Posts Tagged ‘pork’

bbq blues

April 29, 2012

We spent one of our finest days of the fall of 2010 in Roanoke, Va. A first obligatory stop is, of course, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, especially because of its impressive collection of vintage trains from the great days of American railroading. Part of the collection is stashed away safe and dry under a roof, and some of the steam monsters are even climbable uponable by ways of installed stairs and mini-porches.

Other items of interest are baking in the open sun, somewhat sadly left to rust away in wind and weather.


To climb about in an old GG1 electric locomotive from the Pennsylvania railroad may be exciting…

but it makes hungry too, and so we eventually leave the museum to find our way into downtown Roanoke in search of some real, true and authentick Southern food:

The Blues BBC Co, as we can read on their website, “was started in 2004 with $20,000, a truck and a dream. Two brothers, Patrick and Chris, decided to give the people of Frederick, MD “Real BBQ!” Most of the BBQ found in Maryland was less than average and mostly over-cooked. Dried-out beef and pork could be found at almost any BBQ Restaurant. Good BBQ needs to be smoked over wood. Great BBQ needs to be smoked over a wood blend for the perfect amount of time, at the perfect temperature-and lived! That’s what we strive to do.” Apart from their Restaurant in Roanoke, The Blues BBC Co can indeed be found in a truck in Frederick, Md., and they are planning to open in Carroll Creek, Md. and Jacksonville, Fl.

After reading the menu outside, we enter a dark, pub-style establishment and are greeted by bellowing music and a waitress with a hi-guys-what-can-I-do-for-you-today type of professional smile. A quick look around the yet empty place makes us decide to settle outside; a choice we do not regret, because the weather is brilliant and we are able to catch most of the afternoon sun.

Kelley, a prolific BBQ producer and connoisseur in his own right, suggests the dry-rubbed Pulled Pork; the rest is an eclectic mix of everybody’s choices, with hush puppies to start, and fries, collard greens (“Grandma style” with ham hocks and bacon) and creamed succotash (Lima beans and corn in cream sauce, actually) as sides. (more…)


3 quick chicken roast tactics

January 23, 2010

Saturday. I’m writing music, using my pencil. I’m copying extensive cues from one part of a concerto for two keyboard instruments by J.S. Bach into photo copies of the second part, in preparation of a rehearsal on Monday, where I will be the only keyboardist present, and where I will have to fill the gaps left by the absent other soloist.

This act of severe retro-geekiness – writing Bach with a pencil – costs a lot of time; time I cannot spend on cooking (one may wonder where I get the time to write this blog entry). In anticipation of all this, I bought a whole organic fresh chicken (these things are possible in Southampton. I’m still amazed). Preparing a Chicken roast goes fast, and you don’t have to stand and chop and stir all the time. But even here, most of the talk is about how to fill the gaps, or rather, the chickeny hollows. (more…)

red cabbage and chestnuts

December 5, 2009

To explain why I ended up combining chestnuts (Wikipedia wants me to call them sweet chestnuts or marrons with 2 “r” or, in American, Spanish chestnuts; all in order to avoid confusing them with lesser, inedible kinds) and red cabbage, I will first introduce my childhood red cabbages. At home, red cabbage contained a few cloves, perhaps bay leaves, allspice, in fancy moments some apples, and some smoked pork of the bacony kind. I sort-of liked red cabbage but it was certainly not my ultimate favorite.

At the age of four, I learned to be careful with food away from home: The kitchen of the Weberhof on the island Juist (at the time best described as a seaside vacation kindergarten, where I was supposed to have fun while my parents went on an old-instrument museum trip), bluntly introduced me to the culinary side of homesickness (my present addiction to home-cooking may still be a late compensation for the loneliness of those four weeks).

Regarding North-German red cabbage, there was every reason for my reluctance: (more…)

boneless pork chops, white wine, and cream

July 1, 2009

Even in otherwise really fabulous cookbooks, one can encounter any number of rather less fabulous never-do laws about the treatment of lean pork in the frying pan. In part, this may be caused by the watery no-good pork selling-practices in some countries. Put a large Dutch pork chop into a small skillet, and it will inevitably begin to boil in its own juices before the cooking fat has had a chance to get things under control. In such a case it is perhaps indeed better to slow-cook or braise it instead (or, in fact, to forget about it right away). But even in the North, with reasonable non-watered pork easily available, no standard professional cooking advice ever helped me to avoid a dry piece of pork. So I threw it all overboard and made this: (more…)

ribs from another world

March 26, 2008

Swedish pork ribs are different. They come with a four-inch layer of meat-streaked blubber un-firmly attached, and are pretty difficult to treat in the kitchen. Here are the choices:

– You cut off the offending layer and treat the ribs as ribs. Use the fat and the meat for sausages.

– You do a Chinese slow pot roast with star anise, garlic, soy sauce and spring onions. This will have to be a heck of a slow pot roast, or you’ll end up with layers of salty, tough meat embedded in sweet wobbly matter that carries a faint taste of anise. If you manage to summon the patience to cook the ribs all the way through (three hours…four hours??), discard as much of the accumulated fat as possible, rescue the heavenly sauce, but take care to have the Vodka chilled nevertheless – you will need it.

– You make several deep cuts in the meat parallel to the ribs and oven-roast – or grill – the whole combo, with the objective of letting the fat cure or tenderize the meat, or at least getting it to dissolve and vanish. This is, however, not going to happen: (more…)

sausage production part II, things to avoid

December 2, 2007

Our first two batches of sausage in the freezer are diminishing at an alarming rate.


This is mainly due to the fact that the sage-flavored breakfast sausage goes so well together with the maple syrup that we brought back from Virginia in October, that the chestnut-white-wine sausage was a smaller batch and that the chorizo-flavored variety was a welcome addition to a larger quantity of Sauerkraut the other day. So I made sausages again.

At the shop, the cheaper pork chunks were gone, no shoulder, no sides. The butcher happened to be available after a few minutes, or rather after concluding a boxing and tickling episode with his young children (more…)