For my brother, the carnivore

November 16, 2009

One year for Christmas at my parents' house, there were three Crockpots exchanged between three people. I got two of them. (I kept the bigger one.) It will be forever remembered as the Holiday of the Slow-Cooked Meat. I know people say they can be used for so much more, but I've only ever done meat. Who doesn't love coming home to a big slab of slow-cooked meat? Well, probably vegetarians. Once my friend Rebecca had an incident where hers shut off in the middle of the day, leaving her with short ribs that had been sitting at a sketchy temperature for who knows how long. The pizza we had for dinner that night was DELICIOUS, though.

A piece of advice - only use your slow-cooker when you'll be gone all day. Because otherwise, you'll be smelling amazing smells all day, and you aren't allowed to even peek in and stir it. It's a little torturous.

And a quick note about pork shoulder: Yes, it can be really fatty. I actually trimmed TONS of fat off of mine, leaving us with not-too-greasy sandwiches. And to all those out there protesting, "but fat is flavor," well, we all have to be able to zip up our pants the next day, and I don't see you pitching in for my personal trainer, so suck it. I don't fear the fat, but I'm also not ashamed to say I trim where I can.

Pork Barbeque, from an Epicurious recipe
Makes about 8 sandwiches

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped (I used a skinny red chili, because that's what I had)
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (with seeds)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons hot Mexican powder
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of as much fat as you want (because she who holds the knife is the boss!), cut into 2-inch hunks
1 12 oz. can or bottle of beer (I used an ale.)
1 bay leaf

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, cook one minute. Remove from heat.

Whisk together all the sauce ingredients: brown sugar through hot pepper sauce.

Fish out your Crockpot from whatever dark corner of the kitchen it usually lives. Put in the peppers and onions, pork and sauce, and stir it around. Pour the beer over the whole lot, and float the bay leaf on top.

Set your slow cooker on low and cook for 8-10 hours. DO NOT PEEK OR STIR.

Using tongs, remove the meat to a bowl. Transfer the juices and vegetables to a saucepan. If you want to, skim off some of the fat from the top. (I got a few tablespoons without much effort.) Over medium high heat, reduce the sauce for about 30-40 minutes. Turn off the heat, and using an immersion blender, puree into a smooth sauce. You could also put the sauce in a regular blender. Add the meat to the sauce, and shred the meat a little bit with two forks. (Don't make it look like cat food, though.) Warm on the stove until heated through. Serve on buns of your choosing, or just as-is.

I know it seems like this might be REALLY spicy, but we really did not find that at all. I actually shook some more hot sauce on top of mine, because that's how I roll.


Emily Pearl Goodstein said...

i love this shout out to reb g! this sounds delicious...