We had Sus and Shin over for dinner last night. We love those guys, especially since they brought that little squishy stress-toy of theirs (oh, right - they're called babies - my bad). Sage is the cutest little happa you've ever seen. He makes little cooing, gurgling noises and smells like sweet cream butter. I want.
I made pulled pork, my first try. It was exactly how I wanted it to turn out. I love it when I get my way! I also made my newly-invented kohlrabi-arugula slaw (I like to call it Rocket Slaw) to go on top, some Carolina-style barbecue sauce, some German potato salad for a little starch, and a pitcher of Lynchburg lemonade to tipple.
Hey, you might not realize this, but it's kinda awkward to take snaps of dinner when you have guests over. Especially if it's more than one guest, one of whom is an infant. So while I did take quite a few pics, they are mostly blurry because I didn't think it was good hostessing to set the light box up on the dinner table. So fucking sue me.
Also, I found out that you can get reasonably good pulled pork even if you were too busy getting drunk and playing Rock Band the night before to remember to get the dry rub going 8 hours in advance. Win.
Serves 4 adults generously, but no babies.
2-3 pounds of pork butt
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
cracked black pepper
Combine these things and rub the mix all over the pork butt. I mean really rub it in good. I cut little slashes all over the meat so I could shove more rub in. Fridge the thing for at least 4 hours (this is all the time I had - overnight would've been preferable). Pull pork out of the fridge an hour before cooking time.
Preheat oven to 250oF. Brown the meat on all sides to get some nice Maillard flavor - the sugar in the rub will burn a little while it caramelizes, but I think this adds a nice depth of flavor. Cover and roast for ~75-90 minutes per pound (my 2.74-lb. butt was done in 4 hours), flipping the meat every hour or so. On the last flip the meat will fall completely apart in your tongs and that's how you know it's ready.
In the meanwhile, you can make some kohlrabi-rocket slaw and sauce to go on the sammies with the meat.
Okay, so the photos came out really blurry and unusable. I'll try to get good ones later. Just imagine you're looking at very green cole slaw. Raw kohlrabi tastes like a sweet, mild radish, and it's lovely.
3 tbsp mayo (I use low fat)
1/3 c white balsamic vinegar (rice vinegar would work)
a splash of cream
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
fat pinch salt
some cracks of pepper
4 baby (or one adult) kohlrabi, scrubbed - you only need to peel it if using full-size kohlrabi
half a bunch of arugula, rinsed scrupulously (I think it makes about 1.5 cups when minced up)
1/2 c flatleaf parsley
2 tbsp dried cranberries or golden raisins
In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Yes, the cream will curdle a bit in the vinegar, but the honey and dijon will emulsify things so don't freak out. You can fiddle with this to taste, but I like a sweet, vinegary slaw, and the kohlrabi and rocket are peppery enough to stand up to it.
Slice the kohlrabi thinly, then chuck it into the food processor and pulse a few times until it's minced up. Dump this into the dressing bowl. Tear up the arugula and parsley and chuck it in the food processor, pulse a bit until it's chopped very fine and dump it into the bowl with the other stuff. Add the cranberries/raisins and stir. If you can let this sit for 15 or 20 minutes to let the flavors meld, it's better.
Carolina-style barbecue sauce
2/3 c apple cider vinegar
2/3 c white balsamic vinegar
1/4 c hot sauce (such as leftover Frank's Red Hot -Mango wing sauce from last weekend)
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar
cracks of pepper
Blend and serve in a little bowl with a spoon for easy access (but no squirt-shirt-stain-disasters).
Serve pork on soft buns, top with a spoonful of sauce, then a nice wad of slaw.
If I'd really been on my A-game, I'da made some barbecue beans and sweet potato fries to go with the sammiches, but I was tragically not. Next time. Instead, here's a nice cocktail recipe.
Makes "some" cocktails. I don't know how big your glasses are.
5 -6 oz. fine Kentucky bourbon such as Maker's Mark
one liter of lemon Italian soda
one finger of Buddha's hand, sliced up into little finger-coins (or a couple lemon slices)
Stir these together and garnish with Buddha's hand/lemon.
Cin Cin, y'all!