Saturday, October 1, 2011

Foods of October: Pork

In an earlier post, I gave some information about the pig and its meat. I associate the meat with Earth and prosperity. For a long time, only the rich had meat on any sort of regular basis. Pork is lovely served fresh at Mabon and Samhain, and preserved (ham, prosciutto, etc.) at Yule.

The following recipe uses salty smoked bacon. It also features onions for protection, sugar for love, and maple syrup for money attraction. (Cunningham, 1990). I also used a bit of smoked sea salt for extra saltiness and smokiness. This is optional, but if you can get it, do try it. It’s amazing. I ordered mine from www.spicesinc.com. Look for Pacific Smoked Sea Salt.

Bacon Jam (Adapted from www.marthastewart.com)

This recipe uses a slow cooker. If you do not have one, you can simply cook it on low on the stove. Just keep an eye on it and make sure the sugars do not burn.

This bacon jam would be awesome spread on some Brie, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked until the cheese is oozing.

1 lb bacon, cut into 1” pieces
2 medium red onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
½ c apple cider vinegar
¾ c dark brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¾ cup coffee
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Smoked sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, fry the bacon in batches until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour out and reserve all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat.

Cook the onions and garlic on medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.
Mix together the brown sugar and the liquids. Pour into the pan with the onions, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom.

Pour into your slow cooker and add the bacon. Cook on high, uncovered for 3 ½ - 4 hours. Season with paprika, salt and pepper. Store in sterilized jars in the refrigerator.

I got maybe 2 ½ - 3 cups from this recipe. It did not cook down that much in the slow cooker, so I left some of the liquid behind.

This could possibly be canned with a pressure canner, but since I don’t have one, I’m not going to mess with it.

It may look revolting, but it tastes like caramelized onions with some bacony bits for texture.

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