Sunday, March 15, 2009

Aluminum Chef Results: Battle Pork Shoulder

I have been bested. More about that later.

This was the inaugural aluminum chef challenge, complete with trophy. After browsing the ads for a budget friendly ingredient we agreed upon pork shoulder, each doing 2 courses but not dessert. We settled upon a scoring method similar to that of popular cooking competitions, 5 points for plating, 5 points for originality, 10 points for taste, everyone would judge.

I started prep early Saturday morning by cutting a portion of my pork shoulder of for use in the appetizer and seasoning the remaining portion with salt and pepper. I was going to be preparing a pasta with pork ragu and so started the sauce early in the day by searing the pork shoulder, browning up some onion and garlic, deglazing with wine and then letting everything simmer together with a couple cans of tomatoes and herbs.

My appetizer was a ricotta pork meatball skewer with veggies and mozzarella balls. I chopped the pork shoulder and mixed it with some ground beef, ricotta, herbs, and other normal meatball fixings. These went into the oven to roast until browned and then covered with a few cups of tomato sauce and cook for two hours.

Curt prepared carnitas nachos and carnitas tacos. The pork was marinated in citrus and cola for a day before the cooking which leant it a very nice sweet and citrusy flavor that helped cut through the fatty pork. They were very tasty dishes.

At the end of the day I was beaten by one point and Curt took home the aluminum chef trophy for battle pork shoulder. There was some difficulty with the mozzarella balls not actually being skewered and falling off that may have cost me a point or two. Never fear, I will have my revenge!

So any suggestions on what future battles we can have?
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