The other night, we hosted a wee soirée in honour of the mister’s 32nd birthday. It was also my designated night to cook. Even though the festivities were commencing after regular dinner hour, the expectation for our soirées is that their will be food. Lots of prepared-with-love, glorious food.
That may just be my expectation, but it is there nonetheless.
Inspired by the fact that pork shoulder was on sale and my own laziness (as is so often the case), I decided to put together a catch-as-catch can spread of pulled pork and slaw that guests could help themselves to, as either sliders or on corn chips, as and when they desired, while also feeding the mister and I a supper.
In hindsight, I feel like a bit of a super-genius not only because the spread took very little effort to put together, but also because it turned out to be a really, really cheap way of serving people a lot of tum-warming and delicious food. It helped greatly that the pork shoulders I bought were discounted further by $5 each – I paid the whopping total of $20 for 5 kilos of meat – because I purchased them two days before their best before dates, so the total cost of food per person came in just under $3.
And we fed about 16 people.
And there are leftovers.
And that’s a really good thing because, and I shit you not, for the following day’s meal plan entry, I wrote in “probs hanging over – order in or eat leftovers”.
I am nothing if not realistic, though luckily I was not hanging over. I blame the sangria. Thanks, sangria!
Onto the recipes!
The Pulled Pork
This is a slow cooker recipe.
Rob and I had this discussion after I put it all together the night before:
Me: I hate slow cooker cooking. I am simply not built for this shit.
Rob: Why? Because everything smells like noms?
Me: No! Because I like to tend to my food, not ignore it! It needs LOVE!
It still comes out amazing, I wouldn’t share it otherwise, but if you’re like me, put it in at night so’s to resist the urge to keep checking on it.
Meaty side note: Most pork butts come with skin on which holds a goodly layer of fat underneath. I leave this on while its cooking, but remove it and the fat before pulling.
What you need:
- 2.5-3 kilo pork butt/shoulder
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 tin of apple juice
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 4 or 18 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp chipotles and adobo
What you do:
- Toss everything BUT the brown sugar and chipotles in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours until everything is very,very tender.
- Ladle the remaining cooking liquid into a pot and boil until reduced by half. This is the sop.
- Add the brown sugar and chipotles to the sop.
- Remove the layer of skin/ fat and any bones from the meat.
- Use two forks to pull the meat apart until roughly shredded (or however you like it – I like to have some big chunks among the more finely shredded bits – you do you).
- Pour the sop over the meat and stir to combine.
- Keep the meat heated using the “keep warm” or low setting on your slow cooker. You may want to do a little research to ensure you’re using the correct setting to keep it at a safe temperature.
- Serve over nachos or on buns with slaw.
I have a love/hate relationship with slaw. I tend to really dislike most of them and the ones I do like tend to be not-creamy. That said, every time I make this slaw I wonder why I don’t make slaw more often. And it’s creamy because there’s something about that pulled pork and creamy slaw combo that is just really right.
I think I love this one because I make the veg do most of the heavy lifting of the flavour, while the sauce just pulls things together. Or I could be talkin’ smack. Either way, it is delicious.
What you need:
- 1/4 of a large head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp dried dill
- 2 tsp caraway seeds, lightly crushed
- Salt & pepper to taste
What you do:
- In a food processor, whiz the sour cream, mayo, vinegar, garlic, dill, caraway, salt and pepper until smooth.
- In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until well-combined.