My trip to New York City nearly killed me with a flake of puff pastry. I hadn’t even had puff pastry in so stinking long and then I like breathed in a litte flake and it flapped over my trachea. Like a vacuum seal. It was the worst. I’d like to say my life flashed before my eyes, but instead I just kept thinking how much I just wanted to be able to freaking breathe. My memory is terrible anyway. Well, I probably have that little pastry flake still in my lungs, because I breathed again. Wait, in a month or something I’ll get some sort of lung rot from the putrified puff pastry residing in there. At least I got to have a wonderful time and was able to eat some pretty great food. And Samantha found a glorious wedding dress.
Slow-cooked collagen is glorious in its melting rubber texture. That’s the best description I could come up with. I wish toothsome was the right word. If I could redefine toothsome, it’d be to mean the texture of slow-cooked collagen. It’s kinda like melty halloumi. But without the squeakiness. Kind of. I don’t know. It’s good though. And a spine, just like oxtail, has amble amounts of it.
Each month I get a giant bag full of various pork cuts from a local farm. I had accumulated two packages of pork neck bones – one had the vertebrae cut up, the other had chunks of several vertebrae together. I left the latter as neck hunks so I could see which I would rather eat and I think the hunks. The cut up ones are a little scary because when the collagen melts they release small bits of bone that get lost in the cabbage and are only found when they’re jabbed into your gums between your teeth. Granted, you get a lot more off of them, but that does include bones. It might depend on how the vertebrae are cut up – just check out what you can get.
I decided to use half sauerkraut and half cabbage for this recipe. Using all sauerkraut is what my old Polish cookbook calls for, but using regular cabbage in addition is nice, too. Just a different, mellower flavor. The recipe also called for 4 pigs feet. I unfortunately haven’t gotten those in my monthly delivery yet. I might send them an email with a special request for some. And for a head. And for a belly. I need to make more bacon!!
Texas has come up again. San Antonio this time. Joe’s flying out there for an interview. What’s San Antonio like? What do people do on the weekends? There’s no hiking, there’re no winter sports, there’s no swimming, uhh probably a bunch of other things that there aren’t any of. Sit inside on Spanish tiles with the air conditioning set to 60 because it’s too hot? Drive three hours to get to anything? But hey, if he makes enough money, do you know what I’m going to do? Work part time. So I can work on my business that I haven’t had any time to work on and so I can bring you more posts. That would be good. And maybe it’ll be warm enough to grow an avocado tree.
2 tablespoons lard
2 lbs pork neck bones
1 onion, cut into thick wedges
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 allspice berries
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 quart of sauerkraut or 1/2 quart and a small head of finely shredded cabbage
1. Heat lard in a large pot over high heat. Brown pork on meaty sides. Season with salt.
2. Add onion, garlic, allspice, peppercorns, bay leaf, and celery seeds.
3. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for one hour.
4. Add the sauerkraut or the combination sauerkraut/cabbage if you’re using that. Cover and continue to cook for another hour and a half to two hours, stirring occasionally.