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Friday, February 1, 2013

Superbowl/"Slow Cooker Revolution"

Pulled Pork and Pickles (carrot slaw not required)

Plan Ahead for Superbowl – Slow Cooker Revolution

Have you heard the saying there are no bad cooks, just bad recipes?  Here’s a great one to add to your repertoire:  Beginner’s Pulled Pork. 

This book, the Slow Cooker Revolution, a product of the America’s Test Kitchen juggernaut, aims to take old recipes and bring them up to the higher standards of today’s discriminating diner.  As such, some of the recipes ask you to sauté or finish in the oven or broiler in order to get a better result.  This recipe, however, is blissfully simple.  Prepare a spice rub for the pork, pop in the fridge overnight, put in slow cooker, cook all day, shred a little – Done! 

The results are magnificent- the meat itself is meltingly tender, a little bit crispy about the edges, with a tangy, gently spicy sauce.  Although the time to prepare is short, the time to cook is long, so you must plan ahead. 

Once prepared, the pulled pork will sit happily in the slow cooker and be ready for hungry guests to make their own sandwiches any time, so that you can enjoy the Superbowl game – and/or the commercials! as you prefer.

Serve with pickle chips over soft rolls.  The usual accompaniments are cole slaw and extra barbecue sauce, but with a recipe this perfect, are entirely optional.  This can be the main course on soft sandwich rolls for 10 people, or when you’ve got a lot of other courses,  serve on those ubiquitous mini slider rolls for a great little appetizer for 20. 

When people say I’m a good cook,  I think, well, if you made these recipes, you would be too!  After a lifetime of trying new recipes, I think I can discern a good recipe from a bad one, but finding a great one among the good is a matter of trial and error. 

Here is one to definitely hold onto.  Proof:  my son said the other night after dinner - Mom, you can make this once a week! 

Perfect for a cold winter’s day staying in and watching the football game, this would also not be out of place at a summer barbecue. By the way, this reheats well, in case you really want to plan ahead, or in the lucky event you have leftovers!

Beginner’s Pulled Pork
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen,  Slow Cooker Revolution

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sweet paprika
1 rounded Tablespoon garlic powder
1 rounded Tablespoon onion powder
1 rounded Tablespoon ground cumin
1  ½ teaspoons cayenne (red) pepper
3 teaspoons Diamond kosher salt, or 1 ½ teaspoons regular table salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 pieces boneless pork butt roast, 3 lbs each
1 ¼ cups barbecue sauce

Soft Rolls
Pickle chips
Optional:  cole slaw, additional barbecue sauce

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Cut up the pork roasts each into 3 pieces, cutting off and discarding any large pockets of fat.  Put the pork pieces into the bowl, and press the spice mixture into every surface of the pork, using all of it.  Wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and put in the fridge for 8 to 24 hours. 

Put the unwrapped pork pieces in a large oval slow cooker.  Distribute the barbecue sauce over all.  Cover and cook on high for 5 – 7 hours, or on low for 9 – 11 hours. 

When fork tender, shut off the heat, take out the pork onto a cutting board and pull or cut into large bite sized pieces.  Don’t overdo as it will further fall apart when mixed back into the sauce.  Discard any large pieces of fat or gristle. 

Defat the sauce by skimming off and discarding any clear pools of fat from the top of the sauce with a large flat spoon.  Add the pork back into the sauce.  Stir gently and turn the crock pot to the “Warm” setting. 

Serve over soft rolls with pickles; and with cole slaw and extra sauce if you like that sort of thing. 

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Not Cooking Light at the Moment

1 comment:

Jeff said...

This looks great. I wish I had seen it before the S. Bowl.