Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Recipes from Baconpalooza 2013

 Photo Courtesy of Molly Peterson

So this post is a little late. I'm so very sorry. I have had a LOT going on lately. I started a new job, which has been stressful, time consuming and very draining. It's definitely not my dream job, but as Anne Hathaway said in "The Devil Wears Prada,"-- "Here's to jobs that pay the rent." That's all I'm going to say about that right now. *** UPDATE: I no longer work at that awful job, and now I am the Lead Assistant for The Paleo Parents! Yay! I now work from home for Stacy and Matt and I love my job! See? All things work out for the best!***

So back to things I love spending time and energy on, like cooking and eating bacon. A little less than a month ago I participated in the Paleo Bacon Cook-Off for Baconpalooza. I promised to post the recipe the following week, but I immediately started my new job, and this got postponed. I am doing a guest post later this week on Paleo Parents (eek! first guest post EVER!) to re-cap all the fun details of the event, but here are the recipes I promised from my entry.

Photo Courtesy of Molly Peterson

You guys already have access to that fabulous BBQ sauce, and so I will divulge the simple secrets to the rest of the dish.

For the meat of the dish, I slowly braised a combination of pork butt, jowl, and belly for 8 hours. I used this combination of cuts to achieve a truly luscious blend of meat. The belly and the jowl are both fattier cuts than a butt or a shoulder, and they also tend to have more flavor. I also wanted to make a "whole hog" BBQ, so I mixed and matched cuts. This makes a HUGE batch, but you can certainly pair it down and only use a butt or a shoulder with the same method, and less rub with similar results for a smaller recipe.  

For the Pulled Pork:

2 bone-in Boston Butts
1 Pork Jowl, the top layer of fat trimmed down as much as possible (reserve for another use, like to make lard!)
1 Pork Belly, again, the top layer of fat trimmed down as much as possible
1 cup of purified water

1. Thoroughly coat all of the pieces of pork in the rub. Really massage it into that lucious pork! Refridgerate overnight.

2. The next day, place all of the pork in a LARGE dutch oven (I used my trusty Le Creuset) and cook for 7-8 hours in the oven at 225, until the meat is falling apart and tender. **You could probably also cook this in a crock pot, but alas, I don't have one!
3. Carefully remove the pork to drain off the excess fat and liquid. I placed the pork on top of a cookie rack, which was placed over a cookie sheet.
4. Allow the pork to cool enough to handle it, and then carefully and methodically shred the meat with two forks. This took me quite a while for all this meat.
5. Now you can store the shredded meat in the fridge until you are ready to combine it with the sauce.

Next, I combined the shredded pork with the Pete's Paleo bacon. Let me just say, this bacon is hands down, THE BEST you will find. I might be a little partial, because Pete is one of my friends and fellow classmates from culinary school, but seriously, you guys HAVE to try this stuff. One of the fabulous things about Pete's bacon, is that it's extra smoky with goes really well with my BBQ flavors. In addition, Pete ships his bacon out in SLABS instead of pre-sliced, allowing you to decided how thick you want your bacon! I decided to cut it into lardons, which is a fancy french word for a medium dice. Boy did my hand hurt after cubing up 4 pounds of bacon! I then cooked the bacon lardons in my trusty cast iron skillet, reserving the bacon grease in a jar for my own use later. ;) Perks of the job, you know! In the end, my BBQ mixture was about 60% pulled pork and 40% bacon lardons. If you are trying to pair down the recipe to feed a smaller crowd, just use this ratio. You could also just cut up any bacon of your choosing, fry it up, and add it to your pulled pork mixture.

Next, I whipped up a quadruple batch of my Paleo Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce. YUM! I combined this with the luscious pulled pork/bacon lardon mixture at the contest. That was one HUGE pot of BBQ! Mustard BBQ doesn't always look super appetizing (or photograph well on it's own), but it is insanely good. If you like honey mustard, and you like BBQ, you will love Mustard Based sauce, also known as Carolina Gold.

I also made a simple Peach Jalapeno Salsa:
Makes TWO large Mason Jars

12 ripe peaches, diced
8 jalapenos, de-seeded, and small diced
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons of chili powder
a few good pinches of sea salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer to your mason jars. This is a fresh salsa that should be eaten within a few days of making.

Lastly, the pickled onions! So easy, so delicious

 Photo Courtesy of Molly Peterson

Pickled Onions

4 red onions, thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of sea salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer to mason jars, and store in the fridge. These will keep much longer in the fridge, up to a month. They are good on EVERYTHING from these tacos, to salads, to sardines!

The last element of the appetizer was the raw jicama shell. I got the idea from Zen Belly Blog, so head over to her post to see how its done!

That's all I am going to say for now about Baconpalooza, but be sure to look for my guest post soon!

  Photo Courtesy of Molly Peterson

  Photo Courtesy of Molly Peterson


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