Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pork 'n Taters

G'day, Kitschies!  We've almost made it through another work week.  Can you believe how fast time just flies by?  Wasn't it just Christmas/New Years?  Now it's almost Easter.  *sigh*  I'm ready to get off this ride for a little 'bout you?

Anyway...we love having friends over but it doesn't happen as often as we'd like (with 5 kids between us, the besties and us...we get tired just thinking about it!).

This is my bestie's little guy, Cooper, and my little guy, Mason.  Two of the 5.  OF THE FIVE!

But, when we DO get together, we have a lot of fun.  And of course there's great food involved.  When the besties were over a few weekends ago, I tried a new recipe that was soooooo good.  I "found" this recipe when Jessie M from Lacquered, Painted, Polished gave me the head's up.  It's from Kevin & Amanda - they have a *bunch* of great recipes.  This is the first I've tried and I promise I'll be trying more (and sharing them with you, of course).  Don't be intimidated by the amount of ingredients or the number of steps - they are ALL worth it.

Perfect Pulled Pork

1 whole Boston butt

Dry Rub
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix well and store in an air-tight container.

Brine Solution
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 quarts cold water
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp dry rub mix

Add salt to cold water and stir until all the salt is completely dissolved.  Then add the brown sugar, dry rub and bay leaves.  Stir well to combine.

Pork shoulder prep:
Rinse the pork shoulder and place in a large container.  Pour in the brine solution until the shoulder is completely covered.  Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.  Remove pork shoulder from brine solution; pat dry with paper towels.  Place pork shoulder in baking pan that is bigger than the shoulder by at least an inch in length and width and at least 3-inches deep.  Sprinkle dry rub on to the surface of the shoulder and massage in so that it adheres to the surface.  Coat all sides and be sure to get in to all the nooks and crannies.  Make sure the fat layer on the hsoulder is facing up before cooking!  Place baking pan, uncovered, in a 225* oven on the middle rack.  Insert a probe thermometer into the center or the thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone.  Monitor the temperature throughout cooking (a digital thermometer with an alarm function is the easiest way to do this).  Do not remove from the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches 200*; shut off the oven and let the roast cool for a couple of hours before removing from the oven.  If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices), cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the cooling period.  When the temperature drops to 170*, remove from the oven.  Place on a large clean work surface, such as a cutting board, and remove the large sheet of crusted fat off the top.  Pull apart with two forks; it will pull apart very easily.

NOTES:  This is a VERY looooong process.  I cheated and didn't let the pork get all the way up to 200 and then cool back down because we ended up being short on time.  I put the pork in the oven at 11 and it wasn't finished even at 7.  I had no idea it would take THAT long!  Either way, we loved this!


Scalloped Potatoes
6-8 large baking potatoes
shredded Cheddar cheese - 1 small bag
Heavy Cream- 1 1/2 to 2 cups
Seasoned salt - as desired
Salt- as desired
Dried thyme- as desired

Preheat oven to 400*
Use 9x10 baking dish - grease lightly

Slice all potatoes thinly, add a layer in baking pan
Add a layer of cheese and spices
2 layers of Potatoes
Layer of cheese and spiced
Do this until all the cheese and potatoes have been used. Make sure you have enough cheese for the top of the potatoes.
Once you have layers complete, pour heavy cream over entire thing and sprinkle left over cheese on the top.

Bake for 60 minutes. 

NOTES:  This is my bestie's recipe and it's from memory, so it's not the most precise, but you get the picture.

I realize, now, that I added more pepper than the recipe called for.  It says cayenne pepper, but I added crushed red pepper, too.  So, I'm from NM...we like things extra spicy here (though the end result wasn't spicy at all).

Rubbed and ready to go!  That was the hardest part - rubbing in the spices.  Good thing the hubs pushes food service gloves.  Yes, Mom.  The hubs needs to send you a box.

I take it back.  The hardest part of this whole process was smelling the thing in the oven all day long.  It smelled so good!  My dad is becoming a smoking KING...could you imagine this smoked?! *hint hint*

The ingredients for scalloped potatoes...instead of adding salt on top of seasoned salt, I added ground pepper.  I don't know that it matters *what* you put in this dish - it comes out awesome!  Thanks to my bestie (aka: Makeup Zombie) for sharing your recipe with me/us.

The finished products.  SOOOO good!  We served the pork on fresh deli rolls and offered up a couple different BBQ sauces.  Not that the pork was dry, but because they were nice complements to the dish.

Have a good rest of your day.  I've got *lots* of pics to prep for the blog tonight.  Lots of good food to share with you!


Impulsive Addict said...

OMG! I'm drooling! It all looks amazing!

Ann said...

I got hungry just reading about this. It looks really wonderful. :)

Jessi M (Lacquered, Painted, Polished) said...

Yay! So you liked the pulled pork recipe? Even not being a big fan of pork? My Mom first sent me that recipe and at first it seemed like more work than I'm used to doing for my meals, heh, but it is soooo worth it! I even wake up early in the morning to take the pork out of the brine and put it in the oven... and usually NOTHING can make me wake up early voluntarily.

Lacquer Ware for Tips and Toes said...

Wow. Good food + good friends = great times.

shortmama said...

Is there anything better than meat and taters?

Kimberly said...

Chris hit it right on the head!! I'd eat all that til I exploded!!! Yum yum, give me some!

Stray Stitches said...


Myya said...

I'm with IA, I am totally drooling. Put a piece of meat in front of me & I am a happy girl, a VERY happy girl!