Pork

Crock Pot Recipe: BBQ Pulled Pork

By | Crock Pot, Dinner, Featured | No Comments

I love pulled pork, but who has the time and attention to smoke a pork shoulder? Luckily, all you need is a crock pot, about 15-20 minutes to prep and some patience, and you can have a delicious pulled pork.

Recipe
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  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8-10 hours with Crock Pot set to low
Ingredients
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  • 3 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Jarritos Mexican Cola (You can use any dark soda like Pepsi, Coke, Dr. Pepper, Root Beer etc.)
  • 1/2 Large Onion
  • 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (We used K.C. Masterpiece Original)
  • Cilantro
  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder
Disclaimer: Jarritos Mexican Cola was provided free of charge for use in recipes.
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Directions
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    1. Combine salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder and pepper to create your rub
    2. Generously coat pork shoulder with dry rub on both sides
    3. Place pork in crock pot. Pour in 1 cup of any dark cola into your crock pot. Do not pour it directly on the pork to avoid washing off your dry rub. We use Jarritos Mexican Cola because it has no high fructose corn syrup.
    4. Add chopped onion and cilantro
    5. Coat pork with BBQ sauce
    6. Cook the pork for a total of 8-10 hours with crock pot on low. The pork is ready when it pulls away from the bone and shreds easily.
    7. After the pork is done cooking, use two forks to shred the pork. I also like to remove some of the fat when I’m pulling the pork. I also add a table spoon or two of BBQ sauce for a little extra flavor.
    8. Finally, place on a bun and enjoy!
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Do you have a favorite crock pot recipe? Share it with us in the comments.

Restaurants We Luv: Franklin Barbecue – Austin, TX

By | Featured, Restaurants We Luv | 5 Comments

Recently featured in Bon Appetite as the best BBQ in America, Franklin BBQ has quickly become the talk of the town. With lines forming at 9 a.m. and BBQ selling out as early as 1 p.m., I was extremely excited to get the chance to try it out. Think five year old kid on Christmas Eve excited. My wife and I both had a random Thursday off together, and what better way to spend time together than to eat great food!

Franklin BBQ 3

The one to two hour wait sounds terrible, but time seemed to pass quickly. I’ve waited in longer lines at Disney World with the end result being much less satisfying than Franklin BBQ. We met some interesting people while waiting including folks who’d driven in from Houston just for lunch and Diana even made a new four legged friend. It’s all part of the Franklin BBQ experience.

Most of the line was in the shade, but the worst part of the wait was the 15 minutes we had to spend standing in the sun shortly before we made it inside the building. Thankfully, there were waitresses selling reasonably priced Shiner and Lone Star (it’s OK to drink beer before noon in Texas) as well as other cold beverages. Once arriving at the counter, you are greeted by Aaron Franklin himself. Friendly and enthusiastic, you can tell he takes pride in his food and it shows.

Did the BBQ live up to the hype? Absolutely. The thing that amazed me the most about all the meats was that I made it half way through the meal before I realized I wasn’t using sauce. If you are a BBQ sauce lover, they do have a variety of tasty BBQ sauces including  an espresso sauce with a distinguished flavor. The meat was all so moist, well-seasoned and had such a great flavor there was no need for sauce (even though all their sauces are delish).

  • The brisket was moist, perfectly seasoned and had an enjoyable smoky undertone that doesn’t overpower the meat.
  • The turkey (my wife’s favorite of all the meat options) was probably the best turkey I’ve ever eaten.
  • The ribs fell right off the bone and had a mouthwatering flavor.
  • The sausage was great, but it would be hard to order sausage as a substitute for the ribs, brisket or even turkey. I’d recommend ordering an extra link on the side instead of as a substitute for the other meats.
  • The pulled pork sandwich combined pulled pork, coleslaw, pickles, onions and tasted as good as it looks.

The sides were a great compliment to the meat.

  • The potato salad was simple featuring a mustard base, perfect for non-mayonnaise eaters like my wife.
  • The coleslaw was tasty. At first glance, it looks like your average creamy coleslaw, but looks can be deceiving. The coleslaw includes a tangy flavor with a hint of vinegar.
  • The beans were good for beans, but I’d have a hard time passing up the the other sides.

I would highly recommend Franklin BBQ to anyone. If you’re going to go through the trouble of waiting in line, plan ahead. Bring a camp chair and have a cooler in the car. Order a ton of food and then pack your leftovers in the cooler on the ride home. My wife and I did this and we’ve been eating off of our leftovers for a couple days. It reheats very well.

Franklin BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

To find out more about Franklin BBQ, visit their website at http://www.franklinbarbecue.com/.

Crock Pot Recipe: Pork Carnitas Tacos and Watermelon Salsa

By | Crock Pot, Dinner, Taco | No Comments

I recently started reading Tom Colicchio’s book Think Like a Chef. One of the things Chef Colicchio writes about, that I’ve really tried to apply, is using the market to inspire my own dishes. This past weekend, Diana and I took a trip to Central Market with that thought in mind. We arrived with no grocery list. We browsed through the produce taking time to smell and taste, and examined the meat and fish counters for cuts we would not normally use. What I ended up with was delicious crock pot pork carnitas tacos and a watermelon salsa.

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. Pork Shoulder (Also known as Boston butt)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Diced
  • Kosher Salt (About 2 pinches for each side)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • Dry Oregano (About 1 tsp. per side)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Onion Diced (I used a sweet Vidalia onion. Yum!)
  • 1 12 oz. bottle of Corona (You could use chicken stock instead)
  • Black Pepper (I season 3 turns on the pepper mill for each side. You can season more or less based on your taste)

 

Directions:

1.) First, start by seasoning each side pork shoulder with salt, black pepper and oregano. Be sure to rub the seasonings into the meat to help infuse the flavor.

2.) After seasoning the pork, place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker.

3.) Next add the beer, but avoid pouring directly on the pork. This could wash away some of the seasoning you’ve just added.

4.) After you’ve poured the beer add diced garlic, chopped cilantro, lime juice, bay leaf, and diced onion.

5.) Now that all the ingredients have been added, cook the pork in the slow cooker on low for 10 hours turning once about half-way through. It’s done when you can poke at the pork with a fork and it easily falls apart.

6.) Remove the pork and use two forks to pull into shreds.

7.) Finally, season with salt and pepper. You can also squeeze on extra lime juice for additional flavor.

Watermelon Salsa:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Watermelon Diced
  • 1/4 Cup White Onion Diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. Seeded and Chopped Jalapeño
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Directions

1.) In a bowl, combine diced watermelon, onion, cilantro and Jalapeño.

2.) Next, add juice of 1/2 of a lime and mix well.

3.) Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste.

4.) Let the salsa marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

Balsamic Pork Pasta

By | Pasta | No Comments

Each weekend it’s normally a tradition for my husband to grill a bunch of yummy meats for us to have easy access to make meals with the leftovers during the week. This has been working out quite well especially when I make a whole box of pasta early in the week as well. With the leftover meat and pasta, I always turn to this recipe to make a leftover a new star ingredient for a mid-week meal. Today I used leftover cut up grilled pork chops, but this can be substituted for whatever leftover meat you have on hand, chicken, steak, turkey, shrimp; the possibilities are endless! Here’s what ingredients I used:

Leftover pasta, leftover pork chops, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, one red pepper, one white onion, garlic pepper, and minced garlic.

The best part about this recipe is that I never measure anything but somehow it always turns out yummy! I start off with a large skillet and drizzle the oil on the bottom of the pan and heat it up on medium heat. Once the oil is heated, I add the onion, pepper, and minced garlic. I season them with the salt and pepper to my liking and saute until no longer crisp.

I then add the balsamic vinegar to the pan (eye ball how much you like, I LOVE the stuff so I dump a lot in, but sometimes it can be a taste disliked by some, so you might want to go lighter on it) and I lower the heat to medium, medium low constantly stirring the veggies and incorporating them into the vinegar. The vinegar should thicken a little at which point I dump in my leftover meat (pork chops for this one).

I mix that in and stir for a bit to heat up the meat and then I dump in my leftover pasta.

I mix that all together until the pasta is heated through, and then I serve it topped with either fresh cut up herbs (like basil or parsley) or in today’s case I didn’t have any of those so I opted for some fresh cut up cherry tomatoes.

This easy, quick leftover masterpiece is sure to be a hit! Even my new neighbor wanted to have some!