Friday, October 8, 2010

Pig Island Affair

Hey everybody, I've been off the radar for a little while now. 
I was slammed with a few big events and a move, but I'm back now and it's Fall.  As we brace ourselves for months of root vegetables, we should take full advantage of all of the fall brassica (cabbage stuff) while it's still here to make us gassy.  Expect some recipes soon.
In the meantime, Pig Island happened, a benefit for Food Systems NYC.  I was given four whole pigs to do with as I saw fit.  It was a big event for Grill-a-Chef to take on, but I think the whole thing went down pretty well.  I owe big thanks to all of the people that pitched in to help out.  Those that volunteered were amazing and they all went above and beyond.  Here are some pics from the whole shebang.

 (extra special thanks to Deborah- who helped out the day before when I didn't have my camera. so there's no photo of her pretty face)

Jimmy Carbone - the crazy mofo who organized the whole thing.

Thanks to Brooke from Red Table Catering for donating his kitchen and helping cut up pigs.

A cooler full of salted root beer, were the pork soaked over night.

The Grill-a-Chef Kiosk

Special thanks to this guy for like pork so much. (note the tattoo)
Me and the "Carls".  (each shirt had a Carl name tag)
The assembly line.

Some Carl's slinging pig.  (aka Jorge and Megan of the A Mouse Bouche blog)

Some other Carl's, saucing and garnishing. (aka Jeff and Emily)

A by product of all the labor- root beer head cheese.
The final product of all the work - Root Beer Glazed Pig with Crushed Kabocha and Sage Cracklin's

You could make some yourself, here's the recipe.
Root Beer Glazed Pork Shoulder

2 bottles good root beer
6 cups of water
1 ½ cups Salt
1 Pork Shoulder 7-9 lbs (bone-in)
3 bottles of good root beer
1 ½ tbsps Chinese Five Spice
2 1/2 tbsps mustard powder

1. For the brine, dissolve the salt in 3 cups of water.  In a storage vessel big enough to hold your pork, mix in the salted water with the remaining three cups of water and the root beer and allow to cool. Completely submerge the pork and soak for at least 12 hours and up to 36. (If you have a small or cramped fridge, this can be done in a cooler by substituting some of the water for ice)
2. For the cooking part, place the pork shoulder in a roasting pan, tent with tin foil, and roast @ 325 degrees until it pulls apart easily.  (Approx. 6 hrs, but it’s not done until it’s soft.) 
3. Set aside the pork to rest. In the meantime reduce the remaining liquids over medium high heat until thick and gooey.  Whisk in the five-spice and mustard and season to taste.  Simmer for 5 more minutes and brush onto the pork. Serve more root beer goo for a sauce.
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