I apologize for the lack of posts. I have been cooking but it's been cRaZy! Holidays, family visiting, new computer...I just decided to give up on posting until things had settled down.
Over the holidays my room mates and I impulsively bought pork shoulder at Costco. For those of you who didn't immediately gasp after reading the previous sentence, let me clarify. My room mates and I bought 15 lbs of pork shoulder. That's a lot of pig! Luckily this turned out to be a good thing...unlike many other bulk purchases...like...lobster ravioli. Maybe someday I will post about my Costco shopping strategies (and epic failures) but today is not that day.
So, pork shoulder was a great discovery! We made carnitas and BBQ pulled pork! I use my Crock Pot to slow cook the meat and then keep the shredded flavored pork warm while getting everything else ready.
BBQ pulled pork:
1 pork shoulder
1-2 onions, thickly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, whole
1-12oz can Coca-Cola (or other cola, I've been wanting to try Dr. Pepper! But that might be weird...)
Water, enough to cover-almost cover the meat
Your favorite BBQ sauce
1. Brine the pork overnight. In a large bowl mix warm water, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and any other spices that peak your fancy. Refrigerate.
2. Place sliced onions and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker and put the meat on top. Pour the Coca-Cola over the meat and top off with water. Set the slow cooker for 10 hours on low heat. Personally, I work 10 hour days so it's perfect to start before I leave in the mornings but you could start the night before.
|Pork shoulder after 10 hours in the slow cooker.|
3. After 10 hours, take the pork out and place onto a cookie sheet or some other shredding surface. Try to save as much of the onions and garlic as well, they are so yummy!
4. Shred the pork with two forks (best way I've found). Put the pulled pork back into the slow cooker and stir in BBQ sauce and mustard. The amount of sauce is to the discretion of the chef, I like the taste of the pig so I try to not overwhelm the pig with sauce. I would say the ratio of BBQ to mustard is about 1 to 2/3.
|BBQ pulled pork!|
I got this recipe from the blog Inquiring Chef. Her recipe is for dinner rolls (not buns) and they are absolutely perfect! I don't do perfect and I am definitely lacking some of her kitchen tools so mine look a little...rough...compared to her's. They may not be pretty, but they sure are delicious!
1½ cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. (28g) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. table salt
4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup and leveled off
3 Tbsp. (40g) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. sea salt
1. In a large bowl (I don’t have a stand mixer) stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand about 5 minutes.
|Yeast and warm water|
2. To the yeast mixture, add the butter, salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix until the ingredients begin to come together. Add 1 cup of flour and mix. Add the remaining 1 cup flour. Mix until the final addition of flour is fully incorporated. Remove dough from bowl and onto lightly floured surface, knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a dish towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes. Or if you are like me you started reading and totally forgot until it had tripled in volume.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into an even ball. The original recipe instructs you to make all these precise cuts but I just cut “approximately” even amounts of dough and formed them into balls.
|My "Kitchen-Aid" mixer ;)|
|Sticky! Add more flour!|
4. Place each rolled piece of dough into a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan in rows of 4. Cover the rolls with a dish towel and let them rise while your oven is preheating to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) – about 20 minutes. Our oven is tiny and heats very quickly so let your dough rise for 20 minutes regardless.
Lightly brush the rolls with about half of the melted butter before baking.
|Buns in the oven! HAHAHA!|
Bake until golden brown, 13-15 minutes. Immediately after removing the rolls from the oven, brush them with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with salt. I sprinkled with sea salt before baking, it works either way!
|Delicious salted dinner rolls|
|I love bread.|
This recipe was adapted from the Pioneer Woman's Cilantro-jalapeno slaw recipe. It is to die for. I usually put some on my sandwich and then a side of 'slaw on my plate!
1/2 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced
3 Hawaiian hot peppers, minced
1/2 fattiest milk you have
1 tsp vinegar (we have used white, apple cider, and rice...all worked great!)
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups cilantro, chopped
Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix all the other ingredients together. It is important to taste the 'slaw sauce. It's easier to make adjustments. When the flavors are up to your satisfaction pour the 'slaw sauce over the veggies and toss. It's best to make the slaw ahead of time so it has time to sit and the flavors mix. But that is not necessary.
**NOTE: We used napa cabbage instead of regular cabbage, it tasted great but wasn't as good as leftovers**
|Matt mixing the 'slaw.|
|BBQ pulled pork sammie, jalapeno 'slaw, and pickled onions!|