Monday, May 12, 2008

Too Much Alone Time Makes for Good BBQ

So my roommate abandoned me for several days last week as she had to go to Minnesota (of all places) to the "home office" for work. So I spent some quality time with the dogs, and we watched a lot of movies and Food Network together over the weekend. We especially enjoyed a Down Home with the Neelys marathon. In one of the episodes, they made New York strip steaks with a homemade steak sauce. Now we prefer ribeyes in this house, but that beer-and-molasses steak sauce looked amazingly good, and I had never thought of making my own steak sauce. So I whipped up a batch, and though I accidentally put apple cider vinegar in it instead of apple cider, it turned out great--sweet and spicy, just like I like it. We had it on steaks to celebrate Cyd's return home, but there was a lot of sauce left over. Then I had a vision. As the homemade steak sauce and barbecue sauce seemed to be indistinguishable from one another, I thought I might make some pulled pork in the crock pot with it. I credit my inspiration to Nicole at Baking Bites. You see, another project that I undertook while Cyd was gone was to bake some of her soft yogurt sandwich rolls. It is an excellent recipe that yields large, tender rolls that can stand up to everything from French dips to BBQ pulled pork.

To make the pulled pork (a la Baking Bites), I sliced up an onion and put it in the bottom of the crock pot. Then I put in a six pound pork butt that I seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I poured in a scant cup of water around the roast, and added about a cup and a half of the Neely sauce on top of the meat. Then I put on the lid, and set it on low to cook for about 12 hours. When it was done, I pulled the meat apart with two forks and dressed it with some additional sauce. I served it on the homemade yogurt rolls that I had toasted and topped the pulled pork with fresh cole slaw. Delish!

FOLLOW-UP (5/13/08): My new Gourmet magazine came in the mail today, and we cracked up when we saw the cover. It looks almost exactly like the picture above--a pulled pork sandwich topped with cole slaw! I guess great minds think alike...tee hee.

The Neelys' Beer and Molasses Steak/BBQ Sauce
Food Network)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup apple cider--I used apple cider vinegar on acccident, but I'd do it again!
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup lager-style beer
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper--I would start with a teaspoon and taste it for your preferred heat level!
1 tablespoon paprika

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients; bring to a boil, then simmer until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, about 30 minutes.

Soft Yogurt Sandwich Rolls
Baking Bites)

3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour--I used white whole wheat
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup warm water (100-110F)
1 cup yogurt (nonfat/lowfat is fine; Greek-style is preferred)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, the active dry yeast, the honey and the warm water. Stir well and let sit for 10 minutes, until slightly foamy.

Stir in yogurt, vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of the remaining flour. Gradually stir in more flour until you have a soft dough that sticks together pulls away from the sides of the bowl (This can all be done in a stand mixer with the dough-hook attached as well).

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, or about 5 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn risen dough out of bowl and onto a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate, pressing into a rectangle. Divide dough into 10 even pieces with a board scraper or a pizza cutter. Shape each piece into a round roll. To do this, take all the corners of one of the squarish pieces you just cut and pull them together, pinching them to create a seal. This will pull the rest of the dough “tight” across the top of your roll, giving you a smooth top. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Once all rolls have been formed, press down firmly on each one to flatten. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for 25 minutes. Bake for about 20 minutes, until rolls are deep golden on the top and the bottom. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Makes 10 rolls.

Of course, we had a LOT of pork left (a four pound roast would be have been sufficient!). So this weekend, after being sucked into multiple episodes of Diners, Drive-In's and Dives, I was craving homemade corned beef hash, and I wondered if I might make it with pulled pork instead. I browned some country hash browns (the diced kind) in some of the fat that had rendered from the pork roast. Then I topped the potatoes with shredded cheddar cheese, the pulled pork, minced onions, chopped tomatoes, basted eggs, hot sauce, and a dollop of sour cream. KILLER! (Perhaps literally...but it's going on my imaginary diner's breakfast menu regardless!)

And there was still MORE pulled pork! So tonight for dinner, I made yet another dish featuring the leftovers. Since I made the matzoh toffee a couple of weeks ago, I've had a spare box of matzohs sitting on my counter, and I didn't know what to do with them. But while Cyd was gone, I didn't feel like cooking a fancy meal just for myself, so I preheated the oven to 450 degrees, brushed two matzohs lightly with olive oil, topped them with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, onions and mushrooms, and baked them for about ten minutes in the very hot oven. Crispy and delicious! So tonight, I made matzoh pizzas with the homemade BBQ sauce on the bottom, then a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese, then minced onions, and finally, the pulled pork. Yummy! I guess Cyd should go away more often, eh? Alone time gives me bursts of culinary creativity! ;-)


Randi said...

I'm making pulled pork for a huge catering job I have the first weekend in June.

Do those Neely's bug you at all? I find the wife so annoying with all her " daddy, you know you want some of what mamma has" blah, blah, blah. I mean, I have expect them to have sex on the counters while they're cooking. LOL.

The buns look good too. I usually make Moomie buns( KA flour recipe). I'll have to try these since I always have yogurt around ( I have a tsp to the dogs everyday)

Joy Bugaloo said...

Geez, you are so jaded, Randi! The Neelys are cute and have great chemistry...they're hot and spicy! ;-)