Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan & Pulled Pork

With Bryant working long hours this month, I've been trying to do things to make his life easier and of course, taking pity on him and making his favorite meals. This is especially true when he works on the weekends so that's when I really try to make something special. And that something special this weekend is definitely pulled pork sandwiches. This recipe is so good! The spices give the pork a great flavor. And it's not just meant for BBQ pulled pork (although I didn't realize that fact last time). Once this recipe is cooked, it can be used in lots of other dishes - Chinese, Mexican, salads, etc. Of course, we'll be having BBQ pulled pork sandwiches tonight but I'll freeze the leftovers to use in other dishes.

Pulled pork is traditionally made with a cheaper cut of pork called pork shoulder or Boston butt. However, once you remove the tons of extra fat, a 4-lb shoulder is suddenly much closer to 3 pounds. I've started buying a slightly more costly, leaner cut of pork but since it's leaner, I can buy a small quantity (since you don't have to remove as much fat). While I still haven't found a perfect cut of pork for pulled pork, I've tried pork loin chops before which worked well.

Week's Menu Plan

Saturday: slow cooker pulled pork, salad, Bryant's award-winning cookies

Sunday: Jamaican Jerk Chicken with corn on the cob

Monday: pad see ew (thanks to lots of leftovers from a lovely lunch I had with my grandma on Friday) with baby bok choy and red peppers

Tuesday: beef enchiladas from last week (I've actually already made the meat and frozen it so all I have to do is bake the enchiladas) with restaurant style salsa

Wednesday: Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Thursday: shrimp and grits

Friday: Vietnamese chicken pho (it never was made last week)

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Taken from: Life's Ambrosia
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (5 pound) bone-in pork shoulder OR 3 pounds of pork loin chops or whatever cut you've chosen (again, if you go with a leaner cut of meat, you won't need as much)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
-Remove as much fat as possible from the pork.
-Combine salt, chili powder, cumin, granulated garlic, pepper and oregano in a small bowl.
-Rub spice mixture all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate over night or for several hours.
-Slice the onion and lay it on the bottom of a 5 quart slow cooker. Place the pork on top of the onions. Pour beef broth and water over the top. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).
-Remove from slow cooker. Allow to cool slightly. Discard bone and pan juices. Using a fork and spoon shred meat (removing any visible fat).
-If making BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, return shredded pork to slow cooker and add good bottled BBQ sauce or homemade sauce. Cook on low for 1-2 hours.

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