Gardening, Pulled Pork, and Slaw

It was a beautiful weekend this Easter, so we got our gardening mood on and got outside. My wonderful husband took care of the dirty work – turning over last year’s soil, pulling weeds, and resoiling – to present me with the perfect bed for my veggie garden. 

This year, I chose two kinds of tomatoes (tomatoes always do great in our yard, they love it here – even the ones from the year before come back!), cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, and spinach. So exciting!! Nothing like eating what you grow. I know I’ve gushed about this before, but it is truly gleeful. I also redid the herb garden – hopefully I can get it growing stronger than last year. Parsley, oregano, thyme, and basil. I hope the basil gets super bushy!  Maybe the hat will help.

On the inside of the house, the pulled pork I got going was slow cooking and starting to give that warm, rich, meaty scent to the house. Pulled pork is a piece of cake to make.  So easy I didn’t even take pics of the first few steps (ok, I forgot).  I got a big pork shoulder, bone in. You can use practically any liquid to slow cook. I used a bottle of beer and half a small bottle of OJ.  You just need enough to almost cover the meat. I added a bunch of ground sage (I love sage), a few tablespoons of brown sugar, and some generous squirts of maple syrup. 

Then just let the slow cooker do the work. Literally leave and come back so you can smell the goodness setting in.  I set the slow cooker on high for about 5 hours. Once the meat is so tender that it just can’t keep it together, then it’s done!  Pull out big chunks one at time and then pull them apart with tongs.

Get it good and shredded, chunk size optional. Then I add ketchup and BBQ sauce generously.  This is to taste – you could add apple cider vinegar too if you like it more on the tangy side. I like it on the sweeter side. Sweet meat.

Mix it up and bam – homemade pulled pork!! Yummmm! The shoulder is so big that it’ll last for several meals (I usually freeze some to randomly surprise my husband after a while).  

This time I got creative with a slaw side. I had pears instead of apples, red cabbage, blue cheese, and some dried cherries. 

Chop up the pear into small pieces and then mix all the above together.

I added orange juice (about 1/4 cup), some passion fruit balsamic (any citric balsamic will do), and some sour cream.

A little salt and pepper to taste.  Let it chill in the fridge for a bit to get the flavors working.  This was big a hit!! Make a lot! Serve the pork and slaw any way you like! I didn’t have rolls this time (I usually skip the rolls anyways), but I did have some sweet potatoes straws that went alongside nicely!

I just had to make some pulled pork of my own after my BBQ nachos went so fast at the beach last week!  That will definitely be recreated with these leftovers!

Happy Spring!!

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