. Once fermentation has started, add the Lacto culture; the Wit yeast will finish out and the bacteria will take over giving you a nice sourness. Taste every so often... when it feels right, keg and serve!