Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pulled pork, homemade BBQ sauce and sesame green beans, OH MY!

It has become a bit of a tradition to end up with the Bishop women on Wednesday nights for dinner.  Each week, we rotate who makes dinner among us, but a group of my friends normally ends up for food and good company. 

By request, I decided to make pulled pork.  I feel like there is almost nothing better than pulled pork, other than chocolate (of course).  There is just something about it.  I can never turn it down.  Makes me wonder why I don't make it more.  

I thought to myself, "Self?  How can I push this pork idea a little further?  How can I make it even more awesome?"  The answer came to me in a dream....

Okay..  I lie, it wasn't a dream, but in the past I had made a Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled pork which I adapted slightly from a recipe I had found by the Pioneer Woman.  I didn't use quite as much of the chipolte peppers as she did and it was still a bit hot for me, so I decided to go a different route. 

You'll soon learn that I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to spicy food.

After a short web search, I found a recipe that looked pretty good to me through My Retro Kitchen.   Looking at the ingredients, it seemed like a good combo of ingredients that would lead to an awesome flavor.  I was in it to win it. 

Now another thing you will learn about me over time is that I am the biggest procrastinator on this side of the Mississippi River.  I sat around and didn't do much of anything all Tuesday evening and realized around, ohh, midnight that I had not gone shopping for anything for the next day's meal.  

I woke up bright and early and headed to the store prior to work but didn't have enough time before having to leave for work to prepare more than the sauce, so this became a collaborative effort with my sister.  She was the one to set everything up in the crock pot to cook the meal.  Thank goodness for that!  Thought I would have to go without my pulled pork!  That would have been tragic!

I was looking for a barbeque pulled pork.  I could have gone the easy route and just used a store purchased sauce, but what fun is that.  After another quick internet search, I found a recipe through Epicurious for a Dr. Pepper Barbeque Sauce.  How fitting.  It was a fairly easy process and the end result was glorious!

I also wanted to serve something relatively healthy with this meal (I try to incorporate veggies into my meals if I can).  My sister made these tasty green beans about a year ago with red bell pepper and sesame seeds and I figured it would be a good pairing for this meal.  Unfortunately, we couldn't find which cookbook she got the recipe from.  

TO THE INTERNET!  By simply putting in some of the ingredients I could remember, I found something similar that had been done by Rachel Ray on the Food Network.  Awesome!

 The finished plate!

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker
From: My Retro Kitchen (I followed her instructions exactly)

2 1/2-3 lb pork butt (also known as a pork shoulder)
24 oz. (2 cans) Dr. Pepper (or any caramel colored soda pop, each will provide a slightly different flavor)
1 medium onion, cut in quarters and then again in half
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dry ground mustard
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on personal taste.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
BBQ Sauce of Choice (recipe below for Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce if you are feeling ambitious)
Place the chopped onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Place the pork butt on top of the onions and add the garlic, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the Dr. Pepper on top and cook on high for 4-5 hours (or on low for 8 hours).


Very carefully, because the pork will be hot, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place on a large cutting board.  Using two forks, shred the pork by pulling away from each other.  The meat should be very tender by this point.  Place the shredded pork back into the slow cooker and continue to cook for an additional hour.  

At this point, I added the barbeque sauce.

Dr. Pepper Barbeque Sauce
By: Elizabeth Karmel, found on Epicurious (I actually doubled the recipe from what is shown)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons tomato paste
One 12 ounce can Dr. Pepper (although I'm sure a different flavor will result from any type of soda)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ancho or New Mexican chili powder (I had neither of these, so just used what I had)
1 teaspoon fine-ground white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the flavors have blended. Continue cooking until the sauce begins to thicken, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper if desired. 

Let the sauce cool for about 10 minutes or until it is warm but no longer “boiling” hot. Puree with an immersion or traditional blender—this will make the sauce thicker. Let cool. The sauce will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Brush it on food 5 to 15 minutes before the cooking time is finished, or in this case add to the shredded pork to desired sauciness.

 Who doesn't love butter?

Butter cooked onions and garlic.  By this point, the kitchen smelled amazing with just the three ingredients

 Everything bubbling away.  

After I ran the immersion blender through it to smooth it up.

I told you it was glorious!

 I even had leftovers, but I had doubled the recipe.

Sesame-Soy Green Beans and Peppers
By: Rachel Ray from her show 30 Minute Meals titled "Meat and Potatoes, International Edition" 

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons tamari aged soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Cut green beans into 2-inch pieces on an angle. Place in a skillet. Add water, salt, to taste and cook beans 5 minutes, then drain beans. Place the skillet back on stove and add vegetable oil. Heat pan over high heat until oil smokes. Add the beans and red peppers and stir-fry 2 minutes (I used a wok instead of a regular skillet which made this process much easier). Add the soy and sesame oil and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the world of blogging! Just because no one comments, doesn't mean they aren't reading :) I've been blogging since at least 2006, the comments have gotten VERY sparse in the last couple of years, but I know people are looking at it ;) I have some recipes on my blog, too. They're fun to post, and I've had people tell me they tried a recipe from my blog!