9.11.2011

Pork Party + Couch Day + Rainbows & Lightning = Really Long Title

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Last summer was a little hectic, and a lot of lazy. Two very important events made it so. First, our condo was on the market, which meant absolute cleanliness, open houses, and strangers. Second, I broke my elbow which limited my mobility and hostess capacity, and we ate a lot of quick dinners, and didn't throw any parties.

And when Couch Day came around on Labor Day weekend, we had packed up and stored all of our furniture, including the beloved couches, and instead had a Goodbye Condo Party.

This year, Couch Day received a new start, at a new home. And since summer slipped right by us, and we didn't end up having a Pork Party, we decided to combine the two celebrations. For a little background on both, check out previous posts: Couch Day '09 and Pork Party '09.

I typically avoid cooking on Couch Day. Drinking begins at noon, and it's hard to stay motivated, follow recipes, and be away from the couches. But this year, most of the prep was done the night before. We purchased two, nice-looking pork butts, ground our spices, and massaged the pork with the dry rub, letting it marinade in the fridge over night. That morning, I cooked the pork, beans, prepared meat balls and other snacks for phase one of Couch Day, picked a good spot on the couch, and enjoyed the afternoon drinking and relaxing with the friends. At around 3:30 pm, I pulled the pork from the oven, shredded it, cooked up the sauce, and we made ourselves little tacos, descending upon the pork like vultures.

The taco idea, all mine, was pretty brilliant. The pork made a super tasty filling, and our friend brought freshly made guacamole, with mango and pineapple. The tropical flavors went well with the spicy meat. The meal added a new delicious dimension to Couch Day. We might have to make this a new tradition. That is, if I don't resort back to my lazy ways.

As if this day wasn't spectacular enough, after our early dinner, we wondered outside for some fresh, non-air conditioned air, and witnessed a beautiful and huge, double rainbow. We hung around for a while, oohing, and taking photos, and then there was lightning and thunder. Now, you might think, call it a night, things can't get any better, but they did. In the strange weather, we walked to the Altadena Ale House, where a good time was had by all, drinking more beers and taking over the jukebox. And that my friends, is the proper way to pay tribute to your couches, who throughout the year give us so much pleasure and comfort, and ask for so little in return.
Couch Day Crew, 2011, minus my brother, who's playing photographer
Arrogant Bastard Pork
via Pittsburgh, with adjustments
Serves 10 generously

There’s a bit of a
story with this recipe. It comes from our Pittsburgh friend, who loves his pork. And, it lives somewhere in my gmail account. I made this recipe once in 2009, and my brother deemed it “the best pork” he’s ever had. It was quiet the honor. This time, I misread this recipe, and used an ale instead of a porter, and the husband and I declared this an “even better pork than the best pork”. So here’s to delicious mistakes.

For the dry rub:

2, 3.5 lbs. pork butts
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons ground mustard seed
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
22 ounces of Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

1) Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Rub all pork. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2) The next day, Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Unwrap pork, and with a little bit of olive oil, brown all sides in a heavy dutch oven you plan to roast your pork in.
3) Place browned pork in the over, and cook for 30 or some minutes, until its dark.
4) Remove from oven. Lower oven to 325 degrees, and pour about 15 ounces of the beer over the top, cover and cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until tender.
5) Remove the meat from the pot, and place on large platter to shred.
6) To the pan juices add:

1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons adobe sauce
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (I totally forgot this! And, the pork was spicier, but still delicious. With the sweet ketchup in this recipe, I think the sugar is optional)
the rest of the beer

7) Bring to a simmer until reduced by half and thick, about 10-20 minutes.
8) While the sauce is boiling down, pull apart the pork with two forks.
9) At this point, you can throw the shreds into the sauce, or serve the sauce on top.

This pork is magical and good just by itself, or you can make tacos, like we did, and these tasted like little bites of pork heaven. Since we had leftovers, we even made quesadillas.

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