Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cook it Once: Eat it Once

aka. Day 1 of pork week.

Day one involved cooking the 5 lbs of pork. All I did was put the meat in the crock pot and let it cook itself all day. Remember we are halving all the recipes for the two of us and not using the intended 10 lbs. So when I type out the recipes below they are already halved just fyi. Don't be halving the 5lbs to 2.5 lbs. Unless you want to cook for one person - that's cool too.

Cook it Once
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
5 pound Boston butt or pork shoulder (with bone in for enhanced flavor)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Paprika (sweet, smoked or a mix)
3 to 4 red and white onions, peeled and quartered
5 cloves garlic, or to taste, peeled and smashed but left whole
Approximately 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or enough to create a 1/2 inch layer in the bottom of your slow cooker)
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Thoroughly coat meat with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Line crock bottom with onions, garlic and vinegar, then place meat over it. Set the cooker to the lowest, longest setting. The meat is finished when it pulls away easily with just a fork, or when the bone slips out with little effort. Depending on your slow cooker, this will take 6 to 10 hours. Drain and store most of the grease before storing meat in refrigerator.

All the ingredients lined up. I got it ready to go and set by 9:30 in the morning and let it cook all day until about 6pm.
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We used this organic apple cider vinegar which I think is all fancy pants. It has some special qualities to it which I know nothing about but something to do with a 'mother'. Plus it's organic so in it goes. Also once you place the meat over the onions there is no way to see how much liquid you'll need to create a 1/2 inch layer on the bottom. edit: as I re-read this statement I realized I should have put the vinegar in before the meat - duh. And honestly how on earth would I have fit 10 lbs?!? My slow cooker barely fit our 5lbs so unless you've got a double sized one or 2 in your pantry no clue how that works. Regardless.  


This was the gorgeous sight after almost 9 hours of cooking! It smelt great! I must say that after living in North Carolina for 8 years (wow!) I finally have officially come around to pulled pork. Not that I wasn't before. It just took about 5 years of living there to do so. Combine being vegetarian for the last year with not eating out recently, and not getting the good NC bbq here in Virginia this is going to be a great week! 

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Who's got smell-a-vision blogging invented yet?
We shredded all the meat and saved 3/4 of it for meals later this week.
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Eat It Once
Pork Tacos
1/2 head Napa cabbage, thinly shredded
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly shredded
2 carrots, grated
Approximately 6 tortillas or hard taco shells
About 1 pound pulled pork mixed with some of the onions
Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
1 to 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
sour cream, salsa, avocado slices and lime wedges (optional)
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I tried this trick I saw on Pinterest recently where you lay the tortillas on the rack of the oven and bake to make standing up taco shells. It didn't really work that well. We just used regular tortillas.

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I just went with a whole Napa cabbage instead of that and red cabbage. It was just easier that way. This avocado was perfect and it tasted great on the tacos!

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I made the entire slaw of cabbage and carrots and what you do is save 2/3 of it for other meals later in the week. I added a little mix of rice wine vinegar/vegetable oil/lime juice/sugar/fresh aerogarden herbs to this meals' slaw for added taste.

I set all the toppings for the tacos out like sour cream, salsa (homemade by my wonderful MIL) and some chopped onions that slow cooked with the meat.

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Final product! Yum to the um. They were awesome. A little messy but a great combination of tastes and very well cooked meat. Awesome sauce-ness. Day one: success!

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