tasty tuesday: carnitas with rice, jalapeno lime agave jam, jicama salad paired with Terrapin Guano Loco

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Today we get to debut a new feature that will occur monthly on the blog. We are happy to announce that we are partnering with Peach State Ale Trail to feature a beer pairing on the blog. This month, the beer pairing is from Terrapin, one of the State’s flagship craft breweries and hailing from the place that should not be– Athens, GA. The beer is this:

guano

I am proud to say it was not in fact bat poop and it was delicious. 

Not having had the beer, I had to trust the advice of Chris Tsavatewa and the internet. Playing off the chili pepper and sweetness, I decided to do a nice bright and somewhat light (in flavor if not calories) Mexican dish with some twists. I hope you enjoy!

Carnitas:

4 country style ribs (Pork Butt Strips)
Rub of cumin, black pepper, salt, red pepper, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bottle beer
1 cup water
4 cloves garlic
4 sprigs fresh oregano
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
4 bay leaves
1/4 onion

Carnitas are a classic Mexican dish similar to slow cooked bbq pork. The dish is braised in a combination of spice and a liquid that allows the pork to stew in its own fat. In other works, it is pork on pork and amazing. 

Begin by heating a deep pan to medium high and adding the oil. Rub the pork in the spice rub (each flavor to taste. I went heavy on black pepper) and sear on each side about 3 minutes per side. Remove the meat and then add the remaining ingredients and stir.

Preheat oven to 325. Bring the liquid to a simmer and add the meat to the liquid, making sure the top of the meat is exposed. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Flip at 30 minutes, cook at least an hour or until the meat pulls easily with a fork.

Jalapeno Lime Agave Jam:

2 red jalapenos, seeded and ribbed
1 green jalapeno, seeded and ribbed
1 tomatillo, peeled
4 cloves garlic
1/4 onion
Juice of 2 1/2 limes
1/2 lime zest
1 tsp black pepper
1tsp salt
1/4 cup agave nectar

Heat a grill pan to medium high. Grill the peppers, tomatillo, and garlic until browned on each side. Squeeze the lime juice into the bowl of a food processor. Add the peppers, tomatillo, garlic, zest, onion and spices. Process until finely chopped. 

Pour mixture into sauce pan over medium heat. Add agave and stir until simmering. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. 

Serve over mexican rice (1 packagege vigo saffron rice cooked to the instructions on the package)

Jicama Tomato salad. 

Jicama is a potato-like tuber with the texture of a carrot. It is fine to eat raw or in a slaw, unlike a potato. It has a sweet flavor which makes it perfect for salad and slaws and has a nice crunch. 

1/2 Jicama root
5 campari tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp cumin

Dressing:
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tbsp blood orange olive oil
1/2 tsp cilantro leaves
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp agave
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1/2 lime

Peel the tough outer layer of the jicama and grate with a large cheese grater. Add the tomatoes and toss with the cumin. 

Mix the dressing ingredients in a deep container with a lid and shake. Pour over the jicama mix and toss. 

These flavors are many layered, classic mexican flavors. The dish maintains a great brightness throughout and has great sweet a spicy notes. This made it a great compliment to the Gauno Loco which, as an ale that has the appearance and texture of a sweet stout, has a nice balance similar to a Mole sauce. You can really taste the sweet notes of the beer combined with the bright lime and hot peppers in the dish. The heat of the dish melts away in the chocolate milk like beer with a kick. The beer certainly makes up for the lightness of the dish, which is why I recommend this paired with food instead of as a stand alone. It is not for day drinking for sure!

I highly recommend both. 

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