Friday, May 28, 2021

Flashback Friday - Pulled Pork with Peaches

flashback friday graphic
This post originally appeared on on March 28, 2014. I know Lent's not over, but whatever - I don't participate. So pass the pork!


The February issue of Saveur magazine has several interesting recipes for peaches, which seems odd when there's snow on the ground. But canned peaches can be just as tasty; indeed the focus of the article was canning. And while I don't do any canning myself, Del Monte, Libby's, etc., does.

When I spotted a relatively inexpensive pork shoulder at the grocery store, I decided we needed to try the peach-braised pulled pork. Once home, I realized the recipe called for a 3 lb boneless shoulder, and we had just purchased one that weighed 8.5 lbs, bone-in. It also called for whole cloves, smoked paprika, and lager beer. We had ground cloves, no paprika, and a couple bottles of my brother-in-law's home brewed ale. So I do what I always do--make substitutions. Allspice works just as well as cloves when it comes to matching with peaches, and as long as the beer wasn't stout, it would be fine. As for the paprika--I could have sworn I had a big bag of it in the cupboard, but I suppose I'll have to order more from Penzey's or the Spice House. There's really no substitute, so I just skipped it completely.

I knew from the get-go that 3 hours wouldn't be enough cooking time for the porky behemoth we bought--but what would be?

Three hours into cooking, the meat was cooked but still a little tough. I decided to hack the shoulder into chunks, to help it along. By four+ hours, I was getting impatient and hauled the thing out of the oven. It was plenty tender, but not tender enough to shred with two forks. Instead, I chopped it up with a big knife, all the while sampling it to make sure it was good. I'm all about quality control.

The magazine calls for using only half a cup of the pan juices. There were at least 2 cups, and it seemed like a real waste to toss it (and the onions, garlic, and peaches within it) because it tasted so rich and porky. So I emulsified the whole mess with a stick blender, added half a cup of brown sugar and the rest of the peaches and peach syrup, and boiled it vigorously for about fifteen minutes. And instead of serving it with sauteed onions and peach jam, I made some slaw with brussels sprouts, because that's what we had.

It was great, but we had pork for days and days. And days. Not complaining, but 8.5 lbs is a lot of pork for two people.

Peach-Braised Pulled Pork, adapted from Saveur

3 tbsp olive oil
3-8 lb boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 allspice berries
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large yellow onion, cut into quarters
2 (12-oz.) bottles beer
1 (1-qt.) jar canned peaches in syrup, drained or use store-bought
1/2 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325°.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a baking pan or dutch oven large enough to hold your meat.

Season pork with salt and pepper. Brown meat on all sides, about 10–12 minutes. Remove meat from pan and add allspice, bay leaves, garlic, and onion to pan; cook until browned, 6–8 minutes. Add beer; cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until reduced by half, 10–12 minutes.

Return pork to pan and add half the peaches. Bake, covered, until pork is tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into pork reads 190°, 3–5 hours. Let cool. If pork is tender enough, use two forks to shred the meat, otherwise, chop it with a sharp knife.

Pour two cups of the pan juices, plus any solids (minus bay leaves), into a sauce pan. Puree with a stick blender. Add the remaining peaches and their juice and the brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for fifteen minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir chopped meat into the sauce. If you are using a huge shoulder, like we did, save some of the meat for other uses, like pasta sauce.

Posted on

Monday, May 10, 2021

Avocado Oil Mayonnaise #sponsored

Mr Minx and I have been on the Whole30 diet off and on for a couple of years. While it's fairly strict about the carbohydrates allowed, it's much more generous with fats. Mayonnaise is not an enemy--except if it's made with soybean oil. Soy products are verboten on the diet.

It's fairly difficult to find a commercial mayo not made with soybean oil. We've tried a couple of fancy ones procured at Whole Foods, but didn't enjoy them. One was made with avocado oil, and it was pretty awful. So when Better Body Foods asked me if they could send me some of their Avocado Oil Mayo to try, I almost said no. I am glad I didn't! Their mayo, made with 100% avocado oil, tastes like the best commercial mayonnaises on the market, without the funky flavor of other brands we've tried.

When asked to create a recipe for Avocado Oil Mayo, I could think of no better way to use it than as an accompaniment to steamed artichokes. Mayo with a bit of lemon juice makes a perfect dipper for a vegetable that we don't eat nearly often enough. Of course the mayo is also great in things like chicken salad, as a sandwich spread, in deviled eggs, etc.

Better Body Foods Avocado Oil Mayo comes in three flavors, chipotle lime, lime, and original, and can be purchased at Amazon.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

Posted on

Monday, May 03, 2021

August Uncommon Tea

I'm a bit of a tea addict. I practically collect it. When I'm in NY, I always stop in my favorite tea shop and emerge with $50 worth of goodies from rooibos to oolong. I even follow tea company accounts on Instagram. And you know those scary Facebook ads, the ones that are hawking products that are almost always exactly something that you've been looking for or didn't know you needed? Sometimes mine are for tea. I'm pretty sure that's how I discovered August Uncommon Tea. In any case, they have every type of tea one needs in life, from dark and rich to light and floral with everything in between, and all are available in 14g deluxe samples, which are good for four cups of brew. Try before you buy is my motto!

I went a little crazy and purchased a baker's dozen of samples last fall, just at the beginning of peak tea drinking season. I justified the number as I planned to give a few to a tea-drinking friend, though in reality he only received three. And I had a hard time deciding which ones to give up.

Some of the teas have fairly unusual ingredients, like the Leatherbound which has an obvious caraway note. The Black Lodge features smoky banana and black truffle. I think both of these flavors are my favorites of the ones I've tried thus far.

And of course I do plan to try more. In fact, I have the site open in another browser tab and have already put a few more samples in my shopping cart. (Psychocandy! Biarritz!) This is one addiction that is not harmful--well, except that caffeine gives me heart palpitations, but I never drink *that* much tea. (That would be a lot.)

Tell me - are you a fan of tea? What is your favorite type? Do you prefer herbal blends or real tea? To be honest, I like it all. Because of the caffeine thing, I need to drink more decaf teas, so Rooibos is always on my playlist. But I can't quit black tea, which is actually my fave. I just maybe drink less of it. Maybe.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

Posted on