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So Not Exactly Healthy Food, but Mmmm Boy!

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ok, this post is going to look a little funny stashed in with the other "healthy eating" posts, but I can't resist.

Tonight was like a little taste of Memphis. Greg and I are huge fans of good old southern Memphis style BBQ. While there's one place here in town that we can get it, anyone with two kids 2 and under knows what a hassle it is to go out to eat.

What am I talking about? Well, I've been working on some recipes and I think I've got two of them down pat. Tonight we had pulled pork, fatback green beans, hash brown casserole and corn bread. (It's the pulled pork and corn bread recipes that I've been working on...it's darn hard to find a corn bread recipe that has a good, cakey quality with just the right sweetness to it.)

Anyway, just have to show off these shots. Here's a shot of the pork shoulder ready to go in the oven after sitting all night with my homemade rub on it.

Now here's a shot of it part way through the cooking process (about 10 hours at 250 degrees) when I had it out of the oven to apply the "mop" to it. (This is also the point at which Greg said "ew! it looks like a heart!)

I ended up using the Daddy Sams bbq sauce on it after I shredded it and put it in the crock pot to cook a bit longer. It had a nice flavor, a bit heavy on the molasses, but still nice. Just not quite what I'm looking for. (Of course now that I've perfected the pulled pork in the oven recipe, I'll have to start working on a bbq sauce recipe.)

The other victory was the corn bread. This is the third try on this corn bread recipe, with a little bit of variation each time. The first time I made it it was tasty, but too crumbly. The second time I made it I switched from white corn meal to stone ground yellow corn meal. The problem there was that the corn meal stayed too crunchy. Good flavor, but just the wrong texture. This time around I doubled the milk and let the corn meal soak in it for two full hours before making the corn bread. Much better, but still not quite there. I think I may have to switch to regular yellow corn meal OR try simmering the corn meal in milk on the stove to break down the texture more.

The nice thing is that its the kind of corn bread that you can crumble into a bowl and pour milk on and eat as a dessert. It's like corn cake.

Mmmmmmmmm....bbq. Now if only I could get myself a smoker...


  1. Blogger beth | 6:17 AM |  

    Oooh, when you figure our your cornbread recipe, be sure to share it with the world! I recently bought some corn meal in hopes of perfecting that myself (I've never tried before), so if you could do all the hard work and expirementing for me... that would be great. :-)

  2. Blogger Jennifer | 7:33 AM |  

    Well, if you're using regular yellow cornmeal instead of stone ground, I think you'd be good to go. I'm just trying to use stone ground because it's got more of the "good stuff" in it. (LOL, not like that's going to balance out all the sugar and honey in it...)

    I'll post it later this afternoon, the pork one too probably.

  3. Blogger MamaBean | 10:09 AM |  

    Um, recipes please! Yes on the pork! My husband LOVES pulled pork and he would get a kick out of making his own.

    I've got a decent bbq sauce recipe from a restaurant I used to work at. I'll pass it along if you are interested and you can modify it to your tastes. :-)

  4. Blogger Jennifer | 10:49 AM |  


    Pulled Pork recipe...

    Get yourself a nice big picnic shoulder. (Basically, the cheapest cut of pork you can find.) Then, mix up a "rub" to go on it

    Here's what's in mine...

    4 tablespoons paprika
    2 tablespoons salt
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    2 tablespoons garlic powder
    2 tablespoons cumin
    2 tablespoons chili powder (I use chipotle chili powder)
    2 tablespoons pepper
    1 tablespoon dry mustard
    1 tablespoon onion salt

    Wet down your piece of pork with either some olive oil or some cheap yellow mustard. Just rub it in with your hand until the whole thing has a very thin coating.

    Next, start to rub down the meat with the dry rub. Work it in all the cracks and try to get as thick a coating as will stay on. Put the pork in a ziplock container and refrigerate overnight. The next day the juices will have soaked up most of the rub, so apply any leftover rub to give it a nice new coating.

    Put the pork in a large pan up on a rack so that it's not sitting on the floor of the pan. (I put a cookie rack in mine to hold the meat) Set the oven to 250 degrees. Place the pork (uncovered because you want to create a dry "shell", with a cover you'll get steam and the outside won't seal off) in the oven at 250 for two hours.

    After two hours, take it out and use a wadded up paper towel or clean wash cloth to "mop" the meat with a mixture that's 3 parts apple juice, 3 parts apple cidar vinegar and one part olive oil.

    Mop the meat once an hour. Cook the meat for 2 hour per pound. The goal here is to create a nice thick "bark" or crust on the outside of the meat. This will seal it off to keep the juices inside. The reason for the slow cook is because you want to get the internal temperate to about 170 and to keep it there for several hours. The fat in the pork will render at 170 and since the outside is sealed off, it will sort of melt into the meat around it. This is what makes pulled pork so incredibly tender.

    When it's done, let it cool for a bit. Then either "pull" it apart with two forks or hack it up with a big knife. Mix all the meat together (but pull out any large chunks of fat, which by the way are perfect for throwing in with your green beans) and either serve it as is, or throw it in the fridge.

    I put it in the fridge and then heated it up for about 5 hours on low the next day in my crockpot with the BBQ sauce in it.

    My cousin and her boyfriend were over for dinner and let's just say they did everything in their power to polish it off. There was a lot of "ohhhhhhhh" and laying on the couch after the meal. LOL.

    I'll make another post with the corn bread recipe.

  5. Blogger Cairo Mama | 1:14 PM |  

    I was just checking back on this post to ask for the cornbread recipe! Looks like Beth and Mama Bean beat me to it!

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