Friday, 14 February 2020

Mr. Ferdzy's Family Pulled Pickled Pork

I got this recipe from Mr. Ferdzy's brother. Admittedly, it was simpler then: instead of the list of spices, it called for a packet of Club House pickling spice, the vinegar, and the meat. How and why he suddenly came up with this dish from his youth decades later, I am not sure.

I looked the ingredients up on line and reverse engineered the list below. I'm glad I did, because the package has been changed since then and I don't know if it is the same size or not. At any rate, there is no guarantee that commercial products will be around forever.

When I made this recipe the first time, it was for a family gathering with both of Mr. Ferdzy's brothers, and all three of them were aflush with nostalgia, so I think I must have the spice blend reasonably correct. Quite apart from the family history, this is a very simple and delicious way to prepare a shoulder pork roast. I've now made it both slow-cooked in the oven and in the Instant-Pot. As usual, the oven technique produces the better result, but the Instant-Pot is fine and even quicker and easier. Mr. Ferdzy's mom would have made it in a more old-fashioned pressure cooker, but that was, in fact, the original method of cooking this.

6 to 12 servings
about 15 minutes prep time
plus 1 hour per pound in the oven
OR plus 15 minutes per pound plus 45 minutes pressure cooked

Mr. Ferdzy's Family Pork Recipe

Measure the Spices:
1 2" piece of cinnamon
2 to 6 bay leaves
6 cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole mustard seed
1 tablespoon whole coriander seed
2 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon fenugreek seed
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian OR smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Measure everything into a small bowl or directly into the pot in which the meat is to be cooked. Don't bother to grind anything. 

Cook the Pork:
2 to 3 kilo (4 to 6 pound) pork shoulder roast
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon bacon fat or mild vegetable oil

Trim off and discard much of the skin and fat from the roast. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the roast on all sides. You will need your ventilation fan set on high!

To cook the roast in the oven: put the roast into a cover-able roasting pan with the spices and the vinegar; cover. Use the higher number of bay leaves. Put it in the oven and bring the heat up to 225°F. Remove the lid about halfway through the process. Cook for approximately 1 hour per pound, but expect that it may take a little longer. The meat should be falling apart when done, and the bone will pull right out. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

To cook the roast in an Instant Pot: put the rack into the pot, and put in the roast. Pour in the spices, the vinegar. Use only 2 bay leaves. Seal the pot, and cook on "Meat/Stew" (high pressure) for 15 minutes per pound. Allow the pressure to drop naturally; 20 minutes to half an hour.

In either case it is not a bad idea to cook the meat in advance, cool it, and remove the bones and fat. It reheats very well, in a little of the cooking juices. They are, however, very intense being mostly vinegar, and don't really work too well as sauce. Serve the meat with enough to keep it moist and tasty, but don't think of it as gravy.

Last year at this time I made Haluski.

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