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Since I'm a thinking man, it's only natural that America's public obsession with bacon would get my mind working - working on developing some sort of monstrous dish suitable not only for display on glutton blogs, but for true gustatory pleasure.  Needess to say, I have very little time for inedible novelties or anachronistic horrors.

I was inspired by the famous Bacon Explosion and this cute little guy, but they both seemed a bit unambitious.  And I'm a lot more ambitious than my semi-yearly blog updates might indicate...

Anyway, I started with a little bit of pork:

Pork.jpgYou might notice that there's no sausage in this picture.  That's because you can't buy sausage made out of...

pork2.jpg...bacon.  I'm not sure what a "pork jowl" is, but mixed with flesh in the right proportion, it made it through my grinder just fine. 

pork3.jpgI used this bacon base for a fairly typical country sausage - adding salt, pepper, thyme, and nutmeg to taste.

While waiting for Catherine to show up with some essential ingredients, I roasted the pork belly.  I'd never cooked pork belly before, but I'd seen this recipe recently, and thought it would be pretty good.

It was:

pork4.jpgNow I know how pork cracklings got their name - that skin is crunchy!

Anyway, I knew going into this thing that one variety of sausage wouldn't be enough.  And since I used bacon in the first one, I bet you'll be able to guess what went into the second...

pork5.jpg(it is that ham-shaped item in the bottom of the picture... I wish I'd actually had some ham that looked as good as the pile of fresh pork).

For contrast, I ground this sausage extra finely and added a ton of pimenton de vera, salt, pepper, and a puree of roasted pepper, hot pepper, and garlic.

Assembly time:

I started by laying a healthy layer of the country sausage on a piece of foil, and topping it with sliced pork belly...

pork6.jpg...then, I added some bacon and smoked sausage...

pork7.jpg...and rolled it up.  After that, we covered it with (you guessed it)...


Next, I added a layer of the peppery sausage...

pork9.jpg...and turned it over to Catherine and Casey for shaping and decoration:

pork10.jpg(the feet have sausages in them)

I didn't want the ears and tail to get all black and gross, so I took them out, and threw the pig in the smoker.  I don't have a scale, but I think it weighed close to 15 pounds...

pork13.jpgIt was finished in a couple of hours. 

pork14.jpgDon't touch!  That is not your meatpig, Christine...

pork15.jpgThe inside was just as realistic as the outside...

pork16.jpgMy guests were all total gluttons.  I even had two vegetarians and one person with a failing gall bladder try it out (they had half slices).  I was disappointed that no observant Jews or Muslims showed up, because I think they would have had to eat some too.  Most of us ended up with nightmares and stomachaches.  They were well-earned.  At the end of the night, there was only enough left for one little sandwich the next day.  I ate it for breakfast, on white bread, with barbecue sauce and ketchup.

Beef Jerky I

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Jerky Ingredients.JPGI started lifting weights a few months ago, and have ever since been attempting to consume the oft-suggested gram of protein per lb. of bodyweight per day.  To accomplish this feat, I decided to start making - and eating - a ton of beef jerky, for the following reasons:

1. That is a fuckton of protein to eat every day.  Seriously.  About four dozen eggs' worth.

2. I am not about to start quaffing whey shakes morning, noon, and night - real food is way better

3.  Jerky is DELICIOUS!!!

Chili Verde

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Chili Ingredients.JPGI've experimented with this dish a couple of times before, but I don't really have a good reference point for what it's really supposed to be like.  Granted, obsession over the "authenticity" of traditional dishes tends toward the comical - a cook's strident advocacy of the bona fides of their barbecue, borscht, or bouillabaisse generally rises in direct proportion to the number of widely accepted (and just as widely divergent) recipes for it. 

Regardless, I've never tasted a traditional New Mexico chile verde.  And since the only recipes I looked at when I made this batch were found on the internet, devoid of the exposition and context that makes the quality and, yes, authenticity, of a cookbook relatively easy to judge after just a few minutes of browsing, I decided to wing it. 

March 2009: Monthly Archives