ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends


Pig Tails Part 5: Arista

Arista is a Tuscan style pork roast with pepper, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. My father taught me how to cook this roast.


I started cooking the pig with the bone-in loin roast. This is a tender and well-marbled cut with plenty of connective tissue and tasty bones for gnawing (See pictures below). Typically this roast is cut into pork chops, but a better way of cooking it is to roast it.

I make a paste of rosemary, black pepper, garlic, salt and olive oil, then slice into the meat diagonally across the grain at 1/2″ cuts. I stuff the cuts with the paste and tie it all up. 400F until 150F. Rest for 30 minutes. Slice. Gnaw bones.


Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: Part 3. The Salsa

2013-09-14 17.13.42This was the last weekend of major canning for the year. Sam and I made 20 pints of Salsa, following the recipe from the USDA Home Canning Guide.

I’ll have some wrap-up statistics later this week. But, for now, let’s start with the basics:

  • 18 lbs of roma-style tomatoes. 5 lbs with our CSA. 10 lbs @ $1.60/lb (Seconds). ¬†3 lbs at $4/lb (Firsts).
  • 2 lbs tomatillos for $3/lb.
  • 3 lovely anaheim chilies for $0.75/each.
  • 3 bell peppers at $1/ea.
  • 3 yellow onions for $2.

To that we added:

  • 4 jalapinos from our CSA.
  • 1 lb Garlic from our CSA.
  • 1/2 lb red onion from our CSA.
  • 2 cups lemon juice.
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp dried ancho chili powder
  • 4 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

We did most of the pepper, onion and garlic chopping the night before and the WHOLE FRIDGE reeked of onions. I’m not doing that again next year. But it did save us about an hour of chopping.

2013-09-15 10.22.07

The salsa before cooking. I like the color contrast of the red onions.

Going back to the earlier post on when to water bath can vs pressure can, tomato salsa is one of those marginal products that, depending on the ratio of onions/peppers/garlic (low acid vegetables) vs tomatoes (high acid vegetables), the overall acidity may be too low to water bath can. In this recipe I add 2 cups of lemon juice to ensure that, no matter how many peppers and onions I add to the salsa (and I like a LOT of peppers in my salsa) the acidity will certainly be high enough to water bath can my salsa. Good thing too, because pressure canned salsa gets much too over-cooked and is more like a smooth taco sauce than a chunky salsa. In addition to tomatoes, I add tomatillos to my salsa. Tomatillos have more pectin than ripe tomatoes, and so they add thickness and body to the salsa as it cooks.

We ended up with 20 pints of salsa. We water-bath canned 18 pints, then ran out of jars, and put 2 pints (a quart, for those inclined to the backwards English system of measure…) into the fridge for use later this week. We’ll make Chicken Tortilla Soup for dinner one night, and I may split the remainder for Sam and I to take to work to share.

2013-09-15 10.48.28

The salsa after cooking for 30 minutes, just before being canned. Note the rings on the inside of the pot. The salsa reduced about 2 inches during the 30 minutes of vigorous boiling.