Pork Shoulder

Pop this in a 350 degree oven for about four hours and you’ve got a meal for 2-3 days, depending on how many are eating. Save that meaty bone for some homemade soup.

8-10 lbs. bone-in pork shoulder
3 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. cayenne pepper

The night before you plan on serving, place the the meat on a rack in a roasting pan, fat side up, and rub the olive oil all over. Then mix all other ingredients together and with your hands rub all over the pork and pat it on. Cover with foil and place in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350, take rack out of fridge, place on counter while oven preheats. Uncover, place in oven for about 4 hours, or until done. Let rest 10 minutes before you slice and serve.

Chinese Style Boneless Ribs

Baked in the oven and super simple to make. Use the boneless rib meat. Let these marinate several hours or overnight. Double recipe using 2 pans if needed.

Boneless, pork ribs – about 3 pounds total
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. ketchup
6 large, minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
1+ tsp. red pepper flakes

Rinse and pat dry the ribs, place in a pan about 9 x 13. Whisk together all the rest of the ingredients and spread over and around ribs, turning them so they are covered with the sauce. There will not be a lot of sauce, but it will be enough. Cover with foil, place in fridge for several hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees and take ribs out of fridge for about 20 minutes while oven preheats. Place in oven, covered, for about 40 minutes, turn ribs, cover, and bake for about 40 more minutes. Remove foil, continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Check for doneness, serve.

Pork Chops I

Pork chops can dry out and be unwanted so easily. This method keeps them juicy and tender. You must use a pan that can be placed on the stove top as well as in the oven.
6 1/2-inch thick boneless pork chops (loin chops)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 Eggs
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. extra virgin (or regular) olive oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse pork pieces & pat dry; put aside.
On 3 separate pie plates (or shallow dishes or regular plates):
Plate 1: Mix the flour, salt & pepper together with a fork.
Plate 2: Mix the eggs & 2 Tbs. milk together with a fork.
Plate 3: Mix the breadcrumbs & cheese together with a fork.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter & 2 tbsp. oil together on medium heat in a large non-stick skillet.
Using 1 piece at a time, press in the flour – shaking off excess, then the eggs mixture – shaking off the excess, then the breadcrumb mixture, press in the crumbs – shaking off the excess.
Place in pan and turn the heat to med-high cooking till brown – this takes about 5 minutes per side. Turn over & cook the other side same way.
Place in oven for about 25 minutes or until done.

Ribs

This recipe is for oven cooked ribs. Of course you can adapt it for your grill. Begin this process as early in the day as you possibly can so it can meld with the spices.

2 slabs pork spareribs – this is about 3 lbs. each

4 tsp. Kosher salt
4 tsp. black pepper
4 tsp. chili Powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, but does add an interesting kick; maybe split rub in half and add the cayenne to 1/2 for those who like the extra kick)

Mix all spices together. Pour equal amounts on both sides of ribs. Rub in with palm/heal of your hand.

If you don’t halve the recipe, you’ll need 2 pans for these: Place in roasting pan, or high-rimmed sheets. Cover pan(s) with aluminum foil. Let sit in fridge for most of the day – the longer the better.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven’s preheating, take tray out and place on counter top for at least a 20-minute preheat wait.

Cook for 1 hour. Take out and turn ribs over. Re-cover & cook for 45 more longer – alternate racks.

Enjoy!

Sausage Stuffing Made Easy

This stuffing recipe may become a weeknight ritual. It’s so much better than the pre-packaged stuff and it’s oh so delicious!

1 lb. ground sausage (buy the links and split if you can’t buy it loose)
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil + 1/4 cup
Black pepper & Kosher salt to taste

2 loaves of bread – try to get something like focaccia, etc.
1 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 small-medium diced green pepper
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil – drained & chopped
1 small (4 oz.) can drained, chopped black olives
2 minced garlic cloves – or more to taste
4-5 large leaves torn basil
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter cut into little cubes/chunks

Preheat your oven to 350 and get out a large rimmed cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) then grease the pan and set it aside.

Place the 1 tsp. oil into a skillet and when it’s hot crumble and cook the sausage until it’s no longer pink – this takes about 15 minutes – then set aside. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper then transfer to the baking sheet. Bake it for 10 minutes then place the pan on a wire rack to cool a bit.

Meanwhile, cut the flavored bread you bought into cubes, then place in a really large bowl. Add the sausage, cheese, green pepper, tomatoes, olives, basil and garlic. Break the eggs into a bowl or large Pyrex-type measuring cup, add water and whisk; pour this over the bread mixture and mix/toss it to coat.

Now butter a 13 x 9 baking dish and scrape the contents of the bowl into it. Dot with the butter and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Rigatoni & Sausage

You’ll get so many requests to make this that you won’t need a written recipe. Delicious with a crispy green salad or broccoli and some garlic bread. I doubt you’ll have any leftovers – we never do.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. (about 6 links) good quality sweet Italian Sausages
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 – 1 Cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 lb. box Rigatoni

In a deep, large-sized skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook it till it’s golden – this takes about a minute. Add the onion and sausages and cook, breaking up the sausages with a wooden spoon – this takes about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to high, and brown the sausage mixture for about 10 minutes. If the heat seems too high, lower it a bit, but don’t turn it too low, you want it to crisp the sausages. Stir and scrape the browned bits from the bottom, then add the can of sauce, salt & pepper to taste – stirring. Reduce the heat to medium and cook/simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni. Before you drain it, reserve 1 cup of the hot cooking water; drain and return it to the pot. Add the sauce mixture to the pot of rigatoni, stir, add the reserved cooking water and the grated cheese stirring for about 1 minute. Serve.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Patties

img_0112.jpgWow your family with this delicious way to cook ground pork. Serve this with a cold macaroni salad, a green vegetable and perhaps some crusty bread – you’ll be all set. On a personal note, I like to offer a bit of maple syrup on the side, just in case the mood strikes for that “breakfast” taste. Enjoy!

2 pounds ground pork
1/2 cup slivered almonds (or walnuts or pecans)
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 a peeled & chopped onion
4 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
8 slices bacon
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. butter

Into a large bowl, place the ground pork. Add all the rest of the ingredients, up to the pepper, in a food processor and give it a blitz to combine; add to the pork along with the bread crumbs and mix well to combine – you made need to rinse and re-wet your hands while making about 8 patties.

After forming the patties, wrap a piece of bacon around each one then place the oil and butter into a large skillet and warm on med-high; add about 4 patties and cook well on each side about 10 minutes then turn over and repeat – cook until done. Place on paper-towels to drain some of the fat then serve.

Mini Meatball Soup

basil1.jpgThese little meatballs are baked, not fried, then placed in a pot that’s already been simmering with some delicious vegetables. Wait till you taste it!

1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
1-1/2 lbs. ground chuck (or a combo of beef, pork, veal – whatever you like)

2 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
1 small diced onion
3 heaping tsp. minced garlic or to taste – we like lots!
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 a small eggplant, peeled & cubed
3 red potatoes, peeled & cubed
6 whole basil leaves, ribbon-sliced
2 14 oz. cans of vegetable broth
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 cups water
1/2 cup small pasta (I use the little stars or ditalini)

First make the meatballs: Preheat the oven 350 degrees and lightly grease or spray a rimmed cookie sheet tray. In a medium-sized bowl, place the milk, bread crumbs, cheese, salt, pepper, parsley and mix well. Add the meat and mix gently, but well. (Over mixing will cause the meatballs to be tough). Make little meatballs – I make 35; 7 rows of 5. Then place in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove and set aside. Meanwhile make the soup base.

Add the olive oil to a dutch oven or soup pot – heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, eggplant, and potatoes – cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil, broth, tomatoes, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes – while the meatballs cook.

Add the meatballs to the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes; add the pasta and cook for about another 15 minutes. Adjust your seasonings and dig in!

Peach Pork Picante

Ole! This is great over rice.

4 pork/loin chops, cut into small chunks
1 packet Taco seasoning pack
2 Tbsp. olive oil – extra virgin is best
3 tsp. minced garlic – or to taste
3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup peach preserves
Black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the oil. While it’s heating, toss the meat with the taco seasoning pack in a large plastic or paper bag. Place in the hot pan and cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Then add all the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes – until done.

Place white rice in individual bowls and ladle this over the top.

Pork Roast

img_0204.jpgWhat a savory way to cook a pork roast. Prepare early in the day to marinate for a few hours, if time allows. Serve this to your friends and family in any kind of weather – it’s great year round. Homemade applesauce is fabulous alongside. Dig in and enjoy!

5 lb. pork roast
Heaping Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
4 bay leaves
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. dried thyme

With a small, sharp knife, make some slits all round the roast. Mix the garlic, salt, and pepper together and rub all over and into the slits as best you can.

Place the bay leaves on the bottom of the roasting pan and place the roast on top, fat side up.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar and thyme and pour over the top of the roast. Cover the whole thing with aluminum foil and place in the fridge for as long as possible.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Take pan out of fridge for 30 minutes while oven preheats.

Bake for 3 hours, or until done, basting at least every 1/2 hour.