Beer Braised Pork Belly & Rhubard BBQ Sauce

BearPaw Catering makes it’s first splash with a little bridal shower for our dear friends Mindy & Bryan.  They’re gettin hitched this summer, so no better time than too try out a few tasty morsels.  My menu was inspired, as always, by selecting a few Colorado treats; Pheasant Eggs from Louviere Farms,  Fresh Walleye and Rhubarb – spring is great for Rhubarb!

Key ingredients in the basket – the menu takes shape;  Poached Pheasant Egg on Tequila Cured Copper River Salmon, Beer Braised Pork Belly with Rhubard BBQ and  a simple Fried Walleye on Cucumber Napa Slaw!


We’ll put our sites on Beer Braised Pork Belly with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce today! 

Beer Braised Pork Belly

This is a two day affair; day one’s all focused on dressing the pork belly for it’s big day. Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 2-4 lbs of pork belly, skin on ( I keep it in one big piece – but that takes a nice sized Dutch Oven.  Cut into large pieces if needed)
  • 3 tbsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • Couple of local brews – I used FCB Chocolate Stout from Fort Collins Colorado

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and rub it all over each side of your pork belly. Place in container and slowly add the brews.  The liquid should reach just below the top of the belly (as any good brew will do!).  Seal it and store in the fridge for a day or two.  On day two (or three), it’s time to walk this bad boy down the aisle to an oven for a nice long 3 or 4 hour braise.  Take the pork belly out of the refrigerator, remove from marinade, set aside – DON’T RINSE IT!!  Season all the pork with salt and pepper, on all sides. Gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 tbsps oil (canola or olive)
  • 2 to 3 carrots, cleaned and diced
  • 2 to 3 celery ribs, cleaned and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, large dice
  • 2 bay leafs
  • Small bunch of oregano
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 more of your favorite brews

A Dutch Oven’s ideal, but any large pot will do.  Just remember – Don’t stuff the pot – leave a little room for it too breath!  Place it on a burner and heat, add the oil, carrots, onions, and celery, sweat ’em off a bit.   No burning the veggies!  Next add the brew, raise the heat to a medium, high heat.  Let this cook for about 15 minutes, reduce the beer and concentrate some amazing flavor.

Time to place the pork belly, skin side up in the Dutch Oven on top of all the veggies and brew.  Press a few peppercorns in the top, toss in the bay leaves, cilantro and cover with the chicken stock.  Put the belly in a preheated 275 degree oven for 3 hours.  Before and after will look something like this….

While that’s braising – let’s whip up some Rhubarb BBQ Sauce!


Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Spring time in the Rockies; Rhubarb’s popin up everywhere!  This tangy, sweet & spicy treat is perfect for pork & poultry.  Prep and cook times are equal at 30 minutes each.  

Gather the following ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 -3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 cup  brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup black-strap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • few dashes of hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup ginger root

Directions

In a pan, bring the rhubarb and water to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer  for 5-6 minutes or until the rhubarb is fork tender. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.  Take the cooled rhubarb mixture and blend using a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Set aside.

Next – saute onion in oil until tender, add garlic; saute 1 minute.  Add all but the ginger root – we have a bit of a trick for this ingredient! Fold in the rhubarb puree until blended.

For the ginger root – wrap the chopped root in a small piece of cheese cloth and tie off.  We want the essence of the ginger to help the sauce – but we want to remove it before use!

Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat to LOW – simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes.  Watch the volume as it might cook down a bit – if needed – you can add a little water.  Use this like any BBQ sauce – baste, glaze or dipping! Store the extra in the fridge.

So here’s our finished dish…..We take the pork belly, cut into cubes and starting skin side down in a saute pan we crisp it – just like you’re cooking bacon!  Once done – place on a small plate drizzled with the Rhubard BBQ sauce & top with chives! (The strawberry garnish is simple – sliced strawberry,s chopped dill tossed with a touch of olive oil, pinch of cayenne and dry mustard – let them sit aside for 30 minutes) 

DONE!


Please share this recipe, follow me on FaceBook, Twitter, and share this with all your friends!  Good Eatin!

All images are Copyright© protected and belong solely to Cook Colorado

Beer Braised Pork Belly & Rhubard BBQ Sauce

BearPaw Catering makes it’s first splash with a little bridal shower for our dear friends Mindy & Bryan.  They’re gettin hitched this summer, so no better time than too try out a few tasty morsels.  My menu was inspired, as always, by selecting a few Colorado treats; Pheasant Eggs from Louviere Farms,  Fresh Walleye and Rhubarb – spring is great for Rhubarb!

Key ingredients in the basket – the menu takes shape;  Poached Pheasant Egg on Tequila Cured Copper River Salmon, Beer Braised Pork Belly with Rhubard BBQ and  a simple Fried Walleye on Cucumber Napa Slaw!


We’ll put our sites on Beer Braised Pork Belly with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce today! 

Beer Braised Pork Belly

This is a two day affair; day one’s all focused on dressing the pork belly for it’s big day. Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 2-4 lbs of pork belly, skin on ( I keep it in one big piece – but that takes a nice sized Dutch Oven.  Cut into large pieces if needed)
  • 3 tbsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • Couple of local brews – I used FCB Chocolate Stout from Fort Collins Colorado

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and rub it all over each side of your pork belly. Place in container and slowly add the brews.  The liquid should reach just below the top of the belly (as any good brew will do!).  Seal it and store in the fridge for a day or two.  On day two (or three), it’s time to walk this bad boy down the aisle to an oven for a nice long 3 or 4 hour braise.  Take the pork belly out of the refrigerator, remove from marinade, set aside – DON’T RINSE IT!!  Season all the pork with salt and pepper, on all sides. Gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 tbsps oil (canola or olive)
  • 2 to 3 carrots, cleaned and diced
  • 2 to 3 celery ribs, cleaned and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, large dice
  • 2 bay leafs
  • Small bunch of oregano
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 more of your favorite brews

A Dutch Oven’s ideal, but any large pot will do.  Just remember – Don’t stuff the pot – leave a little room for it too breath!  Place it on a burner and heat, add the oil, carrots, onions, and celery, sweat ’em off a bit.   No burning the veggies!  Next add the brew, raise the heat to a medium, high heat.  Let this cook for about 15 minutes, reduce the beer and concentrate some amazing flavor.

Time to place the pork belly, skin side up in the Dutch Oven on top of all the veggies and brew.  Press a few peppercorns in the top, toss in the bay leaves, cilantro and cover with the chicken stock.  Put the belly in a preheated 275 degree oven for 3 hours.  Before and after will look something like this….

While that’s braising – let’s whip up some Rhubarb BBQ Sauce!


Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Spring time in the Rockies; Rhubarb’s popin up everywhere!  This tangy, sweet & spicy treat is perfect for pork & poultry.  Prep and cook times are equal at 30 minutes each.  

Gather the following ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 -3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 cup  brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup black-strap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • few dashes of hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup ginger root

Directions

In a pan, bring the rhubarb and water to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer  for 5-6 minutes or until the rhubarb is fork tender. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.  Take the cooled rhubarb mixture and blend using a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Set aside.

Next – saute onion in oil until tender, add garlic; saute 1 minute.  Add all but the ginger root – we have a bit of a trick for this ingredient! Fold in the rhubarb puree until blended.

For the ginger root – wrap the chopped root in a small piece of cheese cloth and tie off.  We want the essence of the ginger to help the sauce – but we want to remove it before use!

Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat to LOW – simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes.  Watch the volume as it might cook down a bit – if needed – you can add a little water.  Use this like any BBQ sauce – baste, glaze or dipping! Store the extra in the fridge.

So here’s our finished dish…..We take the pork belly, cut into cubes and starting skin side down in a saute pan we crisp it – just like you’re cooking bacon!  Once done – place on a small plate drizzled with the Rhubard BBQ sauce & top with chives! (The strawberry garnish is simple – sliced strawberry,s chopped dill tossed with a touch of olive oil, pinch of cayenne and dry mustard – let them sit aside for 30 minutes) 

DONE!


Please share this recipe, follow me on FaceBook, Twitter, and share this with all your friends!  Good Eatin!

MasterChef Season Premier Night One – Elk Sliders!

MasterChef Season 3 – What a great ride that ended way too soon!  Thanks to everyone for showing support!  We’ll get’em next year!! 

We started the adventure back in December with an open casting call in Seattle, leading to a series of interviews, including on camera interviews where I may have mentioned I “school the young pups” when referring to my young competitors.  Too bad I didn’t get a chance to show my stuff – but when Gordon Ramsay says the parsnip purees’ like “elasticbands in my mouth” – you pack it up and head out of town!   When my signature dish works, it looks something like this:

I’ll post the complete recipe to this dish including the Elk Rub,  Red Currant Sauce, Anazazi Bean Succotash and of course non-elasticband version of parsnip puree with buttermilk and horseradish soon – Stay Tuned!!
For the MasterChef Season 3 premier party, we held a two night event.  This is night one’s Elk sliders – tomorrrow will be the Smoked Trout Tacos.  Kudos to everyone who chipped in with an appetizer – so many in-fact I couldn’t pick a winner!  Let’s just say it was a 75 person tie – with one notable exception trying to pass off store bought food – she will remain nameless (you know who you are!).   We’re compiling a list of great recipes to put forward in a future Bear Blog!
For the first night we had Elk Sliders with my Poblano Green Chili Relish (check it out or watch me make this online on FOX).  This is a simple recipe guaranteed to light up a party!   How do you get Elk?  You have two options – first you buy a Colorado Elk hunting license, hike into the wilderness, harvest 3 Elk, spend 4 days cleaning and packing them out with your hunting partner. 

Not your first choice?  You can find elk online or check with your local butcher as they sometimes will carry elk.  Couple great spots in Colorado, Steve’s  Meat Market in Arvada or Edwards Meats in Wheat Ridge. 

Bear’s Chili Elk Sliders

Ground Elk – 1 to 2  lbs
1 Egg
3 Tbs Chili Powder
2 Tbs Garlic Powder
1 Tbs Smoked or Spicy Paprika
Pinch of Cinnamon!
Pinch of Cayenne!
Salt & Pepper
Dash or four of your favorite hot sauce.

Whisk the egg and mix well with the elk, then add all your spices.  Make 8 – 2 oz burgers and lay them out on wax paper; press your thumb into the center to make a small indentation – this keeps ’em flat while cooking!  Heat the grill; cook ’em on aluminum foil (or over direct heat – but watch ’em close!).    They will cook quick – just a couple of minutes a side should give you medium rare.  Remember when cooking game, especially elk, it’s very lean so the aluminum foil reduces the drying out and quick cooking is key!

We like to cheese ’em with Monterrey Jack!  Slider buns (check back for a great recipe on buns!) , a bit of red currant ketchup ( Bear’s Red Currant Ketchup – a few tablespoons of red current jam, tsps of garlic powder & paprika to a cup of organic ketchup), and finally smother them in Poblano Green Chili Relish.  Done!

Please share this recipe, follow me on FaceBook, Twitter, and share this with all your friends!  Good Eatin!

All images are Copyright© protected and belong solely to Cook Colorado

MasterChef Season Premier Night One – Elk Sliders!

MasterChef Season 3 – What a great ride that ended way too soon!  Thanks to everyone for showing support!  We’ll get’em next year!! 

We started the adventure back in December with an open casting call in Seattle, leading to a series of interviews, including on camera interviews where I may have mentioned I “school the young pups” when referring to my young competitors.  Too bad I didn’t get a chance to show my stuff – but when Gordon Ramsay says the parsnip purees’ like “elasticbands in my mouth” – you pack it up and head out of town!   When my signature dish works, it looks something like this:

I’ll post the complete recipe to this dish including the Elk Rub,  Red Currant Sauce, Anazazi Bean Succotash and of course non-elasticband version of parsnip puree with buttermilk and horseradish soon – Stay Tuned!!
For the MasterChef Season 3 premier party, we held a two night event.  This is night one’s Elk sliders – tomorrrow will be the Smoked Trout Tacos.  Kudos to everyone who chipped in with an appetizer – so many in-fact I couldn’t pick a winner!  Let’s just say it was a 75 person tie – with one notable exception trying to pass off store bought food – she will remain nameless (you know who you are!).   We’re compiling a list of great recipes to put forward in a future Bear Blog!
For the first night we had Elk Sliders with my Poblano Green Chili Relish (check it out or watch me make this online on FOX).  This is a simple recipe guaranteed to light up a party!   How do you get Elk?  You have two options – first you buy a Colorado Elk hunting license, hike into the wilderness, harvest 3 Elk, spend 4 days cleaning and packing them out with your hunting partner. 

Not your first choice?  You can find elk online or check with your local butcher as they sometimes will carry elk.  Couple great spots in Colorado, Steve’s  Meat Market in Arvada or Edwards Meats in Wheat Ridge. 

Bear’s Chili Elk Sliders

Ground Elk – 1 to 2  lbs
1 Egg
3 Tbs Chili Powder
2 Tbs Garlic Powder
1 Tbs Smoked or Spicy Paprika
Pinch of Cinnamon!
Pinch of Cayenne!
Salt & Pepper
Dash or four of your favorite hot sauce.

Whisk the egg and mix well with the elk, then add all your spices.  Make 8 – 2 oz burgers and lay them out on wax paper; press your thumb into the center to make a small indentation – this keeps ’em flat while cooking!  Heat the grill; cook ’em on aluminum foil (or over direct heat – but watch ’em close!).    They will cook quick – just a couple of minutes a side should give you medium rare.  Remember when cooking game, especially elk, it’s very lean so the aluminum foil reduces the drying out and quick cooking is key!

We like to cheese ’em with Monterrey Jack!  Slider buns (check back for a great recipe on buns!) , a bit of red currant ketchup ( Bear’s Red Currant Ketchup – a few tablespoons of red current jam, tsps of garlic powder & paprika to a cup of organic ketchup), and finally smother them in Poblano Green Chili Relish.  Done!

Please share this recipe, follow me on FaceBook, Twitter, and share this with all your friends!  Good Eatin!

Roasted Poblano Chili Relish…..with a skosh

When springtime hits in Colorado, it’s time to make it easy, light and fresh. There’s fun in them there hills (Rockies)….FlyFishing, Hiking, & Biking….no time for complicated food.  I created this tasty bite for Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliott and Joe Bastianich – FOX MasterChef Season 3.  Great garnish for my signature dish – Pan Roasted Elk Loin; a dish we’ll share.  Now a relish is typically pickled or cooked – but I try to keep a few of the ingredients raw – a bit more crunch.  Add a little hot sauce and this one can bite right back. 


This is guaranteed to brighten up grilled foods….my Pan Roasted Colorado Stripped Bass or Chili Elk Sliders….how ’bout all by it’s lonesome with a cold beer! 

So…what’s a skosh? Take a lime and squeeze out the juice….too much!  Same lime, but give it a pinch or squirt….not enough!  Right in the middle….you gotta skosh

Here it is….Enjoy!


Fire
Roasted Poblano Green Chili Relish

  • 3 to 4 Poblano Green Chili’s
  • 1 Jalapeno & Serrano pepper
  • ½ cup Pinion Pine Nuts
  • 1 Fresno pepper
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 small Red Onion (or half a large)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 x Lime cut in quarter wedges
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional – a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce!

Fire
roast Poblano Chili’s, Jalapeno, and Serrano (lightly covered in olive oil)
over an open flame; stove or grill.  When
the skins have charred black, drop them charred chilies in a bowl &
immediately cover with plastic wrap to let skins steam and soften – about 5
minutes.  Be careful – the Jalapeno and
Serrano are smaller and will char faster! When the skins can pull away – remove
the chilies from the bowl, pull off charred skins, open and de-seed.  Dice ‘em up!

Pinion
Pine Nuts tossed in a hot pan until lightly toasted (a bit of olive oil if you
like). Pull from heat and set aside.  Hit
‘em with a Pinch of salt 

Finely
chop shallot, Fresno pepper, quarter and thin slice the red onion.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl &
toss.  Take your limes, skosh from two of
the quarters, toss, TASTE! Skosh more lime if needed – salt
& pepper to taste

Optional – a touch of your favorite hot sauce, ready to eat!  I’ve been using Horsetooth Hot Sauce, Fort Collins Colorado.  

PS….extra lime slices go great with the cold brewskis or a Moscow Mule! 



Time to get Cookin!

 

All images are Copyright© protected and belong solely to Cook Colorado

Roasted Poblano Chili Relish…..with a skosh




When springtime hits in Colorado, it’s time to make it easy, light and fresh. There’s fun in them there hills (Rockies)….FlyFishing, Hiking, & Biking….no time for complicated food.  I created this tasty bite for Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliott and Joe Bastianich – FOX MasterChef Season 3.  Great garnish for my signature dish – Pan Roasted Elk Loin; a dish we’ll share.  Now a relish is typically pickled or cooked – but I try to keep a few of the ingredients raw – a bit more crunch.  Add a little hot sauce and this one can bite right back. 


This is guaranteed to brighten up grilled foods….my Pan Roasted Colorado Stripped Bass or Chili Elk Sliders….how ’bout all by it’s lonesome with a cold beer! 

So…what’s a skosh? Take a lime and squeeze out the juice….too much!  Same lime, but give it a pinch or squirt….not enough!  Right in the middle….you gotta skosh

Here it is….Enjoy!


Fire
Roasted Poblano Green Chili Relish

  • 3 to 4 Poblano Green Chili’s
  • 1 Jalapeno & Serrano pepper
  • ½ cup Pinion Pine Nuts
  • 1 Fresno pepper
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 small Red Onion (or half a large)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 x Lime cut in quarter wedges
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional – a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce!

Fire
roast Poblano Chili’s, Jalapeno, and Serrano (lightly covered in olive oil)
over an open flame; stove or grill.  When
the skins have charred black, drop them charred chilies in a bowl &
immediately cover with plastic wrap to let skins steam and soften – about 5
minutes.  Be careful – the Jalapeno and
Serrano are smaller and will char faster! When the skins can pull away – remove
the chilies from the bowl, pull off charred skins, open and de-seed.  Dice ‘em up!

Pinion
Pine Nuts tossed in a hot pan until lightly toasted (a bit of olive oil if you
like). Pull from heat and set aside.  Hit
‘em with a Pinch of salt 

Finely
chop shallot, Fresno pepper, quarter and thin slice the red onion.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl &
toss.  Take your limes, skosh from two of
the quarters, toss, TASTE! Skosh more lime if needed – salt
& pepper to taste

Optional – a touch of your favorite hot sauce, ready to eat!  I’ve been using Horsetooth Hot Sauce, Fort Collins Colorado.  

PS….extra lime slices go great with the cold brewskis or a Moscow Mule! 



Time to get Cookin!

 

Masterchef Season 3 – Top 100 – Bear’s Cookin!


May 2012 – Barry “Bear” Plunkett from Westminster Colorado – the only amateur cook in Colorado to make the Top 100 in Masterchef Season 3.  Award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot return for Season Three of the culinary smash hit MASTERCHEF with a two-night season premiere event on Monday, June 4(9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Tuesday, June 5 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.


60,000 applied, and nearly 30,000 hopefuls auditioned at MASTERCHEF’s open casting calls across the the country.  MASTERCHEF also hit the road for the first-ever food truck casting tour and made stops in cities throughout Arizona, Colorado and Utah. Only the best amateur cooks were flown to Los Angeles for a chance to compete for the coveted title of MASTERCHEF and the $250,000 grand prize. This season will feature contestants from all walks of life representing 23 states – including a software sales executive (Bear), stock broker, a professional opera singer, an emergency physician, a food photographer, a plastic surgeon, as well as the first blind cook to enter the competition – all with the hopes of turning their culinary dream into a reality.

In the premiere episode, the hopefuls will prepare their signature dish and present them to the distinguished MASTERCHEF judging panel: Gordon Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay Steak, maze), Joe Bastianich (Del Posto, Eataly) and Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot, Grahamwich). The judges will taste for flavor, originality, creativity and p
resentation. But most importantly, the amateur cooks must demonstrate a genuine passion for food and a drive to win in order to earn a coveted white apron and move on to the next round.

The auditions continue on Tuesday, June 5 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) as the judges critique the good and the bad and continue to winnow down the competition.  Only those who put their best dish forward will move one step closer to becoming a culinary master.



All images are Copyright© protected and belong solely to Cook Colorado

Masterchef Season 3 – Top 100 – Bear’s Cookin!


May 2012 – Barry “Bear” Plunkett from Westminster Colorado – the only amateur cook in Colorado to make the Top 100 in Masterchef Season 3.  Award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot return for Season Three of the culinary smash hit MASTERCHEF with a two-night season premiere event on Monday, June 4(9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Tuesday, June 5 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.


60,000 applied, and nearly 30,000 hopefuls auditioned at MASTERCHEF’s open casting calls across the the country.  MASTERCHEF also hit the road for the first-ever food truck casting tour and made stops in cities throughout Arizona, Colorado and Utah. Only the best amateur cooks were flown to Los Angeles for a chance to compete for the coveted title of MASTERCHEF and the $250,000 grand prize. This season will feature contestants from all walks of life representing 23 states – including a software sales executive (Bear), stock broker, a professional opera singer, an emergency physician, a food photographer, a plastic surgeon, as well as the first blind cook to enter the competition – all with the hopes of turning their culinary dream into a reality.

In the premiere episode, the hopefuls will prepare their signature dish and present them to the distinguished MASTERCHEF judging panel: Gordon Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay Steak, maze), Joe Bastianich (Del Posto, Eataly) and Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot, Grahamwich). The judges will taste for flavor, originality, creativity and p
resentation. But most importantly, the amateur cooks must demonstrate a genuine passion for food and a drive to win in order to earn a coveted white apron and move on to the next round.

The auditions continue on Tuesday, June 5 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) as the judges critique the good and the bad and continue to winnow down the competition.  Only those who put their best dish forward will move one step closer to becoming a culinary master.