First day of March – Rabbit, Rabbit – I say!
Also March first is National Pig Day, National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day and National Fruit Compote Day
Wales: St. David’s Day. Welshmen wear leeks in their hats today.
Wow it’s national pig day and national peanut butter lover’s day? Sounds like I need to share two of my more favorite recipes for pulled pork and peanut butter cookies….
Here’s one of my favorite recipes I created for making affordable pulled pork, it’s a slow cooking process – but very well worth every bit of time – and since you barely do anything to ‘it’ while it cooks, it allows you to go off and do other things that need tending.
Chef Maven’s Pulled Pork Recipe: (serves 8-10 easily)
- 7-9 pound pork shoulder (butt or picnic cut)- choose one with a bone. Cost vary from $6-12.
- 5 pieces of cloves
- 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 1 apple cut up into chunks
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (sounds like an oxymoron recipe that calls for both pig and kosher salt – huh? lol)
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced thyme
- 1-1/2 large onions, cut into large chunks
- 2 cups apple juice (not cider) (freshly pressed and organic preferred)
- 1 bottle of lager or dark beer (heck any type of beer will do)(and it’s for the pig, not you)
- 1-2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 5-7 cloves of garlic, minced
- after cooking – you will cook it a second time using BBQ sauce (mine, your own, or even bottled) – 2 cups+
Equipment Needed: large deep roasting pan with lid (the kind you use when you make turkey for example), a slow oven at 275 degrees. – You can make this in a crock pot, but I would suggest double the spices (except for salt) used since crock pots are notorious for weakening the spices.
- Open up your pork shoulder (butt or picnic cut) by unwrapping it from its packaging, rinse well under cold water. Score skin with knife in about 7 places and place into roasting pan having it sit on a rack.
- Add all ingredients and pour liquids over pork. The amount of water can vary, add it last – you will want the pork to sit in about 2-3 inches of liquid since you are basically braising the pork.
- Cover with lid and place in a slow over (which means low temperature) – at 275-300 degrees and allow to cook for four (4) hours – if you are using a piece larger than 7 pounds, you may need an additional hour. Usually you can tell when it’s done since it starts to pull away from its bone. Internal temperature should be about 195 degrees.
- Go about your business through out your day, maybe make your own BBQ sauce, etc.
- Take a peek at it after two (2) hours to check on the level of liquids. Add more water if you need to – I normally do not have to ever add additional liquids – and if I had to, I would add apple juice versus the plain water…I suggest this in case someone ups the oven temperature on you when you weren’t looking.
- Once four hours are up, take pork out of roasting pan – reserve 1/2 of the juices and cooked onions.
- Let pork cool off before attempting to pull apart. I usually allow it to cool off for an hour so that it’s easier to handle in pulling apart.
- With gloves on, I usually pull pork apart by hand – but you can use a couple of large forks to help pull it apart. Do not be worried that the meat has different colors in it – the meat may be dark pink and light pink depending upon where it is in relation to the bone.
- A lot of the fat will have melted away during the cooking, but you can also limit how much fat you want in the ‘end product’ which I like to do.
- With the reserved 1/2 juices and cooked onion, return to roasting pan along with the cooked and now pulled apart pork. Pour over pulled pork half of your BBQ sauce, stir it up, then put back into the slow oven and allow to cook for 45 minutes.
- Serve it up on potato rolls or other types of rolls, add additional BBQ sauce to your liking – and enjoy!
Did you know that the following all happens in March?
- National Caffeine Awareness Month
- National Flour Month
- National Frozen Food Month
- National Noodle Month
- National Nutrition Month
- National Peanut Month
- National Sauce Month
- UK: National Veggie Month
and also with Variable Date Events in March:
- American Chocolate Week (3rd week)
- Bubble Gum Week
- Egg Salad Week
- Florida Strawberry Festival
- Garden Book Week
- Great American Meatout – Don’t eat meat today.
- Shrove Tuesday – International Pancake Day (can be in Feb or March)
- Maple Festivals at various locations
- National Agriculture Week
- National Poison Prevention Week
- National School Breakfast Week
- Pancake Week
- UK: National SPAM Appreciation Week
- EU: EU Daylight Savings Time begins on the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday of October
The above stats for March are courtesy of http://www.foodreference.com/html/html/march1.html
Chow Ciao for Now ~Chef Maven Leah