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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pulled Pork

We had a party at the office this weekend.  It was a shredding, electronics disposal, BBQ and chair massage.  Oh, and folks could sign their paperwork for our big change.  Several weeks ago we had a BBQ tasting and determined that Black Diamond was the best.  Like they won by 27 points out of 30 to the other's 19 points.   See the things we go through for our clients?  I know.  It's tough but somebody's got to do it. 

Time came to order and the website said the big tray of pulled pork or beef brisket would serve 40.  I ordered a tray and a half of each.  Then, I ordered a tray and a half of mac and cheese and a tray each of slaw and baked beans.  Should have been plenty of food.  Let's just say the mac and cheese and baked beans were inhaled.  I got a little taste early on then headed to my office to meet with folks.  When I came up for air four hours later the pans were empty.  Bare.  Nada.  The only thing we had much left over was pulled pork.  There was about four pounds of that.  And, maybe a pound of the beef brisket. 

With the hours we've been working cooking has not been a priority.  But, I'm craving some good homecooked food.  So, I decided to take an evening and turn the pork into four dishes of about six to eight servings each.  I'd decided to make chili, shepherd's pie, stuffed peppers and something else.  As luck would have it, there was an article in Food Network Magazine by Melissa D'Arabian about ten uses for leftover pulled pork.  I was pumped.  As it turned out, I'd already made "sloppy joes" with some of the meat.  And, I had the chili and shepherd's pie on the menu.  Then, I found an old recipe from an antique Woman's Day that I'd pulled out of the stack in the basement to go thru and toss.  It was for a beef stew with garbanzo beans, black beans, salsa...  Perfect for pork.  I had my four dishes.  And, I came home in time to cook.

Here are the basics.  Since time is so precious here I'm going to be brief...

Shepherd's Pie:  Mix pulled pork, jarred gravy (pork is best but turkey will do,) a good splash of white wine, a good dose of herbs, frozen peas, chopped and cooked carrots, frozen pearl onions and a can of mushrooms.  Top it all with cheesy mashed potatoes and a sprinkle of paprika or emeril's essence or BBQ rub or something that'll give it some color and zing.  Bake until it's nice and bubbly.

Stuffed peppers:  Mix pulled pork, cooked brown rice, black beans, salsa, chipotle chili powder and shredded mozzarella cheese.  You can either freeze them and cook them later or bake them until the peppers are cooked through.

Chili:  Saute a large yellow onion (diced) with some diced green pepper.  Add a can of chicken broth (homemade stock is best but use what you've got,) a couple of cans of diced green chilies, pulled pork, a couple of cans of beans (rinsed and drained - I like pinto, white kidney and/or black beans,) along with a good sprinkle of cumin and chili powder.

Pork stew:  Mix a can of corn (drained) with a can of garbanzo beans and a can of black beans (both drained and rinsed,) pulled pork, 1 c each salsa and BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays,) and a package of taco seasoning mix.  It also calls for mixing in chopped cilantro but since I was putting the mixture into a foil lined casserole dish then freezing the whole deal, I decided I'd top it with some grated cheese and cilantro when I actually bake it.

So, there you have it.  How I turned a few pounds of pork into about 16 meals.  Now, if I can keep from going nuts from eating pork too often  over the next month, I'll be in great shape.  That and if I can get through the veritable mountain of paperwork in my office... 

pork stew adapted from Women's Day

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