Occasionally curiosity gets the better of me and I set out on an expedition to do a little caving — in my big freezer. Things get thrown in there and forgotten, often unlabeled. My last trip turned up a bag of what appeared to be frozen roasted pork that had been chopped. A quick microwaving of a piece of it proved that guess correct.
The day before I had dumped some dried pinto beans into a bowl and covered them with water so soak over night. “Pork ‘n beans” — that phrase jumped into my head. I set out to try my hand at it.
Thawed, the roast pork went into a sauce pot with a diced onion to cook down a bit. It was very fatty and I wanted to render some of that out and to get some browning on the pork bits. After the pork browned and I had spooned out most of the rendered fat, I tossed in a couple of teaspoons of cumin seeds. Next came 4 cups of chicken broth and the drained beans. It needed something more, and I had noted a bag of just that something in the freezer.
Last winter I made some pozole (pasole). I had roasted a pork butt with plenty of garlic and onions, and some dried ancho and other chilies. I strained the juices and pureed the peppers and onions with some of the juice.
I dumped the puree into a stock pot and was well on my way with the pozole dish when Mrs J declared the broth to be too damn hot. Sigh.
OK, I ladled much of the offending broth into another sauce pot and replaced it with unseasoned broth. I still had a goodly amount of the other. What to do? Aha!
After reducing the offending broth enough to fit into a plastic ice cube tray, I stuck it into the freezer overnight. It worked as expected:
I have used one or two of these before in chili where they were pretty much wasted because of all the other chili seasonings. They made a world of difference when I added them to the pork and beans.
I had a few spoonfuls over the left over Kentucky biscuits that were getting stale. The beans weren’t quite done yet but I could tell they were very good. They really needed better than those old biscuits.
Mmm… Another batch of my world famous bacon cheddar jalapeno cornbread! I went all in with this batch, red marconi peppers, lots of minced jalapenos, some minced red onion, a good handful of cheddar, the same of sweet corn, and bacon grease. Mrs J declared the corn bread my best ever! I think she may be coming around!