Fall's here in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire! No more knocking on the door with a tentative crisp day or a showy bright blue fall sky. Labor Day has come and gone and now it's back to busy school days, harvesting the final garden produce and beginning the buttoning up of things for the coming (say this word in a whisper!) winter. Soon we'll be raking leaves, planting spring bulbs, cleaning out the greenhouse and stacking the planters and hanging baskets for the season, cleaning out the gutters, stacking the wood up closer to the house,and enjoying the occasional high school football game. Busy days, indeed!
Busy days call for simple suppers and when I need to have a good dinner on the table during busy times, I usually pull out the slow cooker and a few easy ingredients. With a bit of morning preparation, dinner can be left simmering for much of the day. A salad can be marinating in a tangy dressing in the fridge. And the beers can be chilling ...
Slow cooker recipes are favorites in the Lindquist family when we have big parties too. This slow cooker pulled pork is an adapted Cooking Light recipe ... more flavour added, but not necessarily more calories. It is entirely appropriate for a tailgate spread at the local football field, a buffet dish at a Fall Fest Party, or a simple dinner at the counter after a busy day. In our case, we'll be making the pulled pork sandwiches and slapping the coleslaw on the side. There's another night of 'picnicking' on the back porch. Then, we're heading into the family room to watch the last game in the Red Sox-Detroit series on NESNTV.
Yum! Pulled pork, cole slaw and cold beers! Go Red Sox!
Since, the theme for this month's Virtual Supper Club is the Fall Tailgate Supper, I'm curious to see what others bring to the back of the truck! Check out the menu and follow the links! Happy Fall, folks! Don't get so busy that you don't make time to savor the sports, the Fall colors, and the foods of the season!
September's Tailgate Supper Menu
Appetizer - Sarah's Fire-Seared Antipasto Plate
Salad - Jerry's Heirloom Tomato Salad with Herbs and Capers
Main Dish - Susan's Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Cole Slaw
Side Dish - Sandi's Sweet Potato Chips
Dessert - Val's Apple Streusel Cupcakes
Both recipes serve four hungry people. I have used this Cooking Light recipe as a frame and added spices, and braising vegetables to bump the flavour of the pork. I also made a simple barbeque sauce recipe that makes a North Carolina-style pulled pork batch. See what you think. It's tangy and spicy hot ... it goes very well with the lightened up coleslaw and a side of pineapple chunks to round out the meal (and cool the palate!). Enjoy! The slaw recipe is so very basic, but I have to have celery seed and caraway in my slaw, so there you go.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
a recipe with minor changes from The Gourmet Cookbook
3 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
¾ c plus ⅓ c apple cider vinegar
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, tipped and chopped
1 medium onion, quartered and stuck with 4 whole cloves
Water to cover
Making the Dish:
- Place the pork, vegetables, and peppercorns in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.
- Pour ¾ c. vinegar over the roast. Add just enough water to cover the roast.
- Cover the slow cooker and set the temperature setting to high.
- Cook for 8 hours, turning the roast once midway through the cooking time.
- At the end of the 8 hours, preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Remove the roast from the slow cooker and place it in a roasting pan. Pour the 1/3 c. measure of vinegar over top and place it in the preheated oven.
- Roast it for 15 to 20 minutes, just long enough to crisp the fat and evaporate some of the liquids.
- While the pork is roasting, make the barbeque sauce.
- When the roast has crisped up a bit, remove it from the oven and place it in a shallow platter.
- Cut and remove the strings and use two forks to pull the meat apart into strings and small clumps.
- Pour one cup of the barbeque sauce over the meat and toss to coat everything really well.
- Serve the pork with sandwich rolls, chilled cole slaw, pineapple chunks, and extra barbeque sauce.
1 c. tomato puree
¾ c. apple cider vinegar
⅓ c. Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp. apple jelly
3 tbsp. unsweetened pineapple juice (use the juice from a small can of pineapple chunks)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. Thai chili garlic sauce
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¾ tsp. celery seed
¼ tsp. cinnamon
- Place all the sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Lower the heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for five minutes.
- Turn the heat off and leave the sauce covered until ready to use.
- Refrigerate left over sauce.
Creamy Cole Slaw
1 lb. cabbage, sliced to thin ribbons
1 large carrot, grated
1 small green pepper, grated
½ c. Vidalia onion, minced
¼ c. low-fat mayo
⅓ c. plain low-fat yogurt
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. honey
¼ c. celery seed
½ tsp. caraway seed
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
⅛ tsp.black pepper
Making the Salad:
- Slice and grate the cabbage, carrot, and green pepper, using a food processor.
- Toss together with your hands in a large bowl to distribute all the vegetables.
- Add the onions and toss in.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the vegetables.
- Toss to distribute everything really well.
- Place the slaw in a covered container and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
- Toss again to bring the dressing up into the salad before you place it in a serving bowl for the meal.