THE BITTER PIG
We’ve always enjoyed the curious Italian herbal distillates known as amari
in cocktails or as post-feast digestives, but lately we’ve been pouring splashes into sauces and marinades with delicious results. These beguiling elixirs add an elusive flavor, a delicate herbal finish that leaves you musing. An amaro, combined with allspice, chile, and orange zest make these little pork bites sophisticated enough to serve with cocktails at your next soirée.
MAKES ABOUT 1 POUND (450 G)
2 teaspoons anise seed
4 allspice berries
2 pounds (910 g) trimmed pork sirloin or loin, cut into strips 1∕2 inch (12 mm) in diameter and 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) long
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon chile flakes
1∕2 teaspoon grated and finely chopped orange zest
2 tablespoons amaro (such as Averna or Meletti)
In a dry skillet over low heat, toast the anise and allspice until fragrant. Allow to cool to room temperature. Using a spice grinder, pulverize the spices to a fine powder.
Place the pork strips in a shallow bowl or container. Season with the salt, then add the ground spices, the chile flakes, orange zest, and amaro. Using your hands, mix well to evenly coat the strips. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
When you are ready to dry the pork, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Place the strips on the racks of your dehydrator, making sure that no strips are overlapping or touching. Set the temperature to 145˚F (63˚C). Insert the racks into the dehydrator, leaving as much space as possible between them. Dehydrate for 21∕2 hours, until the strips are firm but still pliable, rotating the racks front to back halfway through to ensure even drying.
Allow the jerky to cool at room temperature. Transfer to a covered container that allows a bit of air flow and store in a cool, dark place for up to 4 weeks.
Copyright © 2018 by Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.