Saturday, June 12, 2010

Crockpot Pulled Pork Braised In Cola. Yum.

Yes, it is another pulled pork recipe in a short amount of time, and yes it is another pork recipe right after another. I can't help it, I love pork, I love BBQ, I love easy, ........oh and I love a bah-gain. This pork was a bargain. I bought a 7 pound roast for a little over 12 bucks the other day.  I'll get 3 meals out of it, so yes that is a great bargain!

I cut the roast up into 3 roasts for my family.  I already showed you what I did with the first roast, roasted pork loin with rosemary and balsamic vinegar, well this is the second, and third since I did a double batch.  Which was supposed to be frozen for later use,  but of course it is almost gone, my GP's devoured it.  I can't complain, the GP's really love this pork.  Nothing makes me happier than my family enjoying a meal I've made for them.

Since I was using a pork loin, a long and slow cook in the oven is out, it's just to lean. I usually do my pork loin in the crockpot with kraut, and it comes out perfect and almost pulled, so I figured what the heck, just pop it in the crock. So that's what I did.

My roast is a little over 2 lbs, I want to say 2 1/4 lbs. I know from experience with the pork and kraut not to let it go too long, so I only cooked mine on low for 5 hours. Here's how I started it.

First I seasoned the roast up with my favorite BBQ rub. Notice I really put a nice coating on.

Then I sliced up a large onion, feel free to use what you like, I'm using a Vidallia.

Place the all but a few of the slices of onion in the bottom of the crock and lay the pork on top.  Separate the onion into rings and lay those on top of the pork roast.  You can dice the onion if you like so you can blend it into your sauce later, but a couple of my GP's hate onions, and it drives me bananas when I see them picking through their food to get them out.  Instead I sliced them a bit thicker and left them whole so they could be taken out later and added to mine and my husbands sandwiches later.  They even still had a texture to them and weren't complete mush, which I like.

After the onions pour 1 cup of Coke, Cherry Coke, or Rootbeer over the roast, and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.  Cover, turn on low, and let the aroma of yummy porkie-ness fill your home.  Cook for 5 hours, or check to see that a fork slides in and out of the pork easily, if it does you are good to go!

Remove the pork to a plate, bowl, what ever you like, to pull it.  This is what is should look like after the 5 hours.  Shreds up beautifully.  Pour the juices from the crockpot into a large measuring cup, it filled my 2 cup.  Place the shredded pork back in the crockpot.  Mix up 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce with 1/2 cup of the juices from the pork.  Add some vinegar to cut the sweetness.  Pour the sauce over the pork and mix it gently.  If your pork isn't wet enough for your liking, add more juices, if it isn't BBQ-ey enough for your liking, yes that is a made up word, add more sauce.  I find the ratio of 1 cup BBQ sauce to 1/2 cup juice was just right for us.  And judging by the two sandwiches my tween daughter ate, who normally eats like a bird, I'd say this was a hit.  Not to mention they also ate what was supposed to be frozen for a future meal.  But hey, I'm not complaining.  Having a meal that they go crazy for makes me happy.  And when Momma's happy, everyones happy.

Okay so don't hate me for this, but I don't have a picture of the plated pork sandwich.  I know, I know, I am so terrible at this.  But close your eyes and imagine this beautiful pork on a toasted bun, with a steamed ear of sweet corn, and a side of creamy slaw.  It would look a lot like this:

So please forgive me just this twice, third, or fifth time for being totally unprepared and bad at this blogging stuff.  I promise you, the pork is worth it!  It may not win you an award at the next BBQ championship, but sure as heck will satisfy your hungry family.

Now, make this:

Crockpot Pulled Pork Braised in  Cola

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
The Roast:
2 lbs - 3 lbs boneless pork loin
1 large onion, peeled
1 cup Coke A Cola (or any cola, cherry cola, rootbeer you like)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
The Sauce:
1 Cup BBQ sauce (homemade or your favorite brand, I used KC Masterpiece)
1/2 Cup drippings from roast
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the rub. Liberally season the pork roast all over with the rub. You may have extra left over, I save it for later use in an empty spice jar.
Slice onion in half crosswise, then those slices in half again so that you have 4 large pieces, or dice it if you prefer. Separate the onion into rings. Lay almost all of the onion in the bottom of the crockpot, leaving a few rings for the top. Place roast on top of the onions and lay the rest of the onion on top of the roast. Pour cola and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar over roast. Cover, turn on low, and cook for 5 hours. After 5 hours check to see if a fork slides into and out of the pork easily. If it does you are ready to shred, if not check it again in 30 minutes.
When the roast is ready, remove it from the crockpot. Pour out the juices into a large measuring cup or bowl. Set aside. Remove onion from crockpot. Either use them to top sandwiches, or slice them up and add them later to the shredded pork.
Using two forks, shred pork and return it to the crockpot. Mix 1 cup of BBQ sauce with 1/2 cup of juices, and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar. Pour over the shredded pork and toss gently to coat the pork. If it isn’t wet enough, add a little more juice, if you like it thicker, add more BBQ sauce. Serve and enjoy!
A 2lb pork roast will feed a family of four nicely, 3lbs should feed a family of 6.

Click Me For The Printable Recipe

Now go.......

Tizzy Sig

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Roasted Pork Loin With Rosemary-Balsamic Glaze. Memories of my father.

I grew up in Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduating high school I decided to pack up and move to Florida. I lived in Florida for 7 years before meeting my husband. I remember our first trip to Pennsylvania when we brought our new daughter home to meet her Oma and Opa. We stayed with my father on his farm. I remember the first dinner he made us, it was a pork loin glazed with a rosemary, garlic, balsamic vinegar glaze, and it was delicious. I remember walking into a house full of smoke, asking what he was making and why he was burning it. He corrected me and told me he was not burning it, he was searing it.

I also remember all of this because it was the first time my father and I talked about cooking and recipes. I was still pretty young and my idea of cooking was using Reynolds plastic oven bags for my roasts or jazzing up Prego. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But I was eager to move up, so I was happy to watch him and learn from him. It started my love of cooking. I remember asking him how to make it and being anxious to get home and give it a try. This was the first roast other than an eye roast out of a Reynolds bag I made and it turned out just as delicious as his. It gave me confidence in the kitchen that with a solid recipe and a little instruction, I could make great things. :}

From then on I began watching PBS cooking shows and Food Network religiously. I think I had a subscription to every food magazine I could get my hands on. I was learning as much as I could so one day I could impress him. Now he and I talk about food all the time, share recipes, and he even gives me the occasional call for advice on a recipe. It is true, food does bring families together.

The recipe comes from Caprial Pence.  I believe she had a cooking show on PBS and that is where he saw the recipe.  This is my favorite recipe for pork loin. Not tenderloin, just the loin. This cut of meat may not be as tender, but when prepared in this way, it comes out moist and juicy. Sliced thinly, it was perfect the next day for sandwiches my father made for lunch.

Now that all that reminiscing is out of the way, on with the recipe.  I didn't capture a picture of making the glaze, or the veggies on the plate, what can I say, I'm new to this.  I keep forgetting things.  I'm trying to get better, I really am.

First you season up the roast with salt and pepper, make sure you really season it up as it's a thick piece of meat.  After you season the roast, I set it aside and make the glaze.  When the glaze is finished put a nice sear on your roast.

This is after 3 minutes per side, I thought the color was dark enough and my kitchen was smoked up enough so I stopped after the 3 minutes per side.  You will smoke up your house with this recipe, unless you have a super duper exhaust fan, which I do not.

After the sear, glaze that meat baby.  Really give it a nice coating.  You'll roast the pork for 15 minutes and then glaze it again.  Depending on the size of your roast, your oven, ect, ect, ......15-20 minutes later, zee roast, she is done.

Perfect every time.  I like my pork with just a tiny bit of pink in the middle.  Now just imagine there was some beautiful garlicky green beans on this plate, and ignore my lack of plating skills.  Thank you Caprial Pence for such delicious recipe, and thank you Dad for sharing it with me.

Roasted Pork Loin With Rosemary-Balsamic Glaze

2   cloves  garlic -- chopped
2   teaspoons  chopped fresh rosemary (I've also used thyme)
1/4 cup  brown sugar
3/4 cup  balsamic vinegar
3   pound  boneless pork loin (mine was a bit under 3lbs, more like 2.75 lbs)
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1   tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil (canola oil works here too)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Make the glaze:
Combine the garlic, rosemary, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over high heat.  Bring just to a boil, then turn heat to low and cook 5 minutes, until the brown sugar has dissolved. Set glaze aside.

Season the pork loin well with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a very large ovenproof saute pan over high heat until smoking hot. Add the pork and sear well, about 5 minutes per side.

Brush the pork liberally with the glaze, and set the pan in the oven. You can also transfer the pork to a baking dish if you don't have an oven proof pan.

Roast the pork loin for 15 minutes, brush with more glaze, and continue roasting 15 to 20 minutes longer for medium doneness.  I pulled mine out of the oven at 20 minutes and a temp of 145 degrees F.  Tented it for 10 minutes and it was perfect.  Make sure to let sit about 10 minutes before slicing. Slice very thin.

Adapted Recipe By :Caprial Pence

Click Me For The Printable Recipe


Tizzy Sig

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One meatball, two sauces.

I love meatballs. Fresh, homemade meatballs. Not the frozen processed plastic golf balls you get at sub shops and cheaper Italian restaurants. I also love that they are easy to throw together, all the GP's love them, and they are dirt cheap to make.

Recently my husband found out he will be working in Tampa for the next couple of years, which means we will pack up and move again this summer. This way he can be closer to work, and we can have better schools for our children. Win, win. A move, plus summer time means our budget will be tight for the next few months, so I just love when I can find cheap eats that still taste delish.

That is where meatballs come in. Ground beef is always cheap and can be used in so many ways. My favorite is a good juicy hamburger fresh from the grill. But, I don't have one at the moment, and no way in heck am I using the community grill at our complex. It's rusted, sitting uncovered under a tree where birds nest, and I've seen my fair share of their presents left behind on it. It baffles my mind that people actually use that grill.

So burgers are out, but one of these days I will break down and purchase a cast iron grill pan so I can do them on the stove top. Especially since when we move I will finally have a gas stove. Which I am super excited about!!! Until then, I'll make meatballs.

I have yet another recipe I wanted to try from The Pioneer Woman for her BBQ Meatballs, but when my husband heard meatballs that I wasn't putting in marinara, he asked me to make his favorite Honey Garlic Meatballs.

I usually make them New Years Eve. My family likes to do a buffet of appetizers that we nosh on all night. The meatballs are always gone first. The recipe I used for the meatballs was a Cooking Light recipe for Beef Meatballs but I was out of eggs and Ree's doesn't use eggs so I went with hers.

I have to say I had mixed feelings about the final result. I only cooked mine for 30 minutes and they could have gone 5 minutes less. I did however love the method of rolling them in flour and briefly browning on top of the stove and that tangy BBQ sauce that covered them. Usually I just bake them meatballs in a hot oven and glaze them in the honey garlic sauce, but this time I did like Ree and poured it over top and baked. They were so tasty. But again, they were a bit over cooked and needed a bit of garlic to give them some umph for me.

All in all, the recipe is easy, cheap, and quick to come together. I think adding a bit of garlic and cutting back on the baking to 25 minutes would give me a much tastier ball - o -meat. Either way, you can't go wrong, my GP's gobbled up the honey garlic before the BBQ. Can't say I blame them, they were my favorite too!

I served them over jasmine rice because that is what I had on hand. Ree suggests egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or crusty French bread. The honey garlic meatballs are great little party appetizers too. Like I mentioned before, I didn't have egg so I used Ree's meatball recipe for the browning and baking but I'm giving the original recipe for how I make them.
Let's get cooking......

After you mix up the meatballs you pop them in the freezer for 5 minutes, then roll them in flour.

Then fry baby fry, or is it saute baby saute? Or brown baby brown?

Then pop them into a baking dish.

Then give em' some sauce and pop them in the oven.

Check them at 25 minutes.....mmmmm, look at those babies. Resist the urge to pop one in your mouth, those suckers are HOT!!!

And serve anyway you like, over rice, mashed taters, as a sandwich, or just by themselves. Just make them.

I'm giving both original recipes, but feel free to mix it up and use Ree's recipe for meatballs with the honey garlic sauce, you won't be disappointed.

BBQ Meatballs

1 1/2 pound Ground Beef (I used 2 pds)
3/4 cups Oats (I used 1 cup of quick oats)
1 cup Milk (I used a bit more I think 1 1/4)
3 Tablespoons Very Finely Minced Onion (I used 4)
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt (I used 2)
Plenty Of Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 cup All-Purpose Flour (coating For Frozen Meatballs)
Canola Oil
FOR SAUCE (I  cut this in half since I was making half a batch of honey garlic)
1 cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
4 Tablespoons (to 6 Tablespoons) Onion
1 dash Tabasco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.
Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown. Place into a baking dish.
Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. (I cooked mine for 30 and probably would only go 25 next time, maybe my oven is hotter?)

Honey Garlic Meatballs 

1 1/2 pounds ground round
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely minced, pressed, or grated on a microplane zester
Cooking spray
2 Tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use Lite)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine the ground round, parm cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, tomato sauce, mustard, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and 2 cloves of minced garlic in a bowl and mix well.

Prepare a broiler pan by coating with cooking spray. Shape mixture into 30 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until done. Drain the grease and set them aside.

While meatballs cook make your sauce.

Melt butter in saucepan and saute garlic until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ketchup, honey and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer five minutes. Add meatballs to sauce. Return to a boil and simmer uncovered 5 until sauce glazes meatballs.


Tizzy Sig