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Sunday, July 17, 2011

College Cookin'

(Pioneer Woman Cooks)

As you may recall, my son Charlie has stayed at school this summer and is working for a professor.  Because the dorms are closed, he and a couple of friends have rented a house in town (think Animal House) and are fending for themselves.  They are cooking.

I have to tell you.  Charlie barely knew how to pour the milk into the cereal when he was living at home.  His idea of "cooking" was heating up Stouffer's macaroni and cheese in the microwave.  Suffice it to say, my beloved Charlie was no culinary giant.

But I am now eating my words because Charlie is cooking and doing a good job of it.  He and his friends are on a very limited budget, and they are managing to turn out really delicious sounding meals every night. Charlie has called numerous times this summer to discuss menu ideas, and this is music to my ears.  He reports  what he and his roommates have prepared and how it has come out.  Charlie has even made hummus, sans food processor, a couple of times.  He's a better person that I am.  I would never bother with hummus if I didn't have a Cuisinart.

All of Charlie's cooking has gotten me to thinking about inexpensive dishes that can easily feed five hungry college guys.  Let's face it, a little piece of fish isn't going to do the job.  I'm thinking meat, and lots of it.  I'm thinking pulled pork.

This is not a complicated recipe.  It just requires some time, and since I think there's a lot of loafing going on around Animal House, I'm thinking this could be a real winner.  It's very easy too.  Pretty much all the preparation requires is that you throw a couple of ingredients into a pot, cover it, and pop it into the oven.  Pork shoulder is very inexpensive and the long slow cooking produces an incredibly tender result.  Serve the pulled pork on buns with shredded lettuce or cole slaw.  The recipe makes a lot of pulled pork, although it's so good I doubt there'll be any leftovers.

Recipe:  Pulled Pork
(Adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks)


1 whole Large Onion cut into 4 wedges
1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
2 cans Dr. Pepper or cola
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Lay the onion wedges in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper or cola. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir to combine.

Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it's not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.

Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it's cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.

Serve on  buns or warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you'd like.

1 comment:

  1. It's not too late to make and email a "Pebble's Family Cookbook" of Charlie's favorite easy/cheap meals.

    I did this when my kids went off to college. Rachel even made brisket one year!