This post was originally written all the way back in January. I know, I know. This is really sad that I’m only adding this now, but you would not believe the way this semester is taking shape. Some more entries are in the works, and I was originally going to dump this, but in looking at the photos and remembering the food, I just couldn’t. I had to share.
You’d never know it, but I’ve been doing lots of cooking the past few weeks. And I mean lots. The hiccough – I keep forgetting to take pictures. I’ve been with my family for the holiday, cooking in their beautiful (albeit it electric) kitchen and loving every minute of it. This has been absurdly fun; it’s always nice to cook for an appreciative audience, and those audiences abound around the homestead. It’s really been fun, both for the cooking and for the soul feeding power of family and old friends.
So, as New Year’s rolled around, I kept thinking about various appetizers or healthy meals (my resolution – more butter), and I stumbled across the old Southern tradition of pork and black eyed peas on New Year’s day. The saying is that you “eat like a poor man on New Year’s Day, and you eat rich the rest of the year.” I liked this idea. My aunt sent me a recipe that seemed right up my alley, but there’s just one problem – I hate black eyed peas. Actually, truth be told, I don’t like most beans unless they’re cooked with a generous amount of bacon. What to do? I love pork, but didn’t want to ruin a nice piece of pork with beans. So, I returned to an old standby – enchiladas.
I won’t bore you with another enchiladas post (though I have become a bit obsessed this winter), but I do want to talk about my beautiful butt. Pork butt, that is. (You knew that joke was coming; don’t blame me.) There are a few things I love more than pork butt (beyond giggling like an eleven-year-old every time I say it). It takes on bold flavor but manages to never get too out of line with intensity. It’s juicy and tasty without much work. And most importantly, when cooked properly, it fall apart right before your very eyes.
I was surprised to find, though, that a four pound pork derriere takes you quite a ways. I did a pan and a half of enchiladas (one 9×13 and one 9×9), and I still had half the pork left. What should I do with it?
“We could have pulled pork sandwiches,” my dad mentioned a little too casually from across the counter.
Hmmm. Now that’s and idea I can get behind. Now, my parents have pretty decent taste in barbeque sauce, but I was feeling the need for greater culinary feats. So, I attempted BBQ sauce.
I understand and appreciate the vast debate around the “right” BBQ sauce. The vinegar-based Kentucky style to the tomato-based Texas, every Southern state has a signature BBQ sauce, while all the rest of us ask “You mean it doesn’t just come from the bottle?”
I opted for the tomato based sauce for simplicity’s sake as well as my sanity (my father will have none of this “vinegar-based” nonsense in his house!), and I’ll be darned if it wasn’t tasty. Also, for once, this was not the most complicated recipe in the world. Essentially, you pour everything into a pot and heat. Add the pork, and eat.
Done and done.