Saturday, November 19, 2016


I've started to make my own home-cured bacon. The first batch came out great, but too salty. Looking it up online, many people recommend soaking the pork belly in water for half hour increments until test pieces taste not too salty. I didn't know to do this. It still came out great, butnlesson learned!

I just put my second pork belly in the fridge with a cure. It was an 8 lb portion this time. I forgot to bookmark the website I used the first time for a recipe, so I'm starting with a new one to use as my base for experimentation. I used this recipe, doubled for the 8 lb belly:

I bought the cure #1 from Bass Pro in their jerkey and sausage making section. It was cheaper online, but I don't use much each time and it was worth the extra few bucks buying locally.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Pork Carnitas Recipe

I've been looking for a good pork carnitas recipe lately. This the best so far:

My take on it:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds of pork, cut into large chunks
  • 1.5 tbsp (4-5 tsp) kosher salt. Reduce the amount if using table salt and not kosher salt. It’s way more dense. 
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 heaping tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 packet chicken bouillon powder (makes 2 cups)
  • 1 packet sazon seasoning
  • 3-4 cans of beer, to cover pork
  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Coat pork with salt, then fry in the pot until brown.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until pork is fork tender, about 2.5 hours
  4. Transfer pork to a large baking sheet and pull/shred pork
  5. Drizzle some of the cooking liquid over the pulled pork and put in the oven at 400 degrees
  6. Every 10 minutes, drizzle more of the liquid over the pork
  7. After 30 minutes, remove pork from oven and serve

Friday, May 16, 2014

Beer 6 - Dotybrew ESB Rebrewed

My family was all in town last month and we decided to hold our own personal beer fest. We stocked up on beers from around the world and had a tasting. Since Dotybrew ESB went over so well last time, I decided to make it again for the beer fest.

Once again, everyone loved it. It wasn't as good as last time though in my opinion. This time the fermentation got stuck at 1.020 so the beer ended up a bit sweeter than last time. Getting stuck at 1.020 is the curse of using extracts and I think I finally found out why. Pouring in the extract too quickly without turning off the burner causes some of it to caramelize when it hits the bottom of the pot. I was more careful for beer 5 than I was for beer 6. Lesson learned!

Ropa Vieja Recipe

This has been one of our favorite recipes lately.
3-4 lbs flank steak
1 packet (or 2 cubes) beef bouillon
1 c beer
12 oz jar Goya red (tomato based) sofrito
6 oz jar tomato paste (I’ll usually get the garlic or Italian spiced one)
2-3 bay leaves
2 large cloves of garlic, diced small
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 onion
2-3 peppers

Add sofrito, tomato paste, bouillon powder, water, bay leaves, garlic, cumin, olive oil, and vinegar to crock pot. Add sriracha or other hot sauce to taste.

Brown flank steak on both sides on stove with a little bit of vegetable oil and put into crock pot, covering with sauce as best as possible.

Cover and cook on low heat for 5 – 6 hours

Chop onion and peppers and add to crock pot, cooking for one more hour on low

I suggest serving with yellow rice. It also works well in tacos, empanadas, and sandwiches.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Beer 5 - Results

Beer 5 is long gone. It was easily the best beer I've made yet. That may end up being the first recipe I repeat.

Oven Baked Ribs Recipe

It's been a long while since I've brewed any beer so I decided this was as good a place as any to post food recipes as well. If nothing else it gives me a good way to go find them again.

Last night I made oven baked ribs. My recipe:

  • Baby back ribs
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Salt 
  • Peper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  1. Turn ribs over and peel membrane off bottom
  2. Rub both sides with salt, peper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cajun seasoning
  3. Lay two large sheets of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and put ribs on top
  4. Lay two large sheets of foil on top of ribs and pinch sides off to seal in ribs
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours
  6. Remove top layers of foil so ribs are exposed to the oven air
  7. Bake one more hour at 300 degrees
If using a BBQ sauce, brush the ribs with it when you remove the foil. In my case, I made a chipotle glaze and served the ribs dry with the glaze on the side.

The glaze recipe is here:

It makes a big batch so there will be plenty of leftover glaze. The glaze goes well with wings also.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beer 5 - Dotybrew ESB

Mash bill:
5 1/2 lbs Pale Malt (2 row)
8 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt
4 oz Amber (crisp) Malt
2.1 oz Aromatic Malt

Mash in at 162.1 F with 7.97 qt of water
Fly sparge with 5.25 gal water at 168.0 F

Add water to achieve boil volume of 6.48 gal
Estimated pre-boil gravity: 1.048 (I was just about spot on)

Boil additions:
3 lb 4 oz LME
5 oz corn sugar (dextrose)
1.25 oz Kent Golding hops - 60 min
0.5 oz Northern Brewer hops - 10 min
0.25 oz Kent Golding hops - 1 min

Post boil volume: 5.73 gal
OG: 1.057

Recipe called for 4 days primary fermentation. I gave it three weeks.

Secondary/dry hop:
0.25 Kent Golding hops - I am using 0.5 oz to finish up the bag. I'm dry hopping in the keg.

Age for 30 days at 65 F

Expected FG: 1.016

I'll post the results in a month!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Brock's Homebrew Supply

I expect that my readership is in the low single digits to zero, but I wanted to give a shout out to my local homebrew supply store. Brock's Homebrew is a new store here in Melbourne. It's on East Ave, just off of Ellis near Downtown Produce. Brock and his employees are fantastic. For the Oktoberfest, I went in knowing that I wanted a partial mash Oktoberfest. Brock came up with the recipt (based on "Kip's Lager" marzen) and walked me through the steps. He also gave me a really good deal on an empty keg and the proper fittings. As much as I like dealing with Austin Homebrew online, I've switched to Brock's for all of me brewing needs. If you're in the Melbourne area, I highly recommend them!

Beer 4 - Oktoberfest 2012

This post is well overdue. Last summer I made my first lager, an Oktoberfest. It was easily the best beer I've made yet. The recipe is:
5 lbs Munich I (Weyermann) grain (7.1 SRM)
1 lb Vienna Malt (Briess) grain (3.5 SRM)
12.0 oz Caramunich I (Weyermann) (51.0 SRM)

Mash in at 162.1 F with 8.44 qt of water
Step temperature 150.0 F for 75 minutes
Fly sparge with 2.70 gal water at 160.8 F

Add water to achieve boil volume of 4.0 gal
Estimated pre-boil gravity is 1.079 SG

3 lbs 4.8 oz LME Golden Light (Briess) (4.0 SRM)
1.0 oz Hallentauer hops - 60 minutes
0.5 oz Tettnang hops - 30 minutes
0.5 oz Tettnang hops - 15 minutes

Estimated post boil volume: 3.25 gal and est post boil gravity: 1.058 SG

I fermented with Wyeast Octoberfest Lager yeast at 55 F for 3 weeks. After three weeks, the SG wasn't down to the final 1.014, rather it was around 0.022. It was sweeter than the recipe called for but I thought it tasted good. At this point I lagered it for two months, kegged it, and tapped in mid October. It came out great! As expected, it was on the sweet side but the flavor was otherwise crisp, clean, and malty, exactly as an Octoberfest should be. This was my first lager, my first partial mash beer, and I was very pleased with the results.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Been Too Long

I know it's been a long time since I posted, but I have made two brews in the interim. Beer 3 was completely unremarkable. I'll post the recipe when I get a chance. It was an English ale and I wasn't a fan of how the hops were used. Also I accidentally got too much yeast into the bottling bucket, and thus the bottles, so it tastes yeasty.

Beer 4 was an Oktoberfest. It was my first lager. I made it last July and will also have more info posted soon, including a recipe. It was easily the best beer I've made to date.