Lucky Pig - Solbar_opt

SOLBAR – Chef Brandon Sharp

Four-pound bone-in pork butt from a well-raised hog
1 bunch fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper

The day before you intend to eat, use a sharp boning knife to remove any veins, glands, bone chips—anything you wouldn’t be excited to eat—from the pork and discard. Where the fat is thick, leave between a 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch on the roast to keep it moist in the long cooking process. You can tie the meat with butcher’s twine to make the pork cook more evenly, but it won’t be ruined if you cook it untied. Season the meat liberally using about 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt and 80 or 90 grinds of black pepper, applying them to all sides. Let the roast sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, heat the oven to 300°F. In a large, heavy roasting pan over a medium- high flame, heat the oil until it is almost smoking and sear the pork on all sides to golden brown. Arrange it with the fat side up, turn off the heat, and add the thyme and garlic. Cover the pork with parchment paper, and tightly with aluminum foil, making sure that there are no gaps between the foil and the edges of the pan.

Cook the pork until it is thoroughly tender but not falling apart, a good 6 to 7 hours. Remove from oven and let cool covered until you can handle it enough to remove the strings (if necessary). Reheat gently if necessary before serving with pickled pineapple, black sesame crepes, chopped green onions, sweet chile mustard sauce, and leaves of bibb lettuce. The pork should be so tender that your guests can use chopsticks to pick off the meat and assemble their crepes or lettuce cups. Save the soft cloves of garlic and some of the fat and juices in the pan for spreading and dunking with crusty bread as a late-night snack.

1 gallon water
5 pods star anise
1/4 cup salt, plus extra
1 tablespoon korean red pepper or crushed chili flakes, plus extra
2 1/2 pounds raw redskin peanuts with skins on
1/2 gallon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring the water to a boil over high flame with star anise, salt, and pepper. Add peanuts and boil, covered, for 7 minutes, then turn off flame and let steep for 10 minutes more. Drain thoroughly, then spread out in one layer on a parchment- lined sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes, shaking once or twice. Remove from oven and dry out overnight. The next day, preheat the oil to 275°F in a deep pot over a medium flame. Add the peanuts—they shouldn’t sizzle—and fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until crunchy but not too brown. Drain on paper towels and immediately season to taste with more salt and red pepper. Store with a tight-fitting lid; keeps up to 2 weeks.

4 cups rice wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon Szechuan peppers
1/2 fresh vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 ripe pineapple Juice of 1 lime

Combine first seven ingredients in a heavy-gauge pot and bring to a simmer over a medium flame. meanwhile, using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off the pineapple, then the skin, leaving no brown spots behind. Quarter the pineapple from top to bottom, remove the triangle of core from each quarter, and slice crosswise, no more than 1/4-inch thick. Place in a plastic container big enough to hold the liquid. Pour hot liquid over pineapple and squeeze in the juice from the lime. Stir mixture well and cover with plastic wrap or a lid so that pineapple will cool slowly and flavors will infuse. Once at room temperature, serve or remove to a clean container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

1 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce

Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Keeps up to 1 month.

3 ounces all-purpose flour
3 ounces bread flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 ounces butter, melted
1/2 ounce sesame oil
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Nonstick spray

Combine all ingredients except sesame seeds in a blender; puree till smooth. Strain mixture through a medium-fine colander into a mixing bowl and whisk in the sesame seeds. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over a medium flame. Once hot, spray the pan with the nonstick spray and ladle in a scant ounce of the crepe batter, stirring from the bottom each time so the flour doesn’t settle too much. Once the batter has set and begun to color, use your fingers (i know, it’s hot) to turn the crepe and cook for a few seconds on the other side. (You can also slide the crepe out of the pan to turn it, or use a sharp-edged, high-heat spatula, but don’t use a metal implement; it’ll scratch your pan and soon render it unusable.) Slide the crepe out onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and spray the pan before each new addition of batter. Wait until the crepes have cooled a bit to stack them, or else they’ll stick. Serve right away, or store wrapped in plastic for up to 2 days; reheat gently in a low oven before serving.

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