Monday, August 6, 2007

NASCAR Pulled Pork with Garlic Cheese Jalapeno Grits

Everyone seemed to enjoy this dinner at our family gathering in Northern Michigan after an active day on the beach, wake boarding, golfing, or spending the day visiting Mackinac Island. In other words, everyone was hungry and appreciated the generous family style presentation. The menu was billed as a NASCAR Special of Oven Baked Pulled Pork with two BBQ sauces on the side, Garlic Cheese Jalapeno Grits, and Arugula Salad with Mango and Creamy Chive Vinaigrette. The meal was enhanced by the fresh baby arugula and chives from Bill's Farm Market in Harbor Springs and an outstanding Shoulder Roast from Tannery Creek Meat Market in Petoskey.

Oven Baked Pulled Pork

The 7 to 9 pound Pork Shoulder Roast was baked fat side down for four to five hours at 325 degrees covered in two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and placed in a roasting pan. Before wrapping in the foil, the roast was rubbed with three crushed garlic cloves and generously sprinkled with Lawry's Seasoning Salt and cracked pepper and then a large Vidalia onion was sliced and placed on the top. A baking dish filled with water was also placed in the oven to provide a moist baking environment.

You can tell if the pork is ready to fall apart and pull into shreds when you are able to easily remove the bone from the cooked roast. There were about two cups of hot pork fat in the foil wrapped roast that had to be removed. After the pork was pulled apart, it was kept warm on the stove top and a little water was added for moisture. The pork was left unseasoned by sauce because two styles of BBQ sauce (North Carolina and Memphis Style) were served with the pork, so everyone could select one or both with their meat. I think the crock pot and BBQ versions of cooking the Pork Shoulder Roast sound great too, but this method was sure successful in producing succulent, tender and moist pulled pork. Fresh buns and a crusty country bread along with dill and bread and butter pickle chips were also served with the pork in case anyone wanted to make sandwiches.

Easy North Carolina Barbecue Sauce (From
1 stick butter
1 c. cider vinegar
1 lg. sour pickle, minced
1 tbsp. onion, minced
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. molasses
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Heat over low heat just long enough to melt butter, stirring frequently; add salt and pepper to taste.

Another BBQ Sauce was served that was a store bought tomato based sauce (I used "Sweet Baby Ray's") with molasses, sauteed finely chopped Vidalia Onions, and vinegar added. Both sauces were served from the stove along with the pulled pork that was warming on the stove top.

Garlic Cheese Jalapeno Grits

Saute one-half of a small finely chopped Vidalia onion on the stove top with a half stick of butter until translucent. Add three or four minced garlic cloves along the way and set the mixture aside to be added to the grits.

Cook the grits according to the recipe on the box. I used two cups of grits to serve twenty people and they were gone at the end of the meal. Generally you combine water and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in grits; cook until done, following package directions.

After the grits are ready, stir in the butter and sauteed onions and garlic. Add twelve ounces of sharp Cheddar cheese cut into small cubes so they melt into the grits. I added one chopped up roasted fresh jalapeno pepper and that was plenty. (More Pickled Jalapeno Peppers and Gardiner were served separately for those heat freaks). Four fresh eggs were then beaten and folded into the grits.

Pour the grits mixture into a lightly buttered 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish; sprinkle with some Paprika and Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour .

Arugula and Mango Salad with Creamy Chive Vinaigrette (This Bon Appetit, August 2007 recipe called for Peaches and I substituted a fresh Mango and no one seemed to mind)


2 large ripe peaches
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice,
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
12 cups (loosely packed) arugula (about 6 ounces)


Wash peaches, rubbing to remove fuzz. Cut in half; remove pits. Thinly slice peaches. Place peach slices in large bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice; toss. Whisk 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and olive oil in small bowl. Whisk in cream, then chives. Season with salt and pepper. Add arugula to bowl with peaches. Add dressing and toss. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.
Bon App├ętit, August



Missy said...

This pulled pork looks amazing! I'll be making it the next time Jamie's dad comes over for Sunday dinner. Thanks!

Gidget Girl said...

Great post Dad. I will definitely be trying this on a Sunday when I am in the mood to spend the day in the kitchen. Thanks!

Chuck said...

The prep time was really not bad on this Lucille. I spent a half hour putting the roast in the oven, and another half hour preparing the grits and BBQ Sauces. I guess the oven does work for five hours or so though.