Thursday, November 6, 2008

Savory Shredded Pork

I’m having one of those days. I went to bed too late, then my teething baby fussed all night and I woke up to a house that is not as tidy as I like it. Minor stuff in the whole broad scope of things, but I’m just a tad grouchy. So be forewarned, this post is going to contain a rant or two. If you have no interest whatsoever in what "gets my goat", please scroll on down to the recipe and enjoy the sandwiches.

Rant #1 and a helpful household tip:
The last time I had one of these days was 17 days ago, to be precise. I know, because I’m looking at my calendar. My agenda for the day was to drop off items for a preschool party, load my car, clean the house, pick up my daughter and drive 6 hours to visit family after this preschool party. Unfortunately, about 20 minutes before I was supposed to be at the preschool party, I found out that I needed 2 new tires on our van. The tires weren’t in stock but could be delivered before I needed to drive the 6 hours. So, instead of tidying up my house before my week long trip, I rushed to load the van and deliver cookies to the preschool and then the baby and I sat at the tire place looking at my tire-less mini van jacked up and waiting for tires that never arrived. Ahhh! Yep. One of those days. Anyway, included in my cleaning to-do list for that day was to scrub and put away the crock pot that I’d been soaking from dinner the previous night. No time for that, I called my dear husband from the road and explained that the crock pot would need to be scrubbed. That the stains would come out if he just scrubbed hard enough with soapy water. I mentioned to please not just toss it in the dishwasher. My crock pot has never come clean in the dishwasher(believe me, I’ve tried. I loathe scrubbing that thing). In fact, it seems to make it harder to remove the stains after a spin through the dishwasher. Anyone want to guess where this is going?

I returned home 6 days later to a relatively clean house. Kudos to my dear husband! But do you know where my crock pot was found? Certainly not in the sink, still soaking, with chunks of 7 day old food floating and growing mold. That would have been just gross. Give him a little more credit than that. Right before I came home, he emptied it out and stuck (hid) it in the dishwasher! Bless his heart. It was really fun to clean, let me tell ya.

Since you will need your crock pot for this recipe, I am going provide instructions for how to clean your crock pot.
1) An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. It might help a little. Also, you can buy liners to fit over your crock pot liner. I’ve seen them, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the extra cash. Maybe if I had a coupon…
2) Fill the crock with hot soapy water and allow it to soak overnight. Use a sponge or nylon scrubbing pad with plenty of hot soapy water and good old elbow grease. Make sure you haven't missed any stains, as they'll be harder to remove if you don't notice it until the next time you clean it. I promise, it will come clean. You might have to work up a sweat, but at least your crock pot won’t look disgusting.
3) As a last resort, tough burned on food or mineral stains can be tackled by filling your crock pot 3/4 of the way full with water and 1 cup of white vinegar. With the lid on, cook for 2 hours on high, allow to cool, then soak and clean as normal.

Rant #2
I can’t stand the choice of grocery stores where we live. I love my Kroger store. Love it. And here, there is no Kroger. No cost cutter savings. What I am left with is one store that is a little too expensive but an enjoyable shopping experience, another discount type store that only accepts cash…not a check or debit card…just cash. And finally, Giant Eagle where the butcher once made me feel stupid for requesting ground beef in the 1 lb. “tube” package. They don’t carry that. Apparently they are above that…according to the smug meat guy. Their beef is ground fresh…blah blah blah. Whatever. They sure don’t know how to clean a pork shoulder roast OR they just take pride in selling customers a full pound of fat. I know, I’m partly to blame. I saw a little fat and skin on the end quarter of the roast. What I didn’t see was the whole underside of the roast was fully covered with pig skin (ewww) and fat. It took me 15-20 minutes to trim the roast. Of course, this was a 5 1/2 lb. roast and the recipe only calls for a 3 lb. roast, so my yield was still greater than the 5 cups stated on the recipe. But c'mon! A pound of fat!?

I am not a butcher. Not my job. Not to mention, by the time I was finished trimming, my roast was 1 whole pound lighter. I know, I weighed it.

Now if you’ve made it through the ranting, I’d like to show you how to make Better Homes and Garden’s delicious Shredded Savory Pork. Pretty simple (if you don’t have to spend a ton of time trimming the roast. Grr.) You’ll just need a roast, 8 cloves of garlic, 7 different spices, and a cup of broth.

Put the garlic and all of the other spices in a bowl and stir. Right now, you may be thinking, “that’s a lot of garlic”. Then you must have missed my post on Garlic Herb Chicken which contains 20 cloves of garlic plus 1 whole bulb. Now that’s a lot of garlic. You may be concerned about halitosis. You might be thinking that you’re happy that you’re reading this on a screen rather than discussing recipes with me in person. I am not deterred by a little garlic breath. Just wait until our daughters reach dating age…it’ll be garlic every night. Seriously, I did a little research about the health benefits of garlic today. First, I noticed garlic supplements in the pharmacy over the weekend. Then, I was discussing the Roast Chicken recipe with a friend and she talked about her grandmother’s love for garlic and some of it’s effects on her(not all pleasant). My curiosity was peaked, so I started digging. It turns out that garlic is credited with many medicinal uses. It stimulates immune function, and therefore is used to prevent and treat common colds and the flu. It is also believed to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It is even said to combat acne! So cook with garlic to your heart’s content. However, there seem to be some guidelines. In the latest study, performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, explores the power of garlic to protect against certain cancers and heart disease, and states: “To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.” So there you have it, a little health and science lesson with your pork sandwiches. Moving on…here are the spices

Now place your trimmed roast into the crock pot

Rub with the garlic and spice mixture.

Pour one cup of broth over the roast. I know the recipe calls for beef broth, but I already had a chicken broth open that needed to be used. Then just put the lid on your crock pot, set the cook time, and go about your life until dinner time.

It cooks down into something that looks like this

I transfer the meat to another dish and pick out any fat that I missed in the trimming process in addition to anything that looks or feels unappetizing.

Using two forks, I shred the pork.

To keep the pork moist and optimize flavor, I pour the cooking broth from the bottom of the crock pot through a strainer and onto the pork.

I put the pork on a toasted bun and topped it with my favorite BBQ sauce and pickles. Dress it up however you like it. The sandwiches were served alongside some home-grown sweet corn that I pulled from the freezer and cooked with a little butter and parsley. Rounding out the meal is my homemade applesauce. Deeeelicious!

Better Homes and Garden's Shredded Savory Pork
1 3-lb. boneless pork shoulder blade roast
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
1 cup beef broth
Hamburger buns or kaiser rolls, split and toasted.

Crockery-Cooker Directions: Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut meat to fit in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart crockery cooker. In a small bowl, combine garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and red pepper. Rub into the meat. Add beef broth. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Remove meat from the cooker and shred it using two forks to pull through it in opposite directions. Serve on sandwiches. Save 2 cups for shredded pork tacos.
Make-Ahead Directions: Place shredded meat in a freezer container. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator before using.
Nutrition Facts
• Calories 182
• Total Fat (g) 9,
• Saturated Fat (g) 3,
• Cholesterol (mg) 77,
• Sodium (mg) 246,
• Carbohydrate (g) 1,
• Fiber (g) 0,
• Protein (g) 22,
• Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

To be continued....look for my post on Shredded Pork Tacos tonight!

1 comment:

Katie said...

FYI I did buy those crock pot liners once(when I had a coupon) and they were awesome! Oh and I love the garlic and so does Chris so bring it on!

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