Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The word 'fat' is in this post 15 times

I really enjoy Cafe Rio's Pork Barbacoa salad.  Cafe Rio requests their employees to sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose their top secret recipes, so a few online bloggers have posted what they deem to be a pretty close interpretation of the Pork Barbacoa.  The recipe called for a picnic pork roast; something I've never heard of since I don't cook pork often enough to know the different cuts. It just so happened that there was a picnic roast on sale, so I purchased the 4 lb hunk of meat and stuck it in the crock pot.  This particular roast was covered in a layer of fat. I chose not to trim it off because I had (this is where the story starts to go downhill) watched Top Chef last week and the head judge critiqued someone for removing the fat from their pork loin. Apparently, the fat gives the pork most of it's taste, and stupid me thought "then this should be a great tasting picnic roast". According to the recipe, I was to fill the crock pot up half way with water, place the roast inside, and cook it on high for 4 hours, after which I would remove the roast, drain the water, remove the fat, add the sauce mixture, and cook on low for an additional 4 hours. So, four hours pass and I began the preparations to remove the roast and discard the water. When I lifted the lid off the crock pot, the stench of death began wafting out of the pot. I had to plug my nose with my lips (a choice few of you have seen this trick of mine) to stifle any gagging. I pulled the roast out, placed it on a cutting board, and began to examine what fat I would be trimming off.  After examining the meat, it didn't look like any pork underneath the fat had cooked. It's still very red, and lukewarm to the touch, which shouldn't be the case after being in a crock pot on high for 4 hours. I turned the roast over and noticed the fat is puckering in an unusual way. I tried to remove the fat, but my knife wouldn't cut through it.  As I looked closer, I noticed the fat almost looked like it had pores on it. I lifted the fat up away from the meat a bit and I noticed that there was another layer of normal looking fat underneath the layer of unusual, stinky fat. I recoiled, realizing I had just cooked a picnic roast in my crock pot with the dead pig's skin layer still attached. This explained why the house smelled of rotting flesh, the "fat" layer was impossible to cut through (like leather), and why the meat inside hadn't cooked through the 1/4 inch layer of pig skin. At this point, it's all hands on deck; I went to work, lifting up the pigs skin and cutting away at the fat underneath, which was no small feat since the skin had to basically be rolled off as I cut away it's bottom layer. Anyway, it was gross, and it didn't cook in time for dinner that night. It was eventually cooked correctly, and I now have the yummiest shredded pork for my salad. So, to recap, picnic roasts come with the dead pig's skin attached.

Whose still hungry after reading this?

6 comments:

Marie said...

I am so glad I looked at the sites you linked before I read the rest of your post. Great links and thank you for that but Ewwww!!! with a capital ginatic E for the pig skin.

Jenny said...

That's disgusting. And cheers to your bravery. I don't know if I would have been as determined. Since we often crave Cafe Rio, I might actually attempt to make it. Thanks for the warning though!

Rachael said...

Oh that is really really nasty! We have Cafe Rio here and I was addicted...seriously...every other day. But lately (for a reason I haven't disclosed to everyone) I can't handle it! Hopefully these 9 months will pass by quickly and I can go back to my addiction.

Lindsay said...

Once again, I laughed out loud at your awesome story telling, as gross as it may have been! I'm glad you stuck it out and now have yummy sweet pork to enjoy. I'm going to have to try making my own sweet pork, hopefully minus the pig skin. ;)

Monique said...

Hmm, definitely shouldn't have read it before you invited me over. But, it was good sweet pork...and either you got all the skin, or you did a good job of hiding it. :)

Diana said...

You're a better woman than I am... I would've just assumed I had totally messed up and tossed the whole thing!