A Good Food Day

Yesterday was one of my favorite kinds of days. I puttered around doing this thing and that thing. Early on, I started a new recipe in my slow cooker for pulled pork sandwiches. It's a dish that requires a little prep before getting it going in the slow cooker, and then a little prep at the end getting it ready to serve. During the day, it fills the house with the most appetizing aroma. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into the sandwiches that came from it.

Also, late in the day I wanted to try a new recipe for German potato salad. There is a German deli not too far from where I live. Mike and I love their German potato salad, served warm. Recently, I received yesterday's recipe in an email from Fine Cooking, and so I figured I'd give it a try as a side dish for the pulled pork sandwiches. Two new recipes in a day...such fun! (Yes, I'm easily amused.)

So I told you I'd share the recipes if I liked them, and these were real winners. Mike declared the potato salad "Outstanding!" High praise from the king of the house. And we loved the depth of flavor from the pulled pork as well. I think I dirtied every pan, plate, fork, spoon, cutting board, and knife in the kitchen in the process, but it was definitely worth the effort and clean-up.

My mother used to make pulled pork in her crockpot by slow-cooking a boneless pork shoulder all day, and then dumping commercially bottled barbecue sauce over it. I've done it that way for years, but this recipe was so much better.

You first brown the roast, then deglaze the pan by making a simple broth that is added to the slow cooker with the pork. It roasts about 6 hours (in my slow cooker) until the pork can be shredded with forks. You remove the solids from the broth and then add one-quarter cup bourbon and reduce to 1-1/2 cups. I had 3 cups of broth at the end, and so mine was reduced by approximately half, which took about 20 minutes of boiling on the stove top. Then, I put everything back into the crockpot and kept it warm for several hours until we were ready for dinner. You can find the pulled pork recipe right here

I would say that it is worth spending the extra money on the Spanish smoked paprika. It is largely responsible for the nice smoky flavor of the dish. I made the recipe as you see it, except that I used two small boneless pork shoulders (I couldn't find bone-in, and I needed two roasts to get the full 3-1/2 pounds). Also, I've had difficulty finding peach preserves in my local grocery store. I ended up using apricot preserves because I had it on hand. It was tempting to substitute brandy for the bourbon (given the apricot preserves), but I stuck with the bourbon. Also, I think it benefited from the two hours of sitting on "warm" before eating. When I initially tasted it, the sauce seemed meh...but it was delicious when we ate it. Either that, or I was just so hungry that anything would have tasted good. In any case...this is worth a try.

I served it alongside the German potato salad. Since it is served warm or at room temperature, I started it around 3:00 p.m. It gave plenty of time for cooking and cooling. I just left it sitting on the counter at room temperature until we were ready for it. You can find the German potato salad recipe right here. The dill pickles give it a nice tang. The recipe calls for 3/4 pound of bacon, which seemed excessive to me. I used about 1/2 pound. Also, I didn't have a sweet onion on hand, and so I used a red onion. I liked the color the red onion added, and it didn't overpower the flavor at all. I will stick with both changes when I make this again. And I will make it again. How could I not when Mike (a tough audience, to be sure) pronounces it "Outstanding!"

In other news, I'm nearly finished with my Embroiderer's Blessing. I worked on this on the flight down to California and back. It was a great diversion for this anxious flyer.

I'm hoping I can get it finished while we're camping this weekend, but it seems we're always running around too much for spending time on stitching.

Today I'm making a lasagna and packing the food for our camping trip to Mt. Rainier this weekend. The wildflowers will be in bloom on Mt. Rainier and I'm looking forward to it. After a couple of days at home, I'm feeling ready to go again. Hopefully, I can get a little more done on my doll quilt today too.

What's going on at your place today?

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

Pork is something I don't eat, most dishes have to be made with ingredients I can't eat. I do have ham once in a while though. Love your stitchery, wonderful saying and beautiful stitching.


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Being a horrible cook/baker - it looks and sounds delish, BUT I will go a mile up the road to the diner.

quiltzyx said...

Both do sound (& look) delish!

Your stitchery looks wonderful - will you frame it or make it into a pillow or wall hanging or??

I'm working again today - actually every Weds, Thurs & Fridays until the end of the month. Yay!

Kate said...

The pulled pork looks yummy!

You've made a lot of progress on your embroidery project. Hopefully you will find a few minutes to stitch here and there this weekend.

Michelle F said...

Looks great!
However, I always have problems with my meat being too dry.


Diane Wild said...

Yum. I wish you lived closer because I'd be over for dinner quite often. I'm glad Smitty is staying alert now that "Bob" is hanging around. Mesa friends are visiting for a couple of weeks and we'll be cooking out tomorrow night. I need to hit the grocery store. Have a fun weekend.

Michele said...

I'll have to scan and send you the recipe for Tex Mex Pulled Pork. It is much less work than that one and it so, so yummy.