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My Very Best Pulled Pork

  

When it comes to pulled pork, I’m a full blown snob! I love it so much, that my bucket list includes a trip through the small towns of the south, sampling pulled pork and ribs from the well kept secret spots and smoky hole-in-the-wall kinds of joints, where the craft of bar-b-que is practiced from ancient family recipes.

Now, while I’d love to slow cook my own pork over a sampling of hardwoods, and allow the natural flavors to develop over hours of heat, the reality is that I’m a mom of three busy kids, who works full time. Carpools, laundry, bickering daughters, and work would not wait for me to monitor a roasting hunk of meat and the demands of an open flame in my small, suburban back yard.

So, I do what any other sensible cook would do, I pull out my slow cooker. I know it is not comparable to an open flame, but, oh well!

Here is my recipe. It is an awesome blend of a Carolina style vinegar pulled pork, and its bar-b-que based counterpart. I think of it as the best of both worlds. Smoky and savory, tangy and sweet all collide in this recipe that will leave you craving more!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large (8-10 lb.) pork shoulder/picnic or Boston Butt roast
  • 1 head of garlic peeled
  • 1 med. Yellow onion
  • 1 of each—Red pepper, yellow pepper, & orange pepper
  • ½ to 1 cup of ketchup
  • 4 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp. of  brown sugar
  • Bar-b-Que seasoning
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Sprinkle roast with seasoning.
  2. Chop peppers and onions into large chunks
  3. Place roast, peppers, onions, and garlic into a slow cooker.
  4. Pour in vinegar
  5. Cook 8-10 hours on medium to high until the meat is tender and falls apart easily.
  6. Remove meat and set aside to cool.
  7. Strain juice from the slow cooker into a medium sauce pan on the stove.
  8. Boil liquid until reduced to half
  9. Add ½ cup of ketchup and 3 tbsp of brown sugar and continue to boil until you have a thin sauce. You may need to add small amounts of brown sugar or ketchup to adjust taste.
  10. Use two forks or your stand mixer to shred meat and add it to the sauce.

Serve on a roll of your choice, or open faced on a slab of Texas Toast garlic bread!

Tips:

  • The longer the meat sits in the sauce, the better it tastes
  • This can be frozen in smaller amounts and used as needed.
  • Make it at least one day in advance to allow the meat to soak up the sauce.
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Misery Meatloaf

Misery Meatloaf

A new fangled twist
On an old beef tradition
Will cause you to crave
This modern rendition

Once upon a time, I was a meatloaf hater! I didn’t want to make it, eat it, or even look at it.
But, about 15 years ago my sister changed me. She shared a recipe for “Misery Meatloaf” and insisted that I try it. Well, I did, and I instantly changed in to a meatloaf lover…but only my own creation.


Well, unfortunately, I lost the pathetic scrap of paper that this recipe was hastily jotted on, and I was forced to try to recreate my favorite meal from a sketchy memory. Apparently, I forgot a few details along the way and so it was never as good as the original.
Then, when we moved into a new house, the recipe reappeared, and I made “Misery Meatloaf” correctly, thus renewing my love for this bar-b-que wonder. But, sadly, it then disappeared once again.
Time marched on, and 2 babies later, we moved again. Miracle of all miracles, the recipe fluttered out of a cookbook as I was unpacking my new kitchen! (I have a tendency to put important things in “safe places”, never to find them again)
But…before I could make it again, the recipe disappeared AGAIN! (Seriously, I’m not kidding) I called my sister, desperately seeking the recipe and vowing to keep it safe from this point forward. (Kitchen Tip: tape your most favorite recipes inside of your spice cabinet)

Unfortunately, my sister did not remember the recipe and insisted that she had never heard of it. I tried Googling the ingredients and name with no luck. I simply gave up.

Then…during my most recent kitchen renovation, I came home from the grocery store to find the most coveted slip of paper on the counter! My wonderful husband, and a very helpful neighbor, found it under the refrigerator while they were ripping my old floor out. WOOOO WHOOOO!!!

So, in an effort to stop the crazy meatloaf roller coaster, I am posting the recipe, so that it may live in digital eternity, and I can retire the crinkled, faded slip of a recipe that likes to play hide & seek.

Misery Meatloaf

***I am not sure how this meal got its name, but I surely know that its constant disappearing act made me pretty miserable!

Ingredients:
3lbs. ground beef or chicken
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. Seasoned bread crumbs
4Tbsp. Shredded Parmesan cheese
2Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. Finely chopped Spanish onion
2tsp. Minced Garlic

Preparation:

The Meatloaf

  • Combine all ingredients, mixing well. (I use my stand mixer on low)
  • Form into an oval loaf with a uniform thickness, and place in a roasting pan or casserole dish
  • Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes
  • Slice across the top of the meatloaf and baste with the sauce.
  • Return the meatloaf to the oven and cook for 20 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

The Sauce

1C. Ketchup
3Tbsp. Brown sugar
2Tbsp. Worcester sauce
2Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
2Tsp. Minced garlic
3Tbsp. Shredded Parmesan cheese

  • Combine the ingredients below in a saucepan and simmer until well combined.

** you can double the sauce recipe and reserve some for dipping.

The photo above shows Misery Meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts with kale.