Last weekend my good friend Ian hosted a Tarantino marathon in the home theater he built in his basement. With so much blood and guts in our immediate future thanks to films like Kill Bill and Deathproof, we had a hankering for flesh, and so we braised a pork butt as the films rolled.
A movie marathon is a perfect opportunity for the lengthy braising of a large piece of meat: you have time and you have mouths. Ours started at 10am, at which point Ian made pancakes and we started the butt in the crockpot with just itself, the spices below, salt, and a splash of cider vinegar. By dinner time the meat was tender and juicy and fragrant with cumin, pimenton, coriander, chiles and cinnamon (and some palm sugar to help bring it all out).
Between films we peered through the fat dappled glass lid of the crockpot to watch the bone rise up from the meat, which slid into the hot bath that awaited it at the bottom of the pot. The garlic cloves we'd stuffed into little slits popped out like eyeballs wrenched from their sockets by an angry Beatrix Kiddo, and the scent of the simmering meat was as sweet as the taste of revenge. Unlike revenge, the dish was best served warm.
We were planning on having the butt on buns, but Ian had extra pancake batter and so he prepared another batch. It turns out that pulled pork on a pancake is one of life's finest offerings.
The fluffy pancakes and the succulent pork made for as delightful and unexpected a pairing as a kung fu fight scene with a Sergio Leone soundtrack. And yet there was something familiar about the combo. Was it a previous association from pancakes and bacon? Or the semblance of a hand held pancake full of pork to a taco?
I don't know, but I do know one thing: I wish every day was filled with pork, pancakes and pictures.