I cook for awards shows like most people cook for major sporting events. I like to have lots of food to sustain me through 3+ hours of awkward banter between presenters, teary acceptance speeches, and judging January Jones’ fashion choices.
For the Emmys this year, Kristine came over (Nicole joined us for dessert, but that post is next) and we chowed down on guacamole, pulled pork and some ‘slaw. It was a delicious dinner that I thought was quite fitting for the end of summer. I haven’t been posting many non-dessert recipes here, but I had to blog about this meal, even though my only picture of it is my lunch leftovers. I’m going to try to post more dinners on the site, as I’ve already cooked more in September than June-August combined.
So, the slowcooker. I got one last year in a silent auction at my gym, and have only used it three times thus far to roast large pieces of meat. The key for me is to prep everything the night before and let it cook overnight. This way, in the morning you can pull the pork, strain the sauce, and stick everything in the fridge until your guests arrive. The ‘slaw is this recipe from Barefoot Contessa via Smitten Kitchen. I cheat and buy a bag of coleslaw mix, because I really don’t feel the need to shred a head of cabbage, although I do make the dressing from the recipe (hold the blue cheese though).
After a lengthy debate with my co-worker Greg regarding which type of bread/bun is best for pulled pork, I was unhappy with both my choices, and preferred the pork on it’s own. I think it would make a great taco filling too, so that’ll have to wait for awards season to really kick into high gear in the winter.
Slowcooker Pulled Pork
Source: Canadian Living Magazine
3 1/2 lb pork shoulder, blade roast
3/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can (14oz/398mL) tomato sauce (Note: NOT spaghetti sauce! Plain, simple, welfare brand tomato sauce is what you want)
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- In a very large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper over pork, and sear on all sides in the pan. Transfer pork to the slowcooker, with the fat side up.
- Add onions, garlic, chili powder and coriander to pan and saute for 5 minutes until onions are softened.
- Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring until darkened, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar and worcestershire sauce, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour sauce over the pork into the slowcooker.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Transfer pork to a glass baking dish. Pull or shred pork with two forks, discarding all pieces of fat. Cover the pan with tinfoil and stick it in the fridge until your peeps arrive.
- Strain the sauce from the slowcooker and use a whisk to push it through a mesh strainer. Chill the sauce for a few hours. This allows the fat to rise to the top of the sauce and solidify so you can then just scoop it into the garbage where it belongs. Pour into a small saucepan, and put it in the fridge.
- When the red carpet starts, turn on your oven to 300. Stick the pork in the oven to start re-heating. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and let the sauce bubble away until it gets thick. Pour it over the pork, toss together and go nuts.