I’ve had a pork butt in my freezer for a few months now. I expected to cook it on July 4th, for my annual Porkth of July, but things got in the way. So I ended up having to cook it in August. It took 3 days to defrost, and the weather wasn’t looking great. I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
So, this is my first venture into homemade sausage. I’ve had an 8lb pork butt in my freezer since the summer, and needed something to do with it. Armed with only my Kitchenaid, grinder, and sausage attachment (and hours of youtube video research, and recipe websites.) There are a ton of recipes on the net, but this was my favorite. I know, top of the line web design, right? I think that is what added to the charm of the recipe. I made both the hot and sweet.
I ground the pork the night before. Once through the larger die. Then I added my spices, and then once again through the smaller die. This really destroyed my kitchen, so I figured I would put them in the casings the next day. I cooked up a little piece to taste, and I liked it. But I knew it was missing something, but I bagged the meat and put them in the fridge.
Meal: Vermont Maple Ribs
Beer: Sam Adams Summer Ale
This past Saturday, I smoked some Vermont Maple Ribs. I found this recipe on Amazingribs.com Which is always my go-to Barbecue resource. There really isn’t too much to say, that I haven’t covered in other rib entries, and that is not covered in the recipe, so i won’t go into too much detail.
The second Porkth of July! This year I finally tracked down a pork butt. For some reason, in NYC it is near impossible to get an untrimmed butt. The Picnic is easy to find, but I wanted to smoke a good ole Boston Butt. After tracking one down at a butcher shop, and paying more than I should’ve (actually Marisa picked it up, and paid, sucker!), the first part was over. That got me thinking, now that I have my new WSM, why waste all that room? So I went to the grocery store, and picked up a picnic (on $ale! too)
Marisa and I got a meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen-aid from our wedding registry. I couldn’t wait to use it, and this was my chance. A cold snowy day, the perfect opportunity to make some freshly ground burgers. The secret is really simple, use the good stuff, and keep it simple.
Good meat, good cheese, and good rolls. For the cheese, I went for some thick sliced Land O Lakes American from the deli counter. The rolls, I went with Martin’s Potato Rolls, and now for the meat…
Superbowl Sunday, one of the biggest eating holidays of the year. Since I am an obsessive Knicks fan, I don’t really have time for sports other than Basketball. So the Superbowl is usually the only NFL game I watch every year. I always enjoy it, but never enough to watch football religiously.
While football isn’t my favorite, food and beer are near the top of my list, so I usually use the Superbowl to make my chicken wings, which I seem to tweak a little every year.
February in New York is way too cold to grill them, so I am reduced to baking the wings in the oven. I don’t really feel the need to deep-fry hot wings. I don’t find the added fat really worth it.
After being given a dried Ghost pepper from my friend Rob a few weeks before, I was a little scared to use it. I figured a 4lb pack of chicken wings would be perfect. Since it is a large pack, it wouldn’t overtake the wings.
My method for chicken wings is to try to make them unbearably spicy. This is because they never turn out as hot as I expect. So if I try to make them too hot for anyone to want to eat, they usually turn out just right.
I started with a whole pack of wings, and cut them up into wingette and drumettes, and toss the tips. It feels a little barbaric cutting through joints, but it saves some bucks, and doesn’t take too long. I give them all a rinse, to get the blood off.
To prepare my spices, I grinded up the dried ghost pepper, some chipotle peppers, and a few other dried whole chili’s in my Magic Bullet. Added some salt, black pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, and onion powder.
The next day, I added some peanut oil into the pan and baked them for 25 minutes, flipped the wings, and cooked for another 15 minutes.
Then I made a sauce of butter, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and Worcestershire. My wife had me a little worried that these wings would be too hot, so I added much more honey than I normally would. I cooked it a bit on the stove to thicken it up, and melt the butter.
When the wings were all finished, I poured the sauce in the pan with the wings. Got them all covered. I let them sit for a bit, and put them in the fridge, since our guests were not coming for another 2 hours. When our guests arrived, I heated them all the way through, and let the sauce cook into the wings and served.
The end product was a deliciously sweet and spicy wing. The extra honey, gave it a really nice sweet flavor, and the peppers gave it nice flavor and bite. I was really happy how the wings turned out, and will probably follow a similar path with all my other hot wings, including my grilled hot wings.