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September 09, 2018

Food Thread: Pork Belly Is God's Way Of Saying He Loves Us And Wants Us To Be Happy

Albion pork belly.jpg

If pork belly is on the menu I will probably order it. All too often it is a poorly executed blob of fat with very little flavor. But when it is done correctly, it is a glory of unctuous fat and wonderfully flavored meat and a cracklingly crisp exterior. I think it is partly a function of the quality of the pork, and while the Brits are failing according to almost every one of my measures, they still have a great pork industry that provides spectacular quality stuff.

This pork belly was simple; it wasn't over-seasoned with weird stuff (star anise does not belong on pork, except in Chinese food) or undercooked so the fat was raw, or overcooked so the meat was dry. It was just perfect. And yes, I ate the whole, very large, portion, along with those great crispy potatoes and even the green stuff that seemed like...shudder...kale! Oh, that is a grand and glorious English Bitter, at about 4% alcohol, so one can drink two or three pints (20 ounces to boot!) without being blind drunk.

I have made pork belly, and while I am a reasonably good amateur cook, I haven't come close to making it this well [Limey bastards!].


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tomatoes goat.jpg

I'm not sure why, but this summer has been great for tomatoes. We got plenty of rain, and aside from a few short stretches of miserably hot weather, it was temperate. Whether that is perfect tomato weather I have no idea, but I am going to keep eating them until the inevitable transition to horrid factory-farm ersatz tomatoes hits the market.

That is goat cheese and a sprinkle of kosher salt. And that's it! The cheese was particularly tart, and that went well with the sweetness of the tomatoes.

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I had a pretty good hanger steak with a red wine reduction that was almost ruined by the addition of truffle oil. Why are people still using it? I think that it is an interesting flavor that has its uses in a few foods, but this indiscriminate use of an artificial ingredient that mimics (poorly) the flavor of truffles has run its course. Just stop!
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Existential sausage crisis.jpg

"Thou shalt not put inane things in good food." it's in the bible!

A good bratwurst (or any good sausage) is just fine on its own. I will grudgingly accept a few variations, but when well-meaning people stray this far afield nothing good can come of it.

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I had a ginger-based cocktail recently, and it was a revelation. I asked for the recipe, and it specifies a ginger-honey syrup. I found some recipes on the internet, but my first attempt was not particularly redolent of ginger. I think the next time I will blend the ginger to maximize extraction, and then figure out how to filter the water so it isn't a mess of ginger pulp..

Anyone have any thoughts about this? I could use some help. Not having the correct ingredients is cutting into my drinking!

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Why yes, I am having lamb tonight! It is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and it is a festive holiday that requires good food, and lamb certainly fits the bill. Boneless leg that i will rub with a parsley/garlic/Rosemary/mustard mash and then grill to medium or, if it is raining, roast in a hot oven. But lamb takes to the grill so well, I might just brave the cold and hunch miserably under an umbrella for the few minutes I need to be in front of the grill.

1st World Problems! I love it!

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Food and cooking tips, Haggis, Henry Big Boys in .357, Scotch Eggs, thick and fluffy pita and good tomatoes that aren't square, pale pink and covered with Mestizo E.coli: cbd dot aoshq at gmail dot com. Any advocacy of French Toast with syrup will result in disciplinary action up to and including being nuked from orbit.

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posted by CBD at 04:00 PM

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