“Summertime, and the livn’ is easy.” Ella Fitzgerald
Even with rising temperatures, don’t put away the crockpot! More often associated with cold weather cooking, the crockpot is your best summer secret weapon to get dinner on the table while you are out enjoying summer activities. With the additional bonus of not heating up the kitchen as much as conventional oven cooking, crockpot cooking makes perfect sense in the hot summer months. If your family mostly grills in the summer, the crockpot can be put into action for sides like baked beans(recipe here).
Whenever I make pulled pork, I scan the refrigerator for sorry looking condiment jars with dredges of their original contents. Pulled pork is an occasion to clean out the fridge. Left over pickle juice, peppers, relish, mustards, sauerkraut, anything goes! Which is why I never thought I would EVER write a post on pulled pork. Never two batches the same, no measurements, no recipe, winging-it kind of cooking. Not blogging material.
When my friend Deedee, a very talented cook, raved about her recipe for pulled pork (What? A recipe???), I graciously accepted her lovely handwritten recipe card and thought I’d better be on my Sunday best behavior and walk-away-from-the-pickle-juice. With cinnamon, cumin and chili spices for enticing flavor, it was very aromatic while cooking. The cat howled to be let back in, afraid he’d be left out! Deedee’s pulled pork lived up to its fame and is destined to become a family favorite, unless the fridge needs cleaning out!
DEEDEE'S BEST PULLED PORK
1 41/2-5 lb, bone-in pork shoulder or butt, fat trimmed
2 large onions, roughly chopped
4 medium cloves of garlic, sliced
1 c chicken stock
1 c apple cider vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 T chili powder
1 T sea salt
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground cinnamon
In a crockpot, place your pork. Surround and top with the onions, garlic and spices. Pour on the vinegar and broth. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove bones and using 2 forks, shred the pork. Strain some of the excess cooking liquid out. Serve on Kaiser rolls with a selection of traditional toppings such as: coleslaw, sauerkraut, shredded brussel sprouts, shredded kale or sautéed mushrooms.
To go Tex Mex: serve as carnitas on tortilla rounds with chopped tomatoes, avocado, lime wedges, sliced black olives, sour cream, chopped cilantro, salsa and black beans. The Tex Mex version could also be made into very popular rice bowls topped with the shredded pork and all the fixins! Sides of corn-on-the-cob would be a perfect summer accompaniement with whatvever version you choose to serve. Any way you go, this is a versatile dish with endless serving possibiliites to feed a crowd. Leftovers freeze well too. So crank up Ella and get slowcookin’.