I know I’ve posted something like this before, but this has to be one of my favorite slow meals. I have favorite quick meals – tofu pad thai, french toast, – but for a take-half-the-day-to-make meal, pulled pork sandwiches are right up there.
Since I have not been creatively cooking much the last few weeks, I decided I wanted to spend a day in the kitchen and putter. I picked up a pork shoulder the other day and seasoned it with salt, pepper and chili powder. I seared it then added veggie broth and hard cider before covering and popping it in the oven at 250 for about four hours. (turned once) It does take a while, but it is wait time not active work time. Which gave me plenty of time to make all the stuff that goes with it.
I got the basic recipe for my focaccia rolls from my favorite vegan cookbook. Yeast, warm water (I use a tablespoon of yeast and 1.25 cups water), three tablespoons of oil, three cups flour (one cup whole wheat, 2 cups regular), 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix all together, knead and let rise. After about an hour, punch down, knead a little again and then I cheat and just pull the dough apart with my hand and make the rolls. I try to keep them relatively even in size, but they are home made so not exactly perfect. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 and we have bread for the sandwiches.
Rosemary sweet potato fries. I stole the basic recipe for these from one of our Hello Fresh boxes – cut up the sweet potatoes (in this case, two), chop some rosemary and garlic and mix everything together with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes (I did this while the pork was resting and being pulled).
Onions. Caramelized onions. Possibly my favorite (and most pain in the neck) part of this whole meal. Contrary to many, many recipes, onions cannot be caramelized in twenty minutes. These little dears take an hour to do right. Start with butter or oil and let it get hot in the pan. I added two large onions (vidalia in this case) sliced thin and let them cook over medium low heat, stirring every now and then so they don’t burn. About 25 minutes in the look like the picture above and that is when I turn the heat to low and stir a little more frequently. The house smelled so good all the cats and Jessie were hanging around looking for tastes.
The BBQ sauce is the altered form of Grandmom’s recipe. In this case I used some of the hard cider left over from braising in place of water, but otherwise I left it alone. Ketchup, maple syrup (the real stuff, not the fake stuff), butter, apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, chili powder, season all, pepper, BBQ seasoning and ground mustard. Just let it boil for a minute and you have it. (One of these days I will remember to look at the amount of each and post it – for now its twice the Ketchup as maple syrup and just enough water to make it sauce instead of syrup (usually about the same amount as the syrup) and spices by taste.
I paired this with a nice honey apple cider (yes, hard cider) that actually worked well with it. I am absolutely not claiming this as health food, good for you or low calorie. But it is good. Very good. Mom said it was better than eating in a restaurant and Dad cleaned his plate – high praise indeed. Bob has leftovers for lunch this week and I’m contemplating next week’s Sunday Dinner … unless I make Bob take me out for one of the Savor Sarasota dinners – it is restaurant week here so all kinds of good, special menus.
Hope everyone has a great start to June and the unofficial start of summer. Keep cool.