Crockpot

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

Hey, look. It’s another super easy way to use up leftover cranberry sauce. And it only involves a little math:

1 part barbecue sauce
1 part cranberry sauce

1. Heat.
2. Stir.
3. Watch your husband dip a tester sweet potato fry in it and complain about it being too cranberry-y.
4. Add another part barbecue sauce.
5. Heat.
6. Stir.
7. Get approval from the barbecue sauce snob in the house.
8. Spoon it over pulled pork sandwiches. Or turkey sandwiches! And use the rest as a dipper for sweet potato fries.
9. Eat too much.
10. Declare the entire house a carb-free, lean-protein-only zone ’til Christmas.
11. Forget and eat a brownie for dessert.

Inspired by Pink Parsley

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cherry Barbecue Sauce

“UUUGHHH. I hope you’re not making brownies again.”

Ugh? Brownies?

I’ve know the man for 8+ years and I’m pretty sure those two words have never been uttered in the same sentence. Who says something like that?

Other than someone who has seen a new pan of brownies on the counter every week for the last month+. Brownies with cherries that I roasted in port, brownies with cherries that I roasted in a stout, brownies with just plain roasted cherries, and brownies with just plain fresh cherries…

Maybe he had a point.

Cherry Barbecue Sauce

So I put that bag of cherries in the cart (along with 3 others) and pushed along, mumbling something about how I had plans to make a couple of savory recipes in the upcoming week.

I was totally lying, though. I had fully intended to make brownies again. But instead, I made barbecue sauce. More accurately, I semi-made barbecue sauce.

A couple of weeks ago, I shoved a bottle of barbecue sauce into the back corner of the fridge. It was harsh and vinegary. We didn’t care for it enough to use it again on its own but I couldn’t bring myself to throw a nearly full bottle away. Instead, we “fixed” it. I made a sweet cherry reduction and stirred that into the sauce, the concoction really benefiting from the addition of sweet cherries. More mellow, a little sweeter, and with nice cherry flavor, the sauce paired fantastically with a simple pulled pork for a unique twist on the sandwich.
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Shredded Mexican Pork

There are some things I don’t mind eating 4 days in a row. Like pizza. Or margaritas.

As long as I can have different toppings on my pizza every night. And I don’t have to make run to the liquor store for margarita fixins. But I can’t get excited about the same thing over and over again when I have shelves full of cookbooks and magazines calling my name. “Make me! No, make me!”

I didn’t always have that problem but I married a leftover hater. And somewhere along the line, I started to become one, too. Reimagining leftovers in a house full of leftover haters is a pretty nifty skill to have.

With this one crockpot recipe came 4 different meals: tacos, quesadillas (really just a flat taco), flautas (really just a rolled & baked taco), and sandwiches (a taco with bread?).

Well, different enough :)

We set out to make a Mexican pulled pork, infusing a pork roast with some of my favorite TexMex flavors. And grapefruit – if you’ve ever made these fajitas, you know grapefruit juice is a great tenderizer.

While pulled pork needs little help in the tenderizing department, the flavors of the marinade change the profile from your standard barbecue sandwich to a meal perfect for taco night.

Shredded Pork Tacos

Pulled pork gets a TexMex makeover with a grapefruit-chile marinade.

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • 5-6lb pork shoulder roast
  • Juice from 1 large Texas ruby red grapefruit
  • 3 large, dried guajillo chiles, stems removed
  • 2 serrano peppers, stems and seeds (optional) removed
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce
  • 2 tsp ancho chile powder (can substitute regular)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • Handful of cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • For the tacos:
  • Tortillas
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Lime wedges
  • Grilled pineapple rings, chopped
  • Guacamole

Instructions

  1. Place pork roast in a large ziptop bag.
  2. Place remaining marinade ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour over the pork roast, seal the bag tightly, and refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours.
  4. Empty contents of the bag into your crockpot, placing roast fat-side up, and cook 8-10 hours on low.
  5. The meat should fall apart and easily shred when done.
  6. Serve shredded meat in tortillas, topped with your favorite taco garnishes.
  7. Leftover meat freezes wonderfully in ziptop bags and makes great sandwiches, quesadillas, and flautas.

Notes

Yields: ~12 servings, depending on size of roast

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 24 hours

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Cuban Style Pulled Pork Sliders

Who doesn’t love a good fiesta? Especially when it’s celebrating our sweet friend Krystal and the impending arrival of sweet little Cookie.

Krystal is the blogger behind Mrs. Regueiro’s Plate. She and I share a love for massive prop rooms and an adoration for California-based food photographer-stylists couples :)

Cuban Style Pulled Pork Sliders

To celebrate, a few of Krystal’s friends were asked to prepare a dish inspired by her and her husband’s backgrounds, Filipino and Cuban (how much more exotic does that sound compared to “Texan” and “Georgian”). I settled on a dish using Cuban-style pulled pork and ultimately decided on sliders since they’re pretty much the perfect party food.

Cuban pulled pork is seasoned liberally with a marinade of garlic, sour oranges, lime, and minced onion. The acidity creates a melt-in-your-mouth tender roast that’s excellent served slider-style on dinner rolls with thinly sliced red onions and melty swiss cheese. And you’ll have quite a bit of pulled pork leftover for other goodies like quesadillas, tacos, or just more sliders!

Congratulations to Krystal and Eric! Thanks to Joelen for hosting and pulling together what promises to be a delicious celebration and roundup. And a special thanks to Tina for serving as this southeast Texan’s Cuban food technical support and sounding board. First round of margaritas is on me :)

Cuban-Style Pulled Pork Sliders

Party-friendly Cuban-style pulled pork sliders made with your slow cooker/crockpot.

Ingredients

  • For the pulled pork:
  • 5 lbs pork shoulder roast
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 limes, juiced (1/4 cup) and zested
  • 1-2 oranges, juiced (1/2 cup) and zested
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • For the sliders:
  • 1/2 recipe slider rolls (or 12 of your favorite dinner rolls)
  • Swiss cheese slices
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Avocado slices
  • Mustard

Instructions

  1. Using a paring knife, pierce the roast all over.
  2. Place the pork roast in a large ziptop bag.
  3. In a food processor or blender, add the onion, garlic, lime juice and zest, orange juice and zest, oil, oregano, and a generous pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Process until mostly smooth.
  5. Pour into the ziptop bag, press the excess air out of the bag and seal, massaging the marinade onto the roast.
  6. Refrigerate overnight.
  7. Pour the contents of the ziptop bag into your crockpot, rotating the roast so that the fat cap is on top, and cook 8-10 hours on low.
  8. Remove the roast from the crockpot and shred, discarding the fat and bones. Reserve ~3 cups of pulled pork for the sliders and store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge (I pour some of the cooking liquid over the shredded meat before storing to keep it from drying out).
  9. Toss the pulled pork with a couple tablespoons of cooking liquid and the juice from the quartered lime.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350.
  11. Cut rolls in half, spread mustard, and then top with a generous mound of pulled pork, a slice of swiss cheese torn to fit the slider, and sliced red onions.
  12. Place the top of the rolls onto the sandwiches and transfer to a baking pan.
  13. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes.
  14. Remove the foil and bake another 2, until the cheese has melted nicely.
  15. Serve warm with additional red onion and sliced avocado.

Notes

Yields: 12 sliders

Pulled pork adapted from My Life as a Mrs.

Estimated time: 12 hours

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