Before I commence this actual article I want to mention something important: I advised my readers last week that I seemed to have failed in ordering food from the Mill River Store. Specifically, I ordered Duke's Mayonnaise. Well, today it finally arrived, weeks after I placed my order. However, it did arrive in fine condition and I want to place as much emphasis on my reassurance--go right ahead and order from the Mill River Store--as I did on notifying my readers that they had disappointed me. Still, if you aren't in a hurry to get your products, that couldn't hurt.
In the month of February there is a newfound alliance between Valentine's Day, the color red and heart health. I am very happy to see this, and I will be wearing red to "fly my colors" in support of all kinds of health; in fact, I did when I went to a meeting earlier this evening.
So there's also red food--doesn't barbecue come to mind? The Southern formula of soft white hamburger buns filled with barbecue and Cole slaw (or on the side if you are a little neater) is pretty appetizing.
The pork shoulder roast is the archetypal barbecue material, chopped and shredded by hand after cooking. This is easily accomplished in a slow cooker, so even on a work day you can set yourself up for the Thursday that Valentine's Day is going to occur upon this month. In fact, begin on Tuesday doing the roast, and then you can do the chopping and mixing Wednesday after work and either take your creation to work for the office luncheon (if you are lucky enough to have one) or dish it up at home.
SLOW COOKER PULLED PORK
1 pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds)
1 bottle or recipe of barbecue sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Hamburger buns, split
Place the pork roast in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle the meat with the chopped onion. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the meat is tender.
Remove the meat and leave it covered in the slow cooker until it comes to room temperature. Skim the fat from the cooking juices. Chop and shred the pork with two forks and return to the slow cooker. Combine the sauces, and mustard and pour the mixture over the pork. Heat through. Serve on the buns.
Traditionally, this sandwich is served with Cole slaw, which can be included in the sandwich, as I mentioned, or dished as a salad on the side. Any kind of Cole slaw will do, and there are several fine dressings available for it now.
And speaking of fine sauces, you can find barbecue sauce that is free of High-Fructose Corn Syrup at Trader Joe's, or at Walmart and a few other Tucson markets under the label of Noh, which comes from Hawaii. I am happy to see that it is really true that HFCS is fading out of the food markets.
Now, if you get a bone-in shoulder roast, you use the bone to tell if the meat is done. If you can pull it out without any resistance, it is done. Do this with tongs or an oven pad or glove before you turn off the slow cooker, so that you'll know if it needs to stay on the heat.