WASHINGTON, October 26, 2014 — A character on AMC’s series The Walking Dead learned last week that his barbecued leg was surprisingly tasty. We viewers couldn’t help but notice that it looked delicious.
My inner Dahmer is hungry for long pork. Unless you grew up in New Guinea, the odds are small that you’ve ever tasted human flesh. It supposedly tastes like pork, hence the term “long pork.” Here at CDN we can’t vouch for that, but if it’s true, applesauce or a cherry sauce would probably be the best condiments to serve with a human roast. But after the zombie apocalypse, a cherry sauce sounds fussy, and it’s easier to cook your pork in a slow cooker than roast it in an oven. Long pork ought to be pretty amazing slow cooked with barbecue sauce.
Halloween is the season for witches. We’re reasonably certain that witches don’t taste like pork. For one thing, they float on the surface of the water, unlike people and pigs. That’s because they weigh the same as a duck; they’re made of the same stuff ducks are made of. That means that witches are better served with orange sauce than with applesauce. Witch a l’orange would be lovely for a dinner party, but save that for when the Governor comes to visit.
This Halloween, why not have an old friend? Fava beans and Chianti are a bit stuffy for our tastes; we want this to be an informal party, so we recommend a slow cooker and barbecue sauce. The recipe is shockingly easy, but zombies aren’t good with recipes, and after the zombie apocalypse, the rest of us will be too pressed for time to cook anything complicated.
Here’s a zombie-simple recipe for pulled long pork.
Zombie pulled long pork:
1 bone-in long pork shoulder (also called, for some strange reason, a pork butt), about 5 pounds
1 bottle (about a quart) of really good barbecue sauce
A dry rub: 1 tbsp. chili powder or hot paprika, 1 tsp. mustard powder, 1 tbsp. kosher salt, ½ tsp. ground cumin, ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 onions, sliced, and a handful of garlic cloves (4-6), sliced
1 cup of chicken stock or water
Dinner rolls or buns, sliced onions, sliced jalapenos, or whatever else you like on your sandwiches
Mix the dry rub ingredients and spread all over the pork shoulder. Put the sliced onions and garlic in the bottom of a slow cooker and put the seasoned pork shoulder on top. Pour 2-3 cups of barbecue sauce over all, set the slow cooker to low, and cook for about 8 hours, until the pork is tender enough to pull apart with a fork. Check the slow cooker every couple of hours; if the sauce is getting too thick, add some of the chicken stock or water.
When the pork is done, remove it from the cooker and shred it with forks. Heat the remaining barbecue sauce in a small pan. Serve the pork on dinner rolls or buns with the extra sauce, onions and jalapenos.
You can make this recipe even easier by leaving out the sliced onions, the garlic, and the rub. It still turns out great for your younger cannibals, who don’t need anything fancy.
Blood orange cake
This cake is so easy, wonderfully moist, and very grown up. It can be just a bit on the bitter side. If you want it less bitter, use clementines instead of blood oranges. Clementines are also easier to find at your local supermarket.
4-5 blood oranges or clementines (about 400 grams)
2 cups almond meal
1 cup sugar (a few tablespoons more if you’re using blood oranges)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Do ahead: Put your whole oranges in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, put a lid on the pot and cook for two hours. Remove oranges from the hot water, allow to cool, then slice in half. If you’re using clementines, you should see no pith and have no seeds. Remove the pithy core, then toss the fruit, peel and all, into your blender and puree until smooth.
If you’re using blood oranges, there will be pith under the peel. It adds some bitterness, so you need extra sugar to offset it. As an alternative, you can scoop the flesh out of the fruit and discard the peels. Puree the blood orange pulp until smooth.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan, line the bottom with parchment, then grease it again.
Whisk the eggs, sugar, salt and 2/3 of the puree together in a large bowl. Add the almond meal and baking powder and stir together just until completely mixed. It should be the thickness of a standard cake batter – pourable, not thick. If it’s too thick, add some more of the puree. Or just dump in all of the puree and let it be thinner. You’ll just have to increase the baking time, or it will turn out more like a pudding. Bake for 1 hour until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Don’t worry about opening the oven door to test it – this cake is very robust and won’t fall.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove the sides and turn it onto a rack to continue cooling. You can serve it dusted with powdered sugar or with crème fraiche, but I prefer it with a chocolate glaze.
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, NOT unsweetened
6 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp. corn syrup
2 tbsp. water
Melt the chocolate, butter, water and corn syrup together in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl over hot water. Stir until smooth, then allow to cool to body temperature. Pour over the top of your cake, smoothing the sides, then refrigerate for an hour to set. If you prefer a sweeter cake, use milk chocolate for your glaze, cut the butter to 3 ounces, and replace the water with heavy cream.
You’ll need more for your Halloween party than long pork and blood-orange cake. Catch a zombie or two, remove their lower jaws so they can’t bite, and let them wander among the guests. Watch The Walking Dead for more great food an party ideas, and have a happy Halloween!