Category Archives: El Puerco de Julio

Limoncello, Limecello

Still recovering this morning from El Puerco. Thought I would take a moment to write up the limoncello and limecello recipes because folks realllllllly seemed to like them and we kept trying to tell everyone how easy the ‘cellos are to make.

This recipe is from the AMAZING cookbook, Forgotten Skills of Cooking, by Darina Allen. Do yourself a favor and buy it right this minute. It’s awesome and well worth it. We cut this recipe in half, fyi, and found it was plenty for us. If you want to make a boatload, double everything.


12 lemons (or limes if you’re making limecello), washed and dried

2 cups vodka

1 1/2 c sugar

1 3/4 c water

Makes approximately one liter.

  1. Use a peeler to peel the lemons (or limes).
  2. Put the zest in a clean glass jar and pour the vodka over it. Seal it and put it in a cool, dark place for two days.
  3. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat. Stir and bring to a boil for two minutes. Cool and store until the vodka is ready.
  4. Remove the zest from the vodka using a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Mix the sugar with the vodka and store in a tightly sealed bottle in the fridge. It’s ready to drink now, technically, but is better within a week. And best drunk (grammar?) within a few months.
  5. To serve, pour over ice. Yummy!

We somehow forgot to take a picture of these beautiful ‘cellos. Instead, here’s a picture of the red, white, and blue cake and the crazy gal who made it (she’s so proud).


Filed under Cocktails, El Puerco de Julio, liqueurs

The Man’s Truly Amazing Pulled Pork

It’s the third annual El Puerco de Julio here at the homestead, hosted by me, The Man, and DL. Been busy the past few days shopping and cooking. I have definitely concluded that my favorite part of holidays is the full-day cooking part, not really the party part. Not that I don’t like the party part, but I just really enjoy cooking by myself in the kitchen for long stretches with my tunes on, Pickle lying on his bed, and pots on the stove. Right now I’m waiting for the butter and cream cheese to come to room temp so I can frost the cake. Lucky you, some time to blog!

This year’s El Puerco menu is something like this:

  • Saucy smoked ribs (this is a team MJ-DL effort)
  • Pulled pork (recipe below, all The Man)
  • Grilled pineapple
  • Lychees
  • Cherries from DL’s tree
  • 3 different versions of skillet cornbread
  • Pickles

Drinks include:

  • Homemade limeade
  • Homemade jamaica
  • Peach iced tea
  • Limoncello (The Man made last week)
  • Limecello (The Man made this week)


  • Cantaloupe-basil granita (DL made)
  • Red, White, and Blue Velvet Cake (recipe posted a few weeks ago here, the blue part modified for coconut flavor)


  • The Man made a version of Washus out of some scrap wood he had. However, it’s so pretty I almost don’t want to play it. We’re calling it: Pickle Piehole!

Here are some pics for you to enjoy with us out there in cyberspace:

DL in front of the smoker

"I don't have ten tablespoons of ground cumin!"

DL manhandles the ribs in the smoker

Layering the ribs in the smoker.

cherries in a colander

Cherries from DL's tree - before I ate them all.

The Man shows off his pork

The Man shows off his pulled pork.

Pickle Piehole triangle and washers

Pickle Piehole!!!

The Man’s Pulled Pork

This recipe started out like this, but through trial and error, The Man has perfected as follows.


3 1/2 lbs picnic roast/Boston butt, we prefer bone-in


1/4 c cumin seeds, toasted

1/4 c packed brown sugar

1/2 c sweet or hot paprika

1/8 c ground chili arbol

1/8 c ground New Mexico chili

1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

1/4 c kosher salt

1/4 c black peppercorns buzzed a few times in the spice grinder

  1. This makes enough rub for three roasts. So divide it into thirds and put the remainder in your cupboard for future roasts.
  2. If there are huge layers of fat on the roast, trim them off and save for cracklings.
  3. Use a third of the rub mix to thoroughly coat the roast. Place it in the fridge overnight.
  4. Take out the roast and put it into a dutch oven.
  5. Place foil flat across the dutch oven and then put the lid on to seal the container. Cook in a dutch oven at 275F for 4 hours.
  6. Take the roast out of the dutch oven and set aside.
  7. Pour the juices leftover in the dutch oven into a bowl and place that bowl in the freezer until the fat solidifies at the top. Scrap off the fat.
  8. Put the roast back into the dutch oven and pour the juices back over it. Shred the meet using two forks.
  9. To serve, pour over some of the sauce, but not all of it (it would be overwhelming) to taste. Then, serve the sauce on the side so folks can add more as they want.
  10. Many people serve this with buns of some sort for sandwiches. Personally, I don’t miss the bun part.


3/4 c white vinegar

1 T Flameboy hot sauce (or your choice)

1 T sugar

2 tsp red pepper flakes

Ground black pepper to taste

Combine all of that in a small bowl. For serving, it’s nice to put it in a plastic squeeze jar with a lid big enough to accommodate the red pepper flakes.

And in other news, oh yeah, I’m leaving for France on Tuesday. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

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Filed under El Puerco de Julio, food, holiday recipes, pork roast, Recipes