Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Enjoying the fruits of another blogger's labor

Crock-Pot Pulled Pork
from Cassie's Ruminations

1 pork shoulder roast, 4-5 pounds
2 12-oz cans Barq’s Root Beer (Cassie suggest the spicier bite of Barq’s so I used her suggestion)
10 fl oz (a bit more than ½ a bottle) Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce This was Cassie's preference and I went right along with it
8 kaiser rolls
1 small jar pepperoncini, aka pickled peppers

Put the roast into a large crock-pot and pour the root beer over the top. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the roast to a large plate or bowl. Drain the liquid from the crock-pot, reserving about ½ cup. Pull the pork into pieces using two forks or your fingers. Return the meat to the crock-pot. Pour the barbecue sauce over the top and add the reserved ½ cup of cooking liquid. Stir to combine and cook for another ½-1 hour on low. Serve on toasted rolls (I didn't toast - too lazy) with extra barbecue sauce and pickled peppers, if desired.

(Cassie has the nutritional info if you want it but this isn't all that healthy. That's why I went light on the meat.)

Before getting to this recipe, let me just clarify that yesterday wasn't my swan song but it was just to let you know that I am going to stop making excuses and apologizing for not posting regularly anymore since it's most likely that I just won't be posting regularly anymore and the excuses and apologies are getting old. I'm still going to be posting as much as I can muster.

For the longest time I've tried to stick to the theme here, mainly posting cookbook recipes. Yes, I strayed every now and then, but I really did make a concentrated effort.

The problem with doing that however is that I was so busy trying to work in cookbook recipes that I didn't have time to make the recipes that I was coming across on the blogs that I enjoy reading - recipes that someone else has already done the legwork for me. I'm no longer going to hold back - when I see a recipe I want to make I'm going to make it and I'm probably going to tell you about it here.

You can see that I wasted no time in trying Cassie's recipe for pulled pork. She posted it on the 20th and I made it on the 25th (although we ended up having it for dinner on the 26th since my husband was recovering from a stomach bug on the 25th). I'm a huge fan of pulled pork. I often order it when I see it on a menu.

I've not had the best luck making it myself - until now. I believe the key is adding the barbecue sauce at the end and only using some of the cooking liquid. Other recipes often have the pork simmer in what is to become the sauce. The meat is shredded and placed back in the sauce but the cooking liquid tends to be quite diluted so you don't get that full flavor. Removing the pork from the cooking liquid, adding the thick barbecue sauce and just enough cooking liquid to round it out really makes this perfect. This recipe does depend on the quality of your barbecue sauce but there is no shortage of quality barbecue sauces out there. I highly recommend Sweet Baby Ray's (original version) for this. And you do need a fatty piece of pork for this. It just won't be the same with lean pork.

This was so much like I would expect to get in a restaurant. I loved it. My only regret was that Aunt Nancy's Coleslaw would have been perfect with this but as easy as it is to make (and I've already made it twice), I just didn't have any extra bit of time to make it.

I should have saved more of the cooking liquid since I needed to reheat this the next day and while it wasn't dry, it wasn't quite as saucy as it should have been (as it was the day that I made it). I thought about adding a splash of root beer but I didn't want to take a chance of messing up the flavor at that point.

I loved the pepperoncini on this too. They cut the sweetness of the pork. I think they also elevated this meal from something my husband would tolerate (he's not the big pork fan that I am) to something that he really enjoyed since he loves any sort of spicy pepper. My son ate his meat bunless and asked for seconds. He said it was like chili. He loves root beer and he saw me use it in this recipe so I think that helped pique his interest in this recipe too.

Cassie has many great recipes on her blog so be sure to check it out.

Question of the Day: What's your favorite commercial barbecue sauce? (I feel as if I've asked that before but I lose track of these questions. ) We like Sweet Baby Ray's and Jack Daniel's but I also don't mind Hunt's which is very inexpensive.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Heather said...

Hands down, I love Sweet Baby Ray's! I just blogged a recipe (my first ever) with it and I claim it (although I think I just said "bbq sauce") as my "secret ingredient" - it really has been, in things like meat loaf, baked beans...

I'm definitely going to try this recipe. Root beer kind of gives me the creeps but I can see that it would be good in this.

Jennifer said...

Totally agree with you on the cooking of pulled pork...sauce at the end. We like Sweet Baby Ray's and the KC Masterpiece. Used to like but no longer Cattleman's.

Hey my word verification is unchic. I never get anything that makes sense.

Annie said...

Looks good.
I don't have a favorite bbq sauce since I don't use it too often, but I'm glad to know that this one is good.

Red Dirt Mummy said...

I don't like pork at all so I'm going to totally ignore your recipe and concentrate on your blog instead ;) You know that I love your blog - I might not comment every day but I do read. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. You work full-time, have two small kids and somewhere in there you need to fit in a life as well as a blog. Dare I suggest you let your life dictate the blog rather than the other way around? Either way, you've got lots of loyal readers who will be here for every post regardless of how regularly they occur. Hugs, from another blogger who knows exactly how you're feeling.

Anonymous said...

I've been meaning to post the same thing on my blog. Too many recipes for me to just stick to the 500+ cookbooks I'm trying to cook my way through!
And I read your blog because it's fun, informative and has great recipes. When I bookmark things, I don't care where you got them, just that you've posted them with your tips on how to make the recipe sing. Thank you! (and yes, I have to try this recipe soon, love pulled pork but have never tried to make it).