ATK Beginner’s Pulled Pork (Slow Cooker)

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This is a great entree from America’s Test Kitchen via the slow cooker.  It is quick to assemble, but it’s just a waiting game in two stages.  First the spice and refrigerate overnight waiting game and then the slow cooker wait.  Pay attention to trim and quarter the roast.  I bought two 2.5 lb. roasts and halved them, but you can purchase a 5 lb. roast and quarter it – if you can find it.  We could only find 2.5 lb-ers and 8 lb-ers.  I omitted the cayenne pepper and it was just fine.  Enjoy!

To un-carb-ify it, I didn’t opt for a bun.  It would have looked better in the photo, but it is what it is.

–Honestly, I didn’t go through the braising liquid step.  Maybe next time!  I was tired and didn’t want another step.  It was just fine without doing that process, but next time I’ll try it.    

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, plus extra as needed
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • One 5LB. boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, (plus extra for serving if desired)
  • Cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a bowl.
  2. Using fork, prick pork all over.  Rub sugar mixture over pork, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
  3. Unwrap pork and place in slow cooker.
  4. Spread BBQ sauce evenly over pork, cover, and cook until pork is tender 9-11 hours on low OR 5-7 hours on high.  (Mine took about 8 hours on low in my Crock Pot).
  5. Transfer pork to large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred into bite size pieces, discarding excess fat.  Cover to keep warm.
  6. Let braising liquid settle for 5 mins, then remove fat from surface using a large spoon.  Season with salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar to taste (if desired).
  7. Toss shredded pork with one cup of the braising liquid, add more liquid as needed to keep meat moist.  Serve with BBQ sauce.

 

ATK Rice and Pasta Pilaf

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I have a great substitute to Rice-a-Roni for you.  If you’re concerned, like I am, what goes into your boxed pantry goods, sometimes it’s good to make it yourself.  You will know exactly what the ingredients are and there won’t be any mystery flavorings or chemicals.  The best reward is that this tastes much, much better than the boxed version!  Thanks to America’s Test Kitchen for this recipe!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

*I used basmati rice because it has the most flavor for a dish like this.

*Be sure to use unsalted butter.  If all you have is salted butter, then don’t add the 1 1/4 tsp. salt. 

*I have raw and cooked onion issues so I subbed onion powder for the grated onion.

*If you want it vegetarian, replace chicken stock with vegetable broth.  

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice or other long-grain white rice
  • 3 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces vermicelli, broken into 1″ pieces
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. minced fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place rice in medium bowl and cover with hot tap water by 2 inches; let stand for 15 minutes.  Don’t skip this step!
  2. Using your hands, gently swish grains to release excess starch.  Carefully pour off water, leaving rice in bowl.
  3. Add cold tap water to rice and pour off water.  Repeat adding and pouring off cold water 4-5 times, until water runs almost clear.
  4. Drain rice in fine-mesh strainer.
  5. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened but not brown, about 4 mins.
  7. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges of rice begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add broth and salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cool until all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  9. Off heat, remove lid, fold a clean dish towel in half and place over pan, replace lid.  Let stand for 10 mins.  Fluff rice with fork, stir in fresh parsley, and serve.