February 11, 2018–I recently had the pleasure of traveling all of the world with a group of people as part of a work project. Although we pulled some very long days we also enjoyed some very long nights at great restaurants, bars, and Speakeasy’s. At one of the restaurants in Tampa individuals decided to order very large steaks. Although most finished those that didn’t complained about MEAT SWEATS!
This is kind of how I felt this weekend. When I came home from work on Friday I realized that I had some smoked bacon and pork shoulder in the freezer. I took them both out because I figured that since I was going to be home for the next few days I would cook up some meat. On Saturday, my brother invited me to dinner where he barbecued some ribs, chicken, baked potatoes, and vegetables. I didn’t eat too much because I knew what I had waiting for me back home.
On Saturday morning I made the marinade for the pork shoulder which would eventually be Pernil. It would marinate in the refrigerator for the next 18+ hours. On Sunday morning I prepared for the meat festival. I made a rub of brown sugar, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, smoke paprika, and 10-year old McKenna single barrel Kentucky Straight Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Whiskey. This mixture was liberally applied to the thick cut bacon…
then baked in the oven until nice and crispy…
In order to make my breakfast semi-healthy I ate the bacon with some Creamcheese Pancakes. The sugar/maple syrup did not make it sweet because I think the smokiness of the bacon and the peppers balanced out the flavors. Some of you have experienced, yes it is an EXPERIENCE, my maple bourbon bacon…this was even better. Did I eat all six pieces, well not at one time!
Now while the bacon was cooking I heated up the bottom oven to a low 250-degrees. Into this oven went the eight+ pound pork shoulder which would eventually become Pernil. I made a Pernil late last year but this one turned out waaaaay better. Yes, it took a long time to cook–7+ hours and you have to do a lot of prep and pre-planning, but the end result and flavor is A…MAY…ZING!!!!! You don’t have to take my word for it, look at the pictures-
–and if you don’t believe the pictures then you should query the people in my office. Before I could put warmed plates of it on the table it was quickly snatched and eaten with a piece of buttered Pan Sobao. I thought there was going to be a riot but when I told them that I had plenty to go around everyone lined up in an orderly manner. Oh, for the uniformed this hunk of meat is normally shredded before being served. It is so tender that it literally falls off of the bones. I was barely able to remove it up from the graniteware roaster (thanks again YMDT) without it falling apart. To add even more flavor, if that is even possible, I reduced the pan juices into a sauce that I poured over the shredded Pernil.
For the informed, of course I kept all of the Chicharrón or Chuleta for myself 🙂
Oh, for those that thought that I only baked I present to you Exhibit A!!!!