You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2021.

Cuban-Style Pulled Pork

The last few years I have been purchasing pork picnic roasts. Walmart had missed-priced them for about a year on the grocery pickup app, so one could buy the whole roast (about 8#) for under $2. Yeah, that’s not a typo. The whole roast was $1.98. Me and my family members kept a supply in our freezers. Once covid hit and nearly everyone started using the grocery pickup app, the store corrected their error and the price returned to about $19. After a year or so, I ran out of picnic roasts. Shopping in a local store, New Sagaya, I saw the same type of pork picnic roast on sale for about $10. I bought it and threw it into the freezer. I knew what to do with that. So, here for my convenience are the recipes for two pulled pork recipes: Cuban style and barbecue. The Cuban-style recipe started at bellyfull.net. The barbecue recipe is a hodge-podge of several recipes. I like each type of pulled pork equally as well and they are quite different from each other. The very nice thing about the pork picnic roasts are that you can make one recipe of each of these pulled pork with just the one roast. If you do decide to go the route of the picnic roast, know that it’s the upper part of a leg, so there’s bone-in and there’s a fatty skin layer. I remove as much skin and fat as possible, but I don’t worry about the rest of it. It keeps the pulled pork moist and delicious. If you have to cut the roast down to fit it into a pan that’s totally fine. If you do that, it will probably be ready at the three hour mark, rather than later. Last note here, I use the oven, but most people use a slow-cooker. Whatever.

Cuban Style

  • Cuban-Style Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Several grinds pepper
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 pounds pork roast
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a Dutch oven or roasting pan, stir together all the ingredients except the roast and the olive oil. Coat the pork roast with olive oil and place into the pan, turning to coat. Cover the pan and place into the oven. Bake at 300 degrees F for three hours. Remove from oven and use a couple forks to see if it pulls apart easily. If it does, use the forks to shred the meat and stir it into the sauce until it’s all well incorporated. If it’s not quite ready to shred, return to the oven and check it again in a half hour or so. If the bone is in, it may take closer to 4 hours.

I like the Cuban-style pulled pork served over baked sweet potatoes or rice or as a filling for plantain cups or poblanos. It’s a wonderfully flavorful dish. This makes about 8 servings. I typically freeze what I don’t use the first day.

Barbecue Style

  • Barbecue-Style Ingredients
  • 1 12-oz. can Coke (cannot be diet Coke)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (try the SBJ sauce here)
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • Many grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 3-4 lb. pork roast

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a Dutch oven or roasting pan, stir together all ingredients except the pork roast. Add the pork roast and turn it to coat all sides. Cover the pan and bake at 300 degrees F for 3-4 hours. Check it at 3 hours to see if you can shred the meat easily with a couple forks. If yes, then shred the meat into the sauce until all is well incorporated. If no, then return to the oven for another half hour to hour or so, whatever it takes. If it’s bone-in, then it will take longer.

The other day I made this and I didn’t have Coke, so I used wine instead. And my most current batch of SBJ barbecue sauce is mouth-on-fire flaming hot, so I used a half-cup of that and a half-cup of a sweeter store-bought barbecue sauce. Still a delicious pulled pork. All of this is just to tell you it’s hard to go wrong.

I like to serve this type of pulled pork over sandwich buns (recipe here) or over baked sweet potatoes. It makes about 8 servings. I usually freeze whatever I don’t use the first day.

I think this originated as an Ina Garten recipe and it morphed from there. I have made it many, many times tweaking a little each time. I hate to run out of bread crumbs before I’m finished breading the chicken, but usually end up throwing some away. I guess it just depends upon how large and what type of chicken pieces you use.

  • Marinade Ingredients
  • 4 Chicken thighs and 4 Chicken drumsticks
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • Breading Ingredients
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Small handful fresh thyme or about 1-1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Several grinds of freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups fine bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

Anytime up until roasting, mix the buttermilk, Dijon, and salt. Coat the chicken with the marinade and let it sit under refrigeration until it’s time to roast. I try to do this part before lunch.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small food processor (maybe a blender would work?), place the garlic cloves, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Process until the garlic is very fine. Add the bread crumbs and process to mix it all together. Drizzle the olive oil in, wetting the bread crumbs. [I do this by pouring the oil onto the top of my mini food processor which has little holes to drizzle liquids into the bowl — it works very well.]

Pour the bread crumb mixture into a pie tin or other flat container. Withdraw the chicken from the marinade, one piece at a time and dip in the bread crumbs. The bottoms need only be very thinly coated, if at all. The tops of the chicken should get the bulk of the bread crumb mixture. Place onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Test for doneness. It may take more time. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

This is incredibly tasty! And it tastes great for lunch the next day. Yeah!

I don’t know when this became such a favorite of mine, but I sure do make it a lot. Yum! This is a gluten-free recipe. I’ll give you the ingredients, but not the amounts. I just throw the food into a bowl and stir it around. I like to serve this with finger food like pulled pork sandwiches or oven-fried chicken.

  • Ingredients
  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Red onion, sliced thin
  • Frozen peas, mostly thawed
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Crispy bacon crumbles

Make a dressing with a dab of sour cream and about twice as much, or more, mayo. Stir in a Tablespoon or so of vinegar. I use white wine vinegar. Stir in a couple dashes of pepper. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well mixed. If you have to add more mayo to get everything covered, then do that. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I have made this about once a year for many, many years. I had to go hunting for the recipe today, so decided to put it here for an easier find. When I first tasted this at a potluck, it blew me away. This will serve any number of people, just adjust the amounts.

  • Ingredients
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Bleu cheese salad dressing
  • Crumbled bleu cheese
  • Shredded cooked chicken
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Use crackers, crusty bread, tortilla chips, and/or celery sticks as vehicles for the dip.

Notes: My friend Sandie gave me the recipe with some of the ingredients in very specific amounts. For example, it called for 2 cups shredded sharp cheese, 1/2 cup Frank’s, and one bottle of bleu cheese salad dressing, along with the other non-specific ingredients. Since I always make my own bleu cheese dressing, in this recipe I use mayonnaise and lots and lots of bleu cheese crumbles. Adding plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk in place of some of the mayonnaise would probably work well. This dip tends to separate into oils and solids because of the oil in the cheddar cheese and mayo. I don’t know how to make it not do that. I try to ladle some of the oil off before serving.

Instead of baking the dip, you could put it into a crock pot for 4-6 hours. I don’t have a crockpot.