{ Cayenne Cider Punch }

November 9, 2014

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During my sojourn at the Atlanta Airport a few weeks ago I spent most of a day in One Flew South, enjoying pork belly and cocktails mixed by their master mixologist Tiffanie Barriere. My first drink was one that I immediately wanted to recreate at home- a Jumping Jack Flight, a mix of apple jack, sorghum, cider, and cayenne.

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I came home from Birmingham with a bottle of Blue Chair Bay Rum waiting for me, which presented the perfect opportunity to try my hand at a spicy cider punch. I mixed the coconut spiced rum with local fresh pressed apple cider, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger and then topped it off with a splash of hard sparkling cider and a touch of a cayenne.

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The spiciness of the cayenne balances the sweetness of the rum, blending with the tartness of the cider and the warmth of the ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

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This post is brought to you in partnership with Blue Chair Bay Rum.

Cayenne Cider Punch

750ml spiced coconut rum

1/2 gallon apple cider

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

Hard cider

Cayenne

In a large punch bowl mix together rum, cider, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Top with a splash of hard cider and a pinch of cayenne before serving.

{ Lovely Internet 11.7.14 }

November 7, 2014

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1. Sometimes Dan and I get into a rut of cooking the same things over and over on weeknights. I’ve been poking around Gathered Table for the past few weeks, and kind of loving it. It’s given me a lot of new ideas based on our particular preferences, which has been wonderful.

2. These are just lovely.

3. No, your food isn’t like crack. (and other obnoxious food phrases that can just go away now thanks)

4. You’ll know my friend Mrs. Wheelbarrow, I’m sure. She has a new book, and you should make it your business to pick it up because so far as I can tell, it’s excellent.

5. Maintaining a long term blog.

6. What’s so bad about gluten?

7. Brilliant.

8. Misogynists are the most bored people on the planet.

9. It’s pie season!

10. Cast iron myths.

P.S. I’m in Wrightsville Beach Magazine this month!

For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitter (@elenabrent or @biscuitsandsuch), instagrampinterest or facebook. Subscribe to my bloglovin’ feed to make sure you never miss a post. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

{ Beerbeque }

November 4, 2014

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One of my favorite pastimes is the beerbeque- the age old tradition of drinking and eating copiously, a celebration of pork and hops and everything that is right in the world. I celebrated my 21st birthday in Baltimore with a beerbeque and every year since we’ve thrown a big party every fall, spreading the gospel of barbeque and homebrew.

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This year was no exception, but as the day of the party crept up we made one slight adjustment to the menu- instead of the traditional pork shoulder that we’ve smoked in Eastern North Carolina style each year we decided to make it a true beerbeque by brining the pork in a local craft beer.

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We picked up a growler of Scotch Ale made by Good Hops Brewing of Carolina Beach, a beer with a rich and smokey flavor, and brined the pork shoulder overnight. The next morning we fired up our (new!) smoker and smoked the shoulder for 5 hours with a combination of hickory and pecan, basting it regularly with apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt.

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I’m partial to the Eastern North Carolina style myself, and I was wary of straying too far from the traditional. This, however, was a lovely compromise. The finished pulled pork boasted subtle echoes of the ale, mixing with the smokey hickory and pecan, the tangy vinegar, and the spice of the red pepper. It was all we could do to pull the pork before gobbling it up, which is the telltale sign of a successful beerbeque.

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This post is brought to you in partnership with the North Carolina Pork Council

Beerbeque

5-6lb pork shoulder

1/2 gallon Scotch ale (or similar dark style beer)

1/2 cup salt

2 cups apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp salt

Hickory & pecan wood chips

The night before you mean to smoke the pork combine it with the Scotch ale and 1/2 cup salt. Brine, refrigerated and covered, overnight.

Pork shoulders must smoke for 1 1/2 hours per pound and need 1 hour to rest in between cooking and pulling. Calculate your start time accordingly! 

Fire up your smoker. Remove pork from brine and top with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tbsp salt. Transfer to smoker, fat side up, and start the clock!

Smoke at a temperature of 175F-200F until the internal temperature of the pork has reached 155F. Baste every 30 minutes with the remaining vinegar and spices. Halfway into your cook time flip the pork.

When the pork has finished cooking remove it from the smoker and let rest for 1 hour. Using forks, your hands, or claws meant specifically for pulling pork, shred the pork and serve hot.