Butter and Bread and Sandwiches Oh My! (II)

Poppy

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Slow cooked 3.5 hours on the grill. Pork Spare ribs.

BTP7jBFKxrZGRQvpP0PT84fw=w562-h749-s-no?authuser=0.jpg
 
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pnwoutdoors

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Looks good!
What's your version of it?


TACOS AL PASTOR recipe

Serves ~12-15 people

Ingredients:
  • 5 pounds Boneless Pork Shoulder, cut into thin, ~1/4" thick single-piece slices across the whole shoulder
  • 1/4 cup Achiote paste (homemade)
  • 1 tbsp Guajillo chili powder
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 Habanero chili, finely minced (optional)
  • 1 tsp Oregano, fresh, finely minced
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds, freshly ground
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp Salt
  • dash Pepper, black
  • 3/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Pineapple juice
  • 1 Pineapple, small, trimmed of outer spines/rind, cut into ~3/4" thick slices
  • * Reserve 1-2 slices of the pineapple, for making small bowl of 1/4" cubes (to be added to each individual serving)
  • 1 Onion, white, finely chopped
  • 2/3+ cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fenugreek (methi) leaves, finely chopped (aromatic, if not a traditional Mexican addition)
  • 1+ cup Salsa verde (homemade)
  • 20 corn tortillas, small (homemade, or a good-quality store-bought -- I wimped and did store-bought)

Method:
  1. Create batch of homemade achiote paste.
  2. Create batch of homemade salsa verde.
  3. Create marinade, in a large bowl, combining the achiote paste, chili, garlic, habanero (optional), oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, one-third of the cilantro, the fenugreek leaves, vinegar, and pineapple juice. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the pork slices to the marinade mixture. Toss until well-coated. Cover bowl with Saran Wrap (or similar). Refrigerate the marinade for one day.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
  6. On a baking sheet with parchment paper, make a couple of mounds of pork and pineapple, alternating between the pork/pineapple in each mound. "Stab" each mound with a bamboo skewer, to hold it upright. If needed, slice off the excess portion of the skewer (if needed), to fit into the oven.
  7. Bake at 300°F for ~2.5 hours, until beginning to lightly char around edges. Check internal temperature (should be about 175-180°F). (This "lower and slower" temp allows for more-tender meat. Can bump temp up to 350°F and cook for 90-100 minutes, if prefer reduced cooking time.)
  8. Remove from oven and allow meat to rest for 15 minutes. Slice into thin strips about 1" long each. Either serve immediately, or store in air-tight container.
  9. To serve, on a tortilla place some of the pork mixture, a few small pieces of pineapple, onions, cilantro, and salsa.

Definitely not a Mexican-recipe magician. I'm sure there are other ways of making it. But it's a pretty good dish. A bit of work, I suppose, but most of the time is the marinating. Mucho tasty, whatever else can be said.

IMO, this one's a little hot. Can easily adjust the amounts of achiote, and the optional habanero. I prefer it on the hotter side. Can cut one-third of the achiote and, say, swap out the habanero for a serrano. Easily tweaked, to taste.
 
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pnwoutdoors

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WOW!!! You really get to practice your knife skills putting this together.

Looks like a lot of time goes into this. But I bet it is worth it.

It's basically just a pulled pork. So, any good low-and-slow pulled pork roast will work fine. A great rub, very low and slow, ideally wood-fired and "remote" heat to the smoker (like the big trailered smokers folks have at BBQ restaurants).

Still, can do a fair rendition at home, in an oven, if thinly slicing of dish-sized layers ahead of time, marinating, then cooking them in a stack. I'm sure something in the marinading process makes it possible to avoid the strict need for a low-and-slow cook.

Of course, the "magic" is in the additional ingredients and the marinade. I've made decent pulled pork before, on the roasting pan in the oven, and on the smoker. It's hard to beat. But to infuse these flavors well, for the al pastor dish, it's hard to get around the utility of the thin slicing and marinating before cooking. Doesn't come out anywhere near as flavorful, IMO, if simply doing a basic pulled pork (low and slow) then tossing the cooked pork in a skillet with the other ingredients. It'd be easier, I guess, but it wouldn't be as good.

Next time, I'll do the corn tortillas homemade.

A little hole-in-the-wall restaurant near me does an al pastor every day. I'm sure they've figured out a couple of time-saving steps. But I asked if they do the traditional way ... and they agreed it was the best. Mine doesn't come out quite so, um, seasoned and "polished" as theirs, but you gotta run with what ya got.
 

pnwoutdoors

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WOW!!! You really get to practice your knife skills putting this together.

Yeah, a good couple of knives help.

Have a set of Shun blades. They do pretty well. Not cheap, but they're miraculously sharp and can handle whatever foods you throw at them.

 

Poppy

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Yeah, a good couple of knives help.

Have a set of Shun blades. They do pretty well. Not cheap, but they're miraculously sharp and can handle whatever foods you throw at them.


That's a nice set of knives you have there!
My Dad always said, "When you are buying tools, buy the best you can afford. Then if you take care of your tools, they'll take care of you."

I use a inexpensive 8" stainless Chef's knife. It gets the job done. I am occasionally tempted to buy a better knife, but I am trying to declutter, rather than add to the clutter. If I got another knife, it would be unlikely that I'd throw the other one out.

Ah, first world problems, eh?
 

pnwoutdoors

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That's a nice set of knives you have there!
My Dad always said, "When you are buying tools, buy the best you can afford. Then if you take care of your tools, they'll take care of you."

I use a inexpensive 8" stainless Chef's knife. It gets the job done. I am occasionally tempted to buy a better knife, but I am trying to declutter, rather than add to the clutter. If I got another knife, it would be unlikely that I'd throw the other one out.

Ah, first world problems, eh?

Your dad knew (knows). I've heard it another way: buy once, feel the pain once. Or: buy quality once, get a lifetime of use. Isn't true of everything, but it should apply to any truly "durable" good. Knives won't quite make it a lifetime, not if used heavily and frequently sharpened, but they can end up so much sharper than a basic blade. Did those types for years.

A restaurant supply shop nearby has a variety of basic knives, good for a small restaurant that's just getting up and running. And if sharpened a few times a week, they won't last but a handful of years. These Shun blades aren't bad for a good-quality essential set. Great steel, 16deg edges, and they'll slice through anything neat as you please. I wince each time I sharpen these or use the steel on them, knowing it's removing just a bit more of the material. Still, vastly better, if kept sharp of course.

Of course, traditional 1095 carbon steel blades still do wonderfully well, if kept nicely sharpened. Of course, today's modern stainless varieties mean that most "first world" people simply don't want to bother any longer with the maintenance required.

Myself, I'm giving Santa a silent heads-up, now and then, for a Wicked Edge Pro sharpener. Yeah, baby. That'd just about do. :grin2:
 
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kerneldrop

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Myself, I'm giving Santa a silent heads-up, now and then, for a Wicked Edge Pro sharpener. Yeah, baby. That'd just about do. :grin2:

KME has a very loyal fanbase if you want to check those out.
Users after a little experience get some crazy sharp numbers on the Sharp Electronic BESS tester.

I've tried it all...from a variable speed belt sander, high speed grinder with paper wheels...to a slow speed Tormek water wheel.
Ended up with this routine....Buy a Rada Chef knife or Mercer chef knife. Hone it before each use, then throw it away after a year and buy a new one. Rada chef's knives used to be $24 shipped. Mercer is $25 shipped.

I'm jealous of the knife makers that can get a shaving sharp edge on a belt grinder in 2 minutes.
I don't get too carried away into the heat debate on grinders.
 

Poppy

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I have the highly rated Lansky system.
I've only used it a few times, and it has already been years ago. I don't remember what I didn't particularly like about it. I think it was because my knives were too long to sharpen them in one stroke from base to tip. I had to reposition the blade to get the full length sharpened.

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I just ordered a 400/1000 grit wetstone.
 

pnwoutdoors

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KME has a very loyal fanbase if you want to check those out.

Though, apparently the KME Precision product supports down to 17deg (per side). The Shun blades I currently have are 16deg.

The WickedEdge Pro unit goes down below 14deg.


I'm jealous of the knife makers that can get a shaving sharp edge on a belt grinder in 2 minutes.
I don't get too carried away into the heat debate on grinders.

What I found astounding was just how darned sharp the Shun knives were, fresh from the factory. Slightest touch of the bare edge would slice skin. Barely more than gravity would slice a tomato. Bought them at a decent independent shop that also does sharpening. Have had them sharpened by the shop, but nothing approaches the perfection of that first few days of use. He's good, but ... whatever it is that Shun does for the sharpening ought to be "bottled." Would be glorious to be easily able to make a blade, any blade, that sharp.
 
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bshanahan14rulz

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KME has a very loyal fanbase if you want to check those out.
Users after a little experience get some crazy sharp numbers on the Sharp Electronic BESS tester.

I've tried it all...from a variable speed belt sander, high speed grinder with paper wheels...to a slow speed Tormek water wheel.
Ended up with this routine....Buy a Rada Chef knife or Mercer chef knife. Hone it before each use, then throw it away after a year and buy a new one. Rada chef's knives used to be $24 shipped. Mercer is $25 shipped.

I'm jealous of the knife makers that can get a shaving sharp edge on a belt grinder in 2 minutes.
I don't get too carried away into the heat debate on grinders.
Lansky makes a very affordable device similar to the WEP. It does have quite a few pitfalls that come with that pricepoint, though. For me, it was a step up from the cheapest twosided whetstone I could find, and was more about finding my knife's baseline so that I could compare it with the edge I get when hand-sharpening with my whetstone.

Comes with oil, but I use water.
Sticks must be mounted to the stones, and user is responsible for making sure it lines up correctly (instead of design not allowing incorrect alignment)
The holder is important, and it isn't the most secure hold:
  1. Sometimes it gets loose during sharpening, and you have to notice, then reallign and resurface what I just did with the holder out of alignment.
  2. The thumbscrew gets in the way, so depending on the angle and knife, I have to flip the knife around in the holder instead of just using the other side
  3. repeatable results require to mount the knife exactly in the same place each time, or you'll spend a bunch of time re-shaping when you just wanted to touch up the edge.
  4. Squeaks loudly after it gets worn a bit.
  5. there is enough slop that I have to limit my range of motion and hold the stone "just so" to ensure that the angle doesn't slop one way or the other.
It does allow me to get a better edge than by hand on a whetstone for me, and barely takes up more space than a whetstone. But its purpose for me was mainly to have something to compare my hand-sharpening to.

I am not a knife hobbyist or anything like that. But if I were, I'd skip it and get something nicer and more idiot-proof. Or if I had a workshop, I'd get a grinder


Edit: this new forum software's nifty! I wrote this yesterday I think, and forgot about it! Now I see Poppy already mentioned the Lansky. Yep, it is very good at being an intro to guided sharpening, especially when I'm not confident about my by-hand technique.
 

raggie33

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are walmarts have great tortillas they are so friggin good i think it is because we have a lot of mexican family's here. i get two of them place refried beans in them and salsa and yogurt and put them in this weird thing i got from walmart it compresses them and cooks them at same time even cuts them in middle
 

Poppy

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Location
Northern New Jersey
Lansky makes a very affordable device similar to the WEP. It does have quite a few pitfalls that come with that pricepoint, though. For me, it was a step up from the cheapest twosided whetstone I could find, and was more about finding my knife's baseline so that I could compare it with the edge I get when hand-sharpening with my whetstone.

Comes with oil, but I use water.
Sticks must be mounted to the stones, and user is responsible for making sure it lines up correctly (instead of design not allowing incorrect alignment)
The holder is important, and it isn't the most secure hold:
  1. Sometimes it gets loose during sharpening, and you have to notice, then reallign and resurface what I just did with the holder out of alignment.
  2. The thumbscrew gets in the way, so depending on the angle and knife, I have to flip the knife around in the holder instead of just using the other side
  3. repeatable results require to mount the knife exactly in the same place each time, or you'll spend a bunch of time re-shaping when you just wanted to touch up the edge.
  4. Squeaks loudly after it gets worn a bit.
  5. there is enough slop that I have to limit my range of motion and hold the stone "just so" to ensure that the angle doesn't slop one way or the other.
It does allow me to get a better edge than by hand on a whetstone for me, and barely takes up more space than a whetstone. But its purpose for me was mainly to have something to compare my hand-sharpening to.

I am not a knife hobbyist or anything like that. But if I were, I'd skip it and get something nicer and more idiot-proof. Or if I had a workshop, I'd get a grinder


Edit: this new forum software's nifty! I wrote this yesterday I think, and forgot about it! Now I see Poppy already mentioned the Lansky. Yep, it is very good at being an intro to guided sharpening, especially when I'm not confident about my by-hand technique.
Now I think I remember why I didn't care for using the Lansky system. Good job!
 

bykfixer

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My mother in law gave me a set of Hampton ceramic knives one year for Christmas. I was scared of them for a while since they were so sharp and stayed sharp but for some tasks that's all I use anymore.

We went back to the airport for "fish night" last evening. No pix. Too busy stuffing my gut with southern style foods like fried tilapia, baked flounder, peel n eat shrimp medium size, fried shrimp small size, fried chicken, barbecue pork spare ribs, corn on the cob, green beans, kale, and the best sweet tea I've had in a long time.

We've tried to eat there a few times but there was always a line of 50 people or more waiting to get in. Yesterday we arrived 15 minutes before they open and got in on the first go-round. The place holds about 100 people and there were already 75 or so waiting for it to open.

The banquet room was filled with a corvette club who were a bunch of seasoned citizens who either own special edition vettes or played a role in building/selling them. Most arrived in seasoned citizen cars like SUV's but there were some vettes in the parking lot too. My favorite was this really radical looking new version where the owner had to be hoisted from the car and hobbled on a walker to get in the place. "Now that's dedication" I thought.

Then you had the folks who flew in from out of town just to eat barbecue and fish. There were very few "thin" people there.
 

Poppy

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Messages
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Northern New Jersey
My mother in law gave me a set of Hampton ceramic knives one year for Christmas. I was scared of them for a while since they were so sharp and stayed sharp but for some tasks that's all I use anymore.

We went back to the airport for "fish night" last evening. No pix. Too busy stuffing my gut with southern style foods like fried tilapia, baked flounder, peel n eat shrimp medium size, fried shrimp small size, fried chicken, barbecue pork spare ribs, corn on the cob, green beans, kale, and the best sweet tea I've had in a long time.

We've tried to eat there a few times but there was always a line of 50 people or more waiting to get in. Yesterday we arrived 15 minutes before they open and got in on the first go-round. The place holds about 100 people and there were already 75 or so waiting for it to open.

The banquet room was filled with a corvette club who were a bunch of seasoned citizens who either own special edition vettes or played a role in building/selling them. Most arrived in seasoned citizen cars like SUV's but there were some vettes in the parking lot too. My favorite was this really radical looking new version where the owner had to be hoisted from the car and hobbled on a walker to get in the place. "Now that's dedication" I thought.

Then you had the folks who flew in from out of town just to eat barbecue and fish. There were very few "thin" people there.
Wow! It sounds like you blew your calorie count for the week. :)
Every once in a while you have to splurge.
 

bykfixer

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Calorie count?
No I saved up all month for that meal. Working at night means all fast food options are out, and nearly any other options so my cooler is stocked with low calerie, healthy stuff prepared at home or cerals, fruits and vegetables. Nothing fancy, just delicious and nutritious. My coworkers go to all night filling stations and grab microwaved garbage and caffiene. I make it all night without caffiene thanks to blending the right combinations of vitamins and nutrients.

I volunterred for a 2 week stint back in March. For various reasons it's taking a lot longer.
 

kerneldrop

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Here's my main sharpening setup. I find it way easier to use than my belt sander because i can hold the blade flat rather than up.

I don't buy super steels because they are harder to sharpen. This sharpens the knives I buy.

This knife went from a butter knife to slicing phone book paper effortlessly in 2 mins

Total cost of this sharpening system may be $90.



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