Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chris' Pork and Beer Surprise

When Penny asked me to get involved with her plans to pull off a surprise party for her well deserving husband's 40th birthday I simply couldn't resist helping out!  Pen knew she wanted to serve up copious amounts of pork and beer and I love few things more than pig so the rest of the menu planning was a simple as can be!  Brian has the hardest job; keeping Chris busy for half the day, but a bazillion mile bike ride did the trick and then the party was on!

We started the festivities with an assortment of charcuterie and spreads and preserves in jars.  I was particularly pleased with my pork rillettes, apricot mostarda and bacon marmalade! I had never made any of them before and would definately make all three again.  
Bacon Marmalade
(adapted from Tasty Kitchen)
5 thick slices of Neuske's Bacon
5 Lg Onions, halved and sliced thinly
1/2 T Salt
2 C Apple Cider
1/4 C Sherry Vinegar 
1/3 C Light brown sugar
Leaves from 12 thyme Sprigs
1 1/2 t Black Pepper

Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and add the bacon slices.  Cook until bacon fat is rendered and meat is cooked through.  Remove bacon from pot (keep all the drippings) and reserve.  Add the onions and salt to the pot and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until onions soften and begin to turn golden brown.  Finely chop the bacon and return to the pot with the remaining ingredients.  Cook uncovered for nearly one hour until almost all liquid has evaporated.  When nearly dry, reduce heat to medium and cook for an additional 15 minutes until onions are deep golden brown (add a splash of water if mixture becomes too dry).  Cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve; allow to come to room temperature before spreading on bread or crackers and serving with cheeses.

From there we enjoyed roasted kale chip cones, fried and soaked sprouts, roasted garlic and rosemary potato skewers, and double pork and slaw gwa pao buns!  All of them fit the bill of fare perfectly if I do say so myself! The sprouts have been a longtime favorite of mine, but the buns were out of this world!

Happy birthday Chris!  
I had such a great time planning this special party for you with such fun group of friends.  I hope you enjoyed every  moment of merriment you experienced at your pork and beer surprise!


Mary said...

now that's pretty cool!

Penny said...

Thank you, Mel. You are an all around amazing person and having you be a part of our celebration made it even more special. Rock on!

Angela said...

You really outdid yourself on this one. I can't stop dreaming of rillettes. Such a fun perfect day.

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