Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork, SC Mustard BBQ Sauce and Blue Cheese Coleslaw with Baked French Fries

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork, South Carolina Mustard BBQ and Blue Cheese Coleslaw with Baked French Fries

In the south it is sacrilege to not smoke barbecue. Well I don’t have a smoker and I do have a slow-cooker. In South Carolina, where I live, and really anywhere in the Carolinas there is a BBQ joint on every other block. That is a great thing. Some restaurants do it better than others, of course, but it is all good.

Barbecue Sauce

BBQ sauce is the source of many great debates here in the south. Where I live in Greenville, SC, we are in the middle of several regions with clearly defined sauce preferences. The western parts of the Carolinas generally prefer tomato based sauces. The upstate of SC to the midlands prefer mustard based sauces. The midlands of SC and foothills of NC go for the vinegar based sauces. A small portion of the southern part (in the middle) of SC and into GA prefer (gasp) ketchup based sauces (yuck). I like all of them but my favorite since I was a kid is the mustard based, so that’s what I go with. I found a great recipe here at the Food for my Family site. Before I continue, sauce is a condiment that you add after. You don’t cook BBQ in sauce, you just don’t do it.

Slow-cooker

I never owned a slow-cooker. My cable TV provider (stick with me) has a rewards program that gives you points each month. Once a month they offer up items you can get using your points. I got a slow-cooker. So now I have this thing and have no clue what to do with it. Well, here is what I did with it first.

 

Pulled Pork Ingredients

  • 1 2 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder (whatever will fit in your slow-cooker)
  • 6 potato buns (or your favorite hamburger buns)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 3 tablespoons Dale’s marinade (or soy sauce)
  • Salt and pepper

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced
  • ½ cup yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons hot sauce (Tabasco or Texas Pete)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blue Cheese Coleslaw Ingredients

  • 1 package shredded cabbage
  • 1 package broccoli slaw mix
  • 1 cup blue cheese crumbles (less or more if you like)
  • 1 cup coleslaw dressing (less or more if you like)
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Baked French Fries Ingredients

  • 3-4 baking potatoes cut into fries
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Directions

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, the paprika, mustard powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and combine. Rub the pork until covered.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat until it shimmers. Sear the pork on all sides until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the pork and add a ½ cup or so of water. Whisk to remove any bits and drippings from the pan. Add that liquid to your slow-cooker.
  3. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, remaining brown sugar, liquid smoke and Dale’s marinade plus another cup of water to the slow cooker. Whisk to combine. Add pork and more water if needed. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. After 4 hours, turn the pork over and cook for another 4 hours.

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce Directions

  1. In the meantime, heat a sauce pan over medium heat. Add butter and cook until melted and add the onion and garlic. Once the onion becomes transparent and soft, add the yellow mustard, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and hot sauce. Whisk to combine and reduce heat, simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat until cooled slightly. Pulse with an immersion blender until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the sauce to cool completely. Place in the refrigerator.

Baked French Fries Directions

  1. Soak fries in salty water for 10-15 minutes (minimum), drain and dry thoroughly. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put the fries in a large bowl and toss with oil to cover and season liberally with salt and pepper. Line a large sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil and add the fries. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and cut the heat to 400 degrees and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Flip the fries over and continue cooking until you achieve desired doneness.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw Directions

  1. In a large bowl add the cabbage and broccoli slaw mix, blue cheese, yogurt and less of the dressing then you think you’ll need, toss to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Add more dressing just before serving if need be. Place in the refrigerator.
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Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork, SC Mustard BBQ Sauce and Blue Cheese Coleslaw with Baked French Fries

Thai Barbeque Chicken Pizza

Thai Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? I eat it just about twice a week (make it one night and leftovers another). Infinite possibilities exist with pizza and I enjoy trying to sample all of them. I bet I haven’t ordered pizza delivery in eight years. With the availability of quality ingredients and the fact that most grocery stores carry fresh pizza dough, it’s cheaper, faster and better to make my own.

On this day I was craving heat and as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my wife is now craving heat as well. Since I was craving Asian, I went with Thai Barbecue Chicken Pizza. I love, love, loved it. The heat from the sriracha, the sweet from the bbq sauce and peanut butter, the crunch/sour/heat of the carrots and read onions, the crunch and salt of the peanuts, the fresh cilantro and green onions, the…well everything. This is a keeper.

I’m not sure if they have it still on the menu but I used to get a Thai barbeque chicken pizza at the sandwich shop Schlotzsky’s. I think I had one at California Pizza Kitchens as well. Anyway, those were the original inspirations, my pizza was better than either of those.

 

Ingredients

  • Peanut butter
  • Dale’s steak seasoning (or regular soy sauce)
  • Barbeque sauce (I used Jack Daniels brand)
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Honey
  • Granulated garlic
  • Powdered ginger
  • Pizza dough (I used store bought multigrain)
  • 1 store bought rotisserie chicken, chopped in ½ inch pieces
  • Spicy pickled carrots and red onions (click for recipe)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped and to garnish
  • 4 green onions, sliced on the bias
  • 1 handful chopped cashews
  • Shredded cheese (I used several different kinds)

Directions

  1. Place pizza stone in the middle rack and pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F. If you don’t have a pizza stone get one.
  2. First, cut the pizza dough in half. Set the cut side of each half down and push the edges in to form a ball. Flour your board well, and stretch. I use every method known to get the dough as thin as possible, including a rolling pin.
  3. Once you have the first half as thin as you like it, put it on a sheet pan and bake in the pre-heating oven until slightly browned. Remove and set aside. Repeat this for the other piece of dough. BTW, I usually make a different pizza with the other dough, but that’s another post.
  4. Combine the first 9 ingredients in sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisky and reduce until desired consistency, it won’t take long. Sorry for the lack of measurements but I encourage you to combine this to your tastes. If you want more heat, add more sriracha. Want more sweet, add more bar-b-que sauce or honey.
  5. Add chicken to half the sauce and toss to coat. Set aside.
  6. Spread some of the remaining sauce over the pre baked crust.
  7. Sprinkle a light layer of your favorite shredded cheese (I used a combination of mozzarella, seven cheese Italian and fontina).
  8. Next, add a layer of carrots and onions, a layer of chicken. Sprinkle cilantro, green onions and peanuts. Finish with more shredded cheese.
  9. Cut oven temperature down to 400 degrees F and place the pizza on the pizza stone. Cook until cheese is melted and the crust is to your liking (I’ll like my crunchy).
  10. Sprinkle with more cilantro and green onions. Enjoy.
Thai Barbeque Chicken Pizza