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    International Food Blogger Conference 2011 NOLA

    « Yes, canning jars actually make great souvenirs. | Main | Using my iPhone to catch a little late night pickling in action »
    Wednesday
    Sep292010

    Pickle Meat!

    Pickle Meat?Also known as "Creole Pickled Pork"

    I'm off to New Orleans at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. I'm taking my youngest son with me, to visit my middle son, who's in his second year at Loyola University...

    It's going to be a wonderful trip. The weather is supposed to be sunny & 85 every day, I got a sweet deal on a rental car, and my visit coincides with both the Gretna Heritage Festival and a Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints home game.

    (The only thing that would make this visit perfect? If my oldest son could join us, but duty calls, and he is away at sea for a few more months. His current location is a secret, but the last time I heard from him he was at the Royal Jordanian Naval Base.)

    My boys being, well, boys, one thing they love to do is eat. My Red Beans & Rice was one of their favorite things when they were growing up. I had never even heard about Pickle Meat until 20 minutes ago, when I stumbled across an article about it, but now I'm pretty curious. You can bet I'm going to find the real deal while I'm in the Big Easy, and when I come home, I'm going to make it myself! Boneless pork shoulder meat...how can I go wrong?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     Pickled pork, or "pickle meat", as it's called in New Orleans, is what some folks consider the quintessential seasoning meat for red beans and rice, as well as other bean dishes. Some folks use ham hocks, some smoked ham, some even use tasso. But you'll find a significant number of Creole mamas who'll tell you that it ain't red beans without pickle meat. It's readily available at many New Orleans markets, but you can make it yourself:

    • 2 pounds boneless pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
    • 1 quart distilled white vinegar
    • 1/2 cup mustard seed
    • 1 tablespoon celery seed
    • 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked (not smashed)
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 12 peppercorns

    Combine everything except the pork in a non-reactive saucepan and boil for three minutes. Cool and place in a refrigerator container (plastic, glass or stainless-steel) and add the pork. Stir to remove bubbles. Cover and refrigerate for three days. 

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