This fast approaching traditional Oktoberfest in many German communities, I searched Pinterest for a great Oktoberfest recipe to go with great German beer. Usually I just fry up some kielbasa, throw in the sauerkraut and red wine vinegar and serve. I needed to up my game. This recipe fits the bill! Sorry, no pics as we ate it all up! Indeed, it turned out perfect. (Too bad we dont usually drink beer…LOL)
German Style Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
- 1-pound Kielbasa, Sliced
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
- 1 whole Large Apple, Cored and Diced
- 1-quart Sauerkraut, Rinsed and Drained
- 1 cup Apple Juice
- ½ cups Brown Sugar OPTIONAL (as the juice adds enough sweetness for us)
Brown kielbasa in oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add chopped onion and sauté until onion is translucent.
Add apples and sauté for a minute until they start to soften.
Add rinsed and drained sauerkraut, apple juice and brown sugar, stir to combine.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Carnitas, literally meaning “little meats”, is a dish of Mexican cuisine that originated in the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender. The process takes three to four hours, and the result is very tender and juicy meat, which is then typically served with chopped coriander leaves (cilantro), diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and refried beans (frijoles refritos).
Pork carnitas are traditionally made using the heavily marbled, rich boston butt or picnic ham cuts of pork. The 6–16 lb (3–7 kg) sections are usually cut down to a workable (6–10 lb) size and seasoned heavily before slow braising or deep frying.
The traditional way to cook carnitas is in a copper pot (or any thick-bottomed pot), which disperses the heat evenly in a process similar to confit. Lard is used to cover the dish in proportion to the amount of meat being cooked. Once the lard has melted, pork and flavorings are added (usually salt, chili, cumin, oregano or Mexican oregano, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, and crushed garlic cloves). Traditional carnitas are then made by a process of simmering the meat in the lard until tender over a very low heat. Once appropriate tenderness is achieved, the heat is turned up and the outside of the pork begins to crisp. At this stage, the collagen in the meat has broken down sufficiently to allow it to be pulled apart by hand or fork or chopped with a cleaver. (WIKIPEDIA)
Having read that, you are probably thinking TOO MUCH WORK! Indeed, my spouse made carnitas the traditional way, complete with the copper pan we bought in Quiroga when we visited that area of Mexico. It took hours and was incredible BUT….too time consuming and messy!
One of my favorite Mexican TV cooks is Pati Jinich, who has a program on PBS and on YouTube (Pati’s Mexican Table). The following recipe is her version and done on the stovetop in a Dutch oven. It was PERFECT and a lot less onerous.
Brown Sugar Carnitas
- 1 cup lard, vegetable shortening, or oil (I used oil)
- 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, fat on, cut into 3” chunks
- 4 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups milk, divided
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 white onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup brown sugar or brown sugar substitute.
Heat the lard in a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Season the meat with 2 teaspoons of the salt and the black pepper. Once the lard has melted, add the meat, brown on all sides, stirring and flipping as it does, for about 10 to 12 minutes.
In the jar of a blender, pour 1 ½ cups of the milk and add the garlic, onion and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Puree until smooth. Pour over the meat and let it come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, drop in the bay leaves, and cover. Cook covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, flipping the chunks of meat a couple times in between.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup milk with the sugar. Pour over the carnitas, stir, and let them continue to cook, uncovered, for another 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat.
With a slotted spoon, remove the meat and place in a bowl. Shred with a couple forks, add a couple tablespoons of the seasoned fat remaining in the casserole and toss.
This is normally eaten in tacos with toppings like sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo salsa, etc. As you can see we skipped the tacos/tortillas and simply plated it with some rice and green beans.
You just can’t have one without the other, as the old song used to say! Oh, that was love and marriage….for those old enough to remember. I had purchased ground pork and ground beef to make Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie. Since I did not use all of the pork I had fresh ground pork to use up. Pinterest again! There was also some leftover chicken breast from the rotisserie chicken I had purchased. Clean out the fridge!!! Today you are getting both recipes…..
Chinese Pork Meatballs
∙ Makes 20 meatballs
- 1 lb. Ground pork
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 tsp Ginger
- 2 tsp Soy sauce
- 2 tsp Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Five-spice powder
- 2 pinches White pepper, ground
- 3 tbsp Peanut oil
In a large bowl, combine the pork, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and pepper, and mix well.
Roll 1 heaping tablespoon of pork mixture into a ball and continue until all the pork mixture is used.
In a wok over medium heat, heat the peanut oil. Using a wok spatula, spread the oil to coat enough of the wok surface to fry about 10 meatballs at a time. Lower the meatballs into the wok in batches.
Cook without moving for about 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are cooked through. Use the spatula to carefully rotate the meatballs to cook on the other sides.
Keep rotating the meatballs gently until cooked through.
For a heavenly dipping sauce, combine equal parts low-sodium soy sauce and honey.
Chinese Fried Rice Serves: 4
- 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
- 1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots
- 1 egg, whisked
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- 3 green onions, diced
- Add veggies and oil to a large pan or skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Scoot all of the veggies to one half of the pan. Add egg and allow to cook for 1 minute, then scramble it with a spoon or spatula and stir in with veggies.
- Add rice to pan. Add soy sauce and stir over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until browned. Sprinkle remaining seasonings over the rice and stir another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in green onions.
I know it sounds a little odd, but this is a very good dish served with rice or maybe Costco Ancient Grains. As usual my slow cooker had it ready in three hours on HIGH, contrary to what the recipe says. It seems every time I use my SC I have the same problem. What do the rest of you find? Mine is a Hamilton Beach with setting – High, Low and Warm. I can never go away and leave it even on LOW…grrr. Be aware…
- 1.5 lb. trimmed flank steak
- 2 cups sliced onions
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 T. quick cooking Tapioca, crushed
- 1 T. grated fresh ginger
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, sliced (whites and greens separated)
- 3 cups hot cooked rice (or Ancient Grains)
- Cut meat into 6 portions. In a 3.5 cup slow cooker combine meat and sliced onions.
- In a medium bowl, mix the next 6 ingredients (through garlic). Pour over the meat. Sprinkle with WHITE portions of the green onions
- Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours…or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. (3 in my case!)
- Remove meat, reserving cooking liquid.
- Slice meat across the grain or coarsely shred and return to the cooker.
- Serve over rice and sprinkle with the GREEN portions of the green onions.
Makes 6 servings.
Well maybe an overstatement, as I am still looking for the BEST one…LOL. In the interim I tried this one and was quite happy with it overall. Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated as I approach 14000 views on this blog!! Thanks to all of you have stopped by… here is the result with chicken thighs…
Best Chicken Marinade Ever
- 6 Chicken breasts or 3.5 lb. chicken
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 2 tsp Rosemary, dried
- 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon or spicy brown mustard
- 1/8 cup Lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Black pepper, ground
- 3/4 cup Brown sugar ( I cut this back to 1/4 cup so not so sweet)
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Olive oil, extra virgin
- Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a large Pyrex measuring cupor mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Remove a half a cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
- Place chicken in a large, Ziploc bagand pour marinade over the top. Close securely.
- Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat and lightly oil the grates.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off.
- Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- Baste the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade.
- Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving
Thought I could Thai one on since it is now summer…LOL. Sorry that there is no photo, but we were travelling and no camera available.
Thai Basil Beef Bowls
Yield: about 4 servings
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice for serving
- 1 lb. flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced into 2-inch strips
- 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chop larger leaves), plus more for garnish
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Sambal Oleek, or more to taste (optional)
- Cook rice according to directions listed on package.
- For the sauce:
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and Sambal Oleek if using, set aside.
- For the beef and veggies:
- Toss beef with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp cornstarch. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over moderately high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on both sides but still slightly under-cooked in the center. Transfer beef to a plate while leaving oil in skillet. Reduce heat slightly, add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté until crisp tender, about 2 – 3 minutes (if needed you can add another 1 tsp of oil to the skillet). Add carrots, whisk sauce mixture once more then pour into skillet and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to skillet along with basil leaves, toss until basil has just wilted. Serve immediately over cooked rice garnished with small basil leaves and sesame seeds if desired.
- Recipe source: Cooking Classy
We are back! On March 10th we flew with two friends to Mexico City for three days and then we flew over to Puerto Vallarta for a few more days to visit with our friends who have moved over there last year. A bonus was seeing our old friends Bruce and Mary who we had last seen four years ago. FYI…Bruce and Mary have a wonderful blog Set Free in Mexico https://setfreeinmexico.com/ if you want to read about their adventures.
Today’s recipe is an easy one…mix the marinating ingredients and pour over the chops, refrigerating for 6 hours or so. After that, just BBQ…
Marinated Grilled Pork Chops
- 4 to 6 pork chops
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard or gourmet mustard blend
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Wash chops and pat dry. Put in a large food storage bag. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the chops. Seal the bag and turn to coat the pork chops. Refrigerate for *3 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.
- Grill the chops over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until the chops register about 160° on an instant read thermometer.
Sadly, my Maple Chipotle Rub being sent from Canada seems to have gotten lost along the way. In desperation I sought out another rub recipe on Pinterest as I bought some lovely boneless beef ribs at Costco. The recipe was posted from inthekitchenwithkath.com. (It had been adapted from Mark Bittmans How to Cook Everything the basics). It can be used on beef, pork or poultry. Below are the instructions with the recipe for Southern Barbecue Rub below that. The rub will keep in the fridge…
Slow Roasted Ribs (one 3 or 4 lb. rack)
- Preheat the oven to 250˚F*
- Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is easily done by loosening an end with a knife and then grabbing the piece with a clean paper towel and pulling it off.
- Place the ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet, meaty side down. Rub a generous amount of the barbecue rub on both sides of the rack.
- With the ribs bone-side down, put the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for 2 hours.
- Turn the ribs over and roast for another hour.
- Turn the ribs over so they are again bone-side down and roast for one more hour, or until the ribs are fork-tender and practically falling off the bone.
- Cut the ribs into serving pieces and enjoy!
*NOTE Because my ribs were boneless I was able to reduce the cooking time! I cooked them first for 1 hour at 300 degrees F and then turned them over to cook for another half hour, reducing the heat to 250 F. They were done, but you should check them before turning off the oven, depending on the thickness of the boneless ribs.
*Southern Barbecue Rub (Adapted from a recipe in Joy of Cooking)
- ¼ cup sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons chili powder (You could use smoked paprika instead.)
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional) I used this