Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pulled Pork

My recipe is loosely based on this one: http://www.mommyhatescooking.com/2011/06/slow-cooker-pulled-pork.html
3lb pork butt
1 cup BBQ Sauce (Use a sweeter one like Sweet Baby Ray's or else it will be too dry and you will need to add some sugar)
1 can tomato soup
1 Tbsp Hot Sauce (I use Louisiana Hot Sauce)
One packet of McDonald's Spicy Buffalo Sauce, or add an additional Tablespoon hot sauce but don't be shy to ask for some next time you are at McDonalds!
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
Course Salt & cracked pepper

Take your roast and liberally smear salt and pepper on all sides.  Place in slow cooker and cover with tomato soup.

  In a small bowl combine all sauces and vinegar and pour over roast.

Cook for abut 5 hours on low or 3 on high.  Remove roast and take serving forks and pull meat apart and/or chop to desired size.  Add back to sauce and keep on warm until ready to serve.  Serve atop toast or on buns or even better, a toasted hoagie and enjoy!

Since I am a bit of a food nerd, I thought I would share with you the reasons behind my ingredient choices.  First time I made this, I used a thick and kind of sweet barbecue sauce.  Second time I made it, I used a more vinegary one that actually had bourbon in it which made for a less rich sauce and the meat seemed dry if you can imagine since it was covered in sauce!  Secondly, I added the hot sauces not only to add spice and a kick, but the vinegar in the sauces and in the added cider vinegar help to tenderize the tough piece of meat and allow you to pull it apart much easier.  Lastly, I used tomato soup because the tomato's acidity also adds to the tenderization as well as the sugar, and the sugar content in the soup balances the spiciness.

Potato salad

So, I have always loved potato salad but never really figured out how to make a good one, so I texted my sister.  She had no clue, but googled along with me and we found some great ideas, and this is what I came up with.
You will need:
3 to 4 lbs of russet potatoes, washed and peeled.
Large stock pot of water with 2 Tbs white vinegar and 2Tbs Sugar and 2 tsp salt added to it.
Seasoned Salt
Relish (I use dill, you could go sweet though)
Finely chopped red onion (or whatever color you have on hand - red just has a zippy taste!)

Okay, so bring your pot of water to a boil.  While that is getting started chunk your potatoes up into bite sized pieces.  I found that unless your potatoes are all the same size, you should NOT boil them whole because some will be done before others.  Chop your potatoes into chunks that are all relatively the same size.  When the water is ready and at a HARD boil, add your potatoes.  Boil for about 10 minutes but not long enough to get them soft. You want them to slightly give when you fork them. I like to take one out and eat it to see how hard it is.  When the potatoes are done, drain them and set aside to let them cool.

In a small bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of mayo with 2 Tbsp mustard.  I probably don't need to tell you that you may feel free to use whatever kind of mayo and mustard you like, whether "Vegenaise" or Miracle Whip or spicy mustard or Dijon. To the mayo/mustard mix add about 2 tsp up to 2 Tbsp of season salt, depending on your taste.  I probably used about 2 tablespoons just because it salts the potatoes too. Add about 1tsp (or more - again your preference) and combine. Add 1/4 cup relish to mix and blend. I drain my relish in a sieve to get any excessive juice from it.  I find that if you add the spices to the mayo it distributes it evenly in your salad and you don't have giant bites of spice! EEW! Add mayo mix to potatoes and gently fold in with onions.  I like using a whole onion because I like onion, but you could go less as well. The onion ended up being about a cup after chopping.  Combine and cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  This melds all the flavors and lets the salt sink in and mellow.  It also cools the potatoes as well.

Slow Cooker Chili

So today I'm ucka-sick and not feeling up to much, but I figured why not make slow cooker chili? I'm gonna throw 48oz of water in my crockpot with two of knorr's homestyle stock concentrated stock thingies. They're jellied stock cups I guess? Idk but they make about 3.5 cups of stock per jiggler is what I'll call them because they remind me of jello jigglers.  Then put 2 pounds of raw ground beef in it the water.  I took a potato masher and broke the beef up to little pieces.  Put your favorite chili spice packet in, and place on high for about 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  If you like, you can add a couple cans of drained but NOT rinsed beans such as Great Northern, Kidney, or Black Beans. I have used all and they're great. If it is still not thick enough, then add about 1/2 cup warm water in a glass and add about 4 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour and dissolve then add to chili. (This post was originally started in Dec 5th but I just finished it!)