Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pork Love

What you see above is the remains of the pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli meal I made the other night. I *may* have forgotten about pictures until we were all sitting around being fat. It was so tasty, we really didn't think about anything else outside of "where's my fork?".

Now, pulled pork is probably a misnomer for what I made, but I've always called it that and I'm not going to stop now. It's kind of like my sister and I calling Nitzer Ebb Nitzer with a short i instead of a long i as we found out it was actually pronounced years later. It's still Nitzer with a short i to us...and what I make is still pulled pork to me no matter that it's technically slow cooked pork.

Pulled pork is extremely easy to make and can be taste customized to the extreme. All you need is a nice piece of pork shoulder, an assortment of herbs and spices, and an oven. For the pork I made I used a 10 pound bone-in pork shoulder, which is actually pretty large. You can certainly use a smaller one, but make sure that it is bone-in for the best flavour. Let your pork sit out until it's room temperature. Then pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees. Mix together the herbs and spices of your choice, along with salt, and rub and press this mixture all over the pork shoulder. Place the pork in a large baking dish, cover tightly with foil and place in the oven. Let the pork cook, depending on weight, anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. You will know it is done when it is so tender, it pulls apart easily with a fork. Allow pork to cool for a few hours, then pull apart with either forks or your hands. There will be a fair amount of juice in the bottom of the baking dish that can either be poured over the pulled pork or used as a base for homemade barbecue sauce. I poured it over the pork because not everyone likes barbecue sauce in my house. Use the pork for sandwiches or serve as is with the side dishes of your choice.

The mixture I used on my pork contained the following:
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
rubbed sage
sweet Hungarian paprika
garlic powder
ground coriander
ground ginger
crushed red pepper flakes
light brown sugar

The macaroni and cheese was homemade as well. It was amazing and quite simple.
1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni
3-4 cups bechamel sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 ounces extra sharp Vermont white cheddar, shredded
8 ounces Havarti, shredded

Heat bechamel sauce over medium heat until simmering. Stir in the garlic. Slowly whisk in the shredded cheeses by the handful until each is melted and blended in. Turn off heat half way through. Boil macaroni until al dente, drain and add back to the pot. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and fold in. Serve immediately. My kids are spoiled for mac and cheese now.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Insane, Now With More Mount

There are some sweet benefits to working on Insane. One of those is Baron Rivendare's Deathcharger. See, part of working on the title requires that you pick up Frayed Abomination Stitchings, which are soulbound (they are bound to the character that loots them), because they are part of the mats needed for Libram of Protection turn ins for Shendra'lar rep (say that three times fast). These things only drop in Old Stratholme and only off of the abominations in front of Baron Rivendare's quarters. Back in the old days it was kind of difficult to get to Baron before the 45 minute timer ran out and he skiddadled. Nowadays at level 80 you can one-man the instance and, even if you kill all the mobs and other bosses, make it to Baron with time to spare. Which is fantastic because one of the things that can drop off of him is his deathcharger. Granted, it only has a 1% drop rate, but when you compare that to other rare mounts in the game, that's pretty damn good. And I got it last week. It was a bittersweet moment since I was elated for myself and sad for Gaz and Bluey who have been farming for this mount since they ran Stratholme back in Vanilla.

Bloodsail Buccaneers: Honored (this one is still done)
Darkmoon Faire: Friendly (can't work on this one again until next tomorrow)
Ravenholdt: Friendly (haven't worked on this one for a while)
Shen'dralar: Revered (1500/21000)
Booty Bay: Hostile (710/3000)
Everlook: Hostile (710/3000)
Gadgetzan: Honored (7557/12000)
Ratchet: Hostile (973/3000)