Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pulled pork bbq story for the video

Below this blog entry is a video on how to bake a pork shoulder roast into pulled pork sandwich meat. The thing I hate about blogger is that it will let you do something, in this case, upload a video, and then you spend an hour writing it, then you hit "publish post", then the mother****** tells you that you can't write a story with an embedded video!!! Which is why there are 2 separate stories, one written and one video!

I've always been a fan of pulled pork bbq sandwiches, and have tried various methods over the years to make them to my liking. I've either roasted the pork shoulder in the oven or used a crock pot, with decent results. However, I came across this method and I think it's the best yet. 210 degrees for 13 hours takes some advance planning, but it is insanely easy to do. I've made it this way twice, and these are my observations:
-13 hours isn't necessary. In fact, I think it's too long and you lose some of the moisture. I've gone 12 hours both times and will try 11 hours next time.

-After I take the roast out of the pan and put it on a wooden block, I chop about a cups worth of onion and throw it in the pan with some of the drippings and cook them till translucent on the stovetop. Then add a couple cloves of chopped garlic. Heat for a couple more minutes, take out of the pan and place on a small saucer. Now, grab your 2 forks and start shredding the pork. I take the time to pull out any fatty stuff out of the meat as I'm shredding, it's easy to see and to get rid of. After the meat is shredded, add the cooked onion and garlic, plus a little salt, pepper, and Lawry's if your of that persuasion. Mix this in with the forks, I then take a chef's knife and slice some of the bigger pieces of meat finer, but not too much. Put all the meat back into the pan and now you have two options: make a bbq sauce or just pour your favorite stuff onto the meat. I was turned on to Carolina sauce a few years ago and then lost the magazine with the recipe. I finally found another one that is close to what I like. Here is the recipe:

North Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Sauce:
Heat vinegar and sugar till dissolved.
· 3 cups cider vinegar
· 3/4 cup sugar
Add the following, take off heat and stir.
· 1/3 cup ketchup
· 1/4 cup honey
· 1/4 cup kosher salt
· 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
· 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

The only problem with this recipe is that it is huge! I cut it in half and still had some left over.
Anyway, I pour some of this on top of the meat in the pan. When I make a sandwich, I add some more! I also like to take a little bit of a sweet commercial bbq sauce and squirt some of that on top too.

Awfully good!

Pulled Pork Shoulder Barbecue - Oven "Smoked" Barbecued Pork Shoulder

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trailhead Open House this Saturday!

My favorite bike shop is having an expo this Saturday, Jan 16th. Here is the information of what is all going on. Anything in italics is my puffery!---Kenny


2010 Open House / EXPO

Saturday, January 16th


2010 Orbea bicycle line

~ From the Heart of Pyrenees

Louis Garneau Clothing

~ Why Garneau is Superior Cycling Clothing

~ 20% discount on in-stock AND special order Garneau

Special visits from:

Team Kelly Benefits

See their NEW 2010 Orbea team bikes
Team Strong Heart -

Fundraiser Spin with 2010 TSH riders 7 am – 7 pm

Suggested donation: $20.00

Trainers and spin bikes provided – ride with TSH!

Amy Xu will be spinning for 12 (!) hours on Saturday, 7 AM to 7PM. Yes, she is nuts, but, she's training for the solo division of the RAAM. Come see her and bring her a Trader Joe's chocolate bar!

Silent Auction items


Trailhead Cycling Club!

Buy the Jersey, join the club

Club year long discounts for members PLUS:

A very special one-time Club Member only Pre-Book parts sale

Get the word out – Trailhead’s doors open 7 am for the TSH indoor ride

Orbea Bike Presentation 11:00, Garneau Clothing Presentation 2:00

All Day: Sign up for Savings with a Trailhead Cycling Club Membership

Sign up for Trailhead Maintenance Clinics

HUGE 2009 Bike Markdown

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Victory 44 restaurant review

The child bride and I went to a new restaurant Saturday night, Victory 44, located at 44th and Penn in NordEast Minneapolis. This site has had numerous restaurants over the years. In fact, from one of the reviews I read, this is the 3rd restaurant in as many years. It is billed as a bar with a good burger and sandwiches. So, that is what I was expecting to have. We arrived about 7:00. It was maybe 1/2 full. The room is divided into a sit down dining side and a bar side with high top tables. We chose the bar side, as that is what we like, plus the kitchen is right there and I enjoy a chance to watch the food come out and to talk with the cooks. Very friendly place. The menu is on a big chalk board, maybe 12 items on it. The most expensive item was fish and chips at 12.95. The menu is changing a bit, according to our waitress. A few of the items on their website are not currently available. Other local reviews I read said the reuben was outstanding and that the burger was good. Also, that the ketchup was home made. My bride, who likes sauvigon blanc wine, was disappointed. The sample she had of a Spanish variety wasn't too good. So she ordered a glass of pinot grigio. This wasn't much to her liking, but she drank that glass and then ordered a glass of the sauvigon blanc! The beer selection was small, I think 13 or 14, 4 on tap. A couple of the bottles I had never heard of. I decided to go with the Surly Bender on tap. This is a stout beer. I don't mind stouts, but I generally can only drink 2 of them as they are quite heavy. Two was fine for the evening. As for the food, Diane ordered the Fried Mortadella Eggwich and I had the "Perfect Burger." Both came with fries. Now let me tell you, the best fries I've ever had are at the Bulldog http://www.thebulldognortheast.com/
The Bulldog's fries are drizzled with a truffle/parmesan topping and they are delightful! The fries at Victory were excellent! Very crispy brown and had some sort of seasoning on them. I spoke with the chef/owner, Erick Harcey later on, and he told me they blanch the home cut fries first, then they fry they till they are crisp.
Add the home made ketchup, and you have some mighty fine fries, my friend! They are different from the Bulldog, but, just as good. The "eggwich" Diane had was very good. It appeared to be an English muffin sliced and then had home made mortadella salami grilled with an egg on top. It was very tasty. The burger was very good. I ordered it medium (that's so Minnesotan, I know), and it actually came a bit rare for my liking, but I ate it anyway. Next time I will order medium well. The burger comes with bacon, cheddar, pickles, and I swear I saw some radish slices on there too! All in all, we would go there again. The waitress told us it was her first night serving ever, and that her boyfriend was one of the chefs. We even saw them sneak a kiss! Pretty low key place and friendly. We enjoyed it for what it was. They do not serve hard liquor, and the wine selection needs to improve. Our bill, with the 2 sandwiches, 2 wines, and 2 beers was $45 before tip. A little spendy for what you get, but not bad.

Monday, January 4, 2010


On the post below this one, I mention I was making meatloaf. I generally use Paul Prudomme's recipe for meatloaf. It's a good recipe that I first had tasted at my friend Ron's house many years ago. Last summer, Bill, http://billsmagicalmysterytour.blogspot.com/ , gave me a family cookbook. Bill is Italian and from the range of Northern MN. Anyway, I thought of the cookbook the other day and decided to see if there were any family recipes for meatloaf that might be different that I could try. I didn't find any meatloaf recipes, but I found 11 recipes for something called "sugo." WTF? Now, FWK isn't a cooking expert and I certainly have not cooked everything, but, I've generally heard of most things. Especially of something that obviously was very popular in a region of MN that I've lived reasonably close to. The basic premise of all the recipes was to brown assorted meats (beef chunks, country pork ribs, sausage), add tomato paste, tomato sauce, an onion, garlic, salt and pepper, red wine, parsley, and cook for several hours. Right up my alley! I called Bill and asked him which recipe I should use. Without missing a beat, he said, Gina's (his sister) recipe is closest to the family recipe, but to increase the wine from 1/2 cup to a full cup, add 1 Tbl of sugar, and to use whole cloves studded in and onion instead of ground cloves. All from memory, he knew what his sister did different then his dad! He also said that the secret ingredient for the wine is Carlo Rossi's Paisano red wine.

The secret ingredient.

What it comes down to, sugo is a very flavorful meat red sauce that you pour over pasta. Some Italians call it "gravy." After browning the meats and adding the other ingredients, I cooked it slowly for 5 hours. I then put it outside in 5 degree weather and cooled it down completely. Then I brought it back up to serving temperature. The flavor was wonderful! I did add sweet basil to the recipe and served it with grated parmesan. Here is the recipe I made. Thanks to Gina and Bill for their advice!

2 lbs chuck roast, cut into chunks
3-4 country style ribs (with bone)
4 Italian sausages (cut into 1" chunks)
1 med sized onion, cut in 1/2, studded with 10 whole cloves
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
1 Tbl Salt
1 Tbl Pepper
1 Tbl Sugar
1 cup Paisano red wine
2-12 oz cans of tomato paste
4-12 oz cans of water
1-29 oz can tomato sauce
14 oz chicken broth (canned or fresh)
1/2 teasp allspice
1 handful chopped fine fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbl sweet basil
2 bay leaves
Brown meats in oil, cooking for about 1/2 hour on medium low heat. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 5 min. Add wine and cook for 15 minutes. Add tomato paste, sauce, water, broth, allspice, parsley, basil, and bay leaves, and 2 halves of the onion (with studded cloves). Bring to a boil, turn heat down to low so the sauce is at a simmer for 4+ hours, partially covered. Stir occasionally.

I cooked a 1 lb bag of pasta, but I think 1 1/2 lbs would be better. I had quite a bit more sauce then pasta using only 1 lb. Traditionally it would be poured over spaghetti, but I used rotini. I served it in large bowls with spoons rather then forks. I grated fresh parmesan over the top of each serving. Another thing I did after the sugo was cooked was to spoon out the country style ribs, remove the bones, and shred the meat. I put the shredded meat back into the sugo. I did come across a couple bones that had fallen off the pork while eating. I prefer to cook sauces like this with bones, because of the flavor they add. I couldn't find a beef roast with a bone in it. Variations in the cookbook also had chicken pieces included. I don't think you can mess this recipe up. As one person said in the cookbook, "It's never sugo, unless it's yours!"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Defining moment

My schedule this holiday season has been to work. One of the other supervisor's is off, so the another supervisor and myself both had to work Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. I was in an every day is the same state of mind, and then this happened:

December 30th. I am at Trader Joe's, getting some items for the fajitas I plan on making that night. Also, to buy some ground turkey to blend with the meatloaf mix of beef, pork, and veal I had purchased at Byerly's for the next night. The cashier was a young (17?) and energetic young girl. She greeted me warmly and then asked if I was using the ground turkey for dinner that night. I said no, that I was making Mexican. She said "Cool!" I then followed up saying the ground turkey was for the meatloaf I was making the next night. She looked at me, incredulously, and said, "You're making meatloaf for New Years Eve???"

Yup. I was. That's what my life has come to. Meatloaf on New Year's Eve.

It was good fucking meatloaf, too.