Saturday, June 7, 2014

BBQ Sliders

It all started with a bottle of fresh apple juice we didn't finish. The expiration date came close. I couldn't throw it away. I tucked the juice in the freezer waiting for recipe inspiration.
With family coming to visit and making their way meandering up the coast I figured we needed a dinner that could cook slowly and wait. Knowing they are BBQ fans I landed on pulled pork. The perfect the longer it cooks the better kind of meal and a great place to hide apple juice -- or enhance the flavor with apple juice let's say.
To start I mixed up a dry rub (2 TB paprika, 1 TB garlic powder, 2 TB brown sugar, 1 TB dry mustard, 1 TB chili powder, 1 tsp cayenne, 2 TB salt) for the meat. I slathered the rub over the pork shoulder roast and let the meat wait over night wrapped up in the fridge. The next morning I sliced one onion and layered it in the bottom of my crock pot followed by the seasoned roast. I poured apple juice about 1/2 way up the side of the roast, covered the pot and let the meat cook slowly on low all day. This was a big roast -- about 7 pounds -- in fact too big for my crock pot but I carried on. After a long day of cooking (maybe 8-9 hours) I removed the roast and used two forks to tear it apart into delicious little threads. I poured out most of the extra fat in the crock pot, returned the meat to the slow cooker and mixed in about 2 1/2 cups of homemade -- you guessed it -- apple BBQ sauce (from a recipe by BBQ guru Steven Raichlen). The meat simmered along in the sauce waiting for our guests, soft buttery King's Hawaiian rolls and a topping of creamy sweet Southern style coleslaw (1/2 head cabbage, 1 large carrot and 1/4 onion tossed with a dressing of a heavy 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 TB lemon juice, 2 TB white vinegar, 1 1/2 TB sugar -- some people would use more, 3 TB milk (soured with the lemon and vinegar) and , S&P).
One of my favorite combinations -- a tasty shortcut to summer.

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