Posts Tagged With: Pork

Pork Chile Verde

Oh my goodness – a huge thank you to Branden for finding AND making this recipe this week as it was FABULOUS!  The favors and textures were just incredible!  The meat was tender and the broth was thick – I mean like thick enough that you could probably repurpose the leftovers into enchiladas.  I kid you not, this is probably one of the better soup recipes we have tried this winter!

Branden poured his soup over white rice.  We also tried eating it with tortillas and that was just plain messy!  Personally, I liked it Plain Jane – nothing else needed!


  • 1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos
  • 5 garlic cloves, not peeled
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • 3 1/2 to 4 lbs. pork shoulder (also called pork butt), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 TBS of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 5 unpeeled garlic cloves, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven, let cool enough to handle.

Roast fresh chilies over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around. Let cool in a bag, remove the skin, seeds, and stem.

Place tomatillos, skins included, into blender. Remove the now roasted garlic cloves from their skins, add them to the blender. Add chopped Jalapeño peppers, other chilies (if you are using them), and cilantro to the blender. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well on all sides. Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan and has a better chance to brown well. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, lift pork out of pan and place in bowl, set aside.

Pour off excess fat, anything beyond a tablespoon, and place the onions and garlic in the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. If your skillet is large enough to cook the entire batch of chile verde, with the sauce and meat, then add the pork back to the pan. If not, get a large soup pot and add the onion mixture and the pork to it. Add the oregano to the pan. Add the tomatillo chile verde sauce to the pork and onions. Add the chicken stock (enough to cover the meat). Add a pinch of ground cloves. Add a little salt and pepper. (Not too much as the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit.)

Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

– Courtesy of


Categories: Entrees, Latin, Mexican, Recipes, Soup | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Barbacoa Pork

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Seriously, I am in love with my slow cooker.  I’m finally learning why people have been obsessed with them for generations.  Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoy cooking dinner, but its sometimes nice to know that when I get home from a long day at work, dinner is waiting for me.  How awesome is that?

This particular recipe actually woke Branden up after I had gone to work because it was making the house smell so incredible.  And I’m happy to tell you, the flavor 100% stood up to the smell.  Barbacoa pork.  Yup, you can have Chipotle at home, folks (and for a LOT less calories).

The first night we ate this, we turned it into burrito bowls (in the picture above).  The next day, we turned it into Nachos (see below).  The possibilities are endless.  This really was fabulous though and super easy.


For the Marinade:

  • 2.5 lbs pork loin roast, all fat trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 6 oz Coke zero
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar (unpacked)
  • 1/4 c. water

For the pork:

  • 8 oz Coke zero
  • 6 oz can sliced green chilies
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. chipotle chili powder (to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar (unpacked)

Season pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place in the crock pot. Add 6 oz of coke and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Marinate refrigerated for a few hours or overnight turning meat at least once while marinating.

Remove crock from refrigerator, add water, and cook on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily).  You can also cook on low for 8 hours.  Remove pork from crock pot and discard any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork with two forks.

In the crock pot, combine 8 oz coke, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chile, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder and remaining brown sugar.

Put shredded pork back in the crock pot and combine with sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook on high 1-1/2 hours more.

Like the idea of the burrito bowl?  How about some Cilantro-Lime Rice to make it a little happier?

  • 1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 TBS fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tsp. vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.

Both Recipes Courtesy of Gina at SkinnyTaste

Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Branden’s Pulled Pork with Homemade BBQ Sauce: Part III

Now for the final installment of the BBQ posts from the 4th of July!  Congrats on making it through…may we reward you with some yummy BBQ sauce?!?

BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons southern style hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. Saute the onions, garlic, and oregano until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, ketchup, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, honey, brown sugar, hot sauce, paprika, cayenne, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then lower heat to a simmer and allow to simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning and heat to desired taste.

Yield: about 3 cups

Categories: American, Condiments, Recipes | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Branden’s Pulled Pork with Homemade BBQ Sauce: Part II

So now for Part II: setting up the gas grill to act as a smoker.  This was a really funny process as an innocent bystander, but Branden is still a little salty about it a month later.  First, we forgot to rub the meat until about midnight the night before, so our 2 a.m. goal of getting the meat on the grill was kind of crushed.  Then Branden stayed up late per normal with a goal of getting it on the grill around 4 a.m. before he went to bed, but ran into problem after problem getting the grill and thermometers configured to what you set above and ended up angry and burnt (from the water AND the fire…he definitely had some singed arm hairs!).  All issues aside, the meat finally got on the grill at 6 a.m. and Branden finally turned in to bed.  I was up at 8 a.m. (doggone internal alarm clock) and stayed on meat monitoring duty for the next several hours poolside…someone had to do it!  This was definitely a little more eventful than it needed to be, but worth it in the end.

The key to tender pulled pork that falls apart when you touch it is low and slow.  Remember that: low and slow.  It doesn’t matter how hungry you are or when you think the meat should be done, let it do its thing (low and slow) and you will be rewarded.

You’re going to need some hardware for smoking on the grill:

  • Smoker Box
  • Applewood chips
  • Aluminum roasting pan
  • Two meat thermometers (the kind with the probe that you leave in the meat)

Branden removed one of the grill grates so that he could put the smoker box as close to the heat source as possible.  He then placed a generous handful of  wood chips in the smoker box.  The left side of the grill was the only side with burners on as we didn’t want the grill to get too hot.  On the right side of the grill, we filled a tin roasting pan with water and then placed the meat on a grill rak on top of it.  This seems weird, but its used mostly for temperature control.  Every time you open the grill, you loose a lot of the heat.  The water acts kind of like a stabilizer and helps the grill temperature to not fluctuate so drastically.

For those meat thermometers, go ahead and jam one right into the heart of the pork butt.  Crumple tin foil around the probe of the other thermometer and set it inside the grill.  We want to be able to really monitor the internal grill temperature to make sure it doesn’t get to hot and cook our meat too fast.  We used a thermometer that had an alarm on it and set it to beep if the temp got too hot.

In terms of good cooking tips, Branden plans on 1.5 to 2 hours per pound (our 6 lb. hunk of heaven was projected to take 12 hours).  How did Branden arrive at this timing?  Check out this link for some details that I think are best from the source.  He’s done a lot of research on this topic and found this information really helpful (if you really know my husband, you know how he loves to research!).  Bottom line is, you want to keep your grill temp steady around 250° until the internal pork temp reaches 180º.  It will stall out for a long time at around 150º, but don’t be tempted to crank up the heat!  Leave well enough alone and walk away.  Just walk away…

After the pork has reached 180º, let it set for about an hour (covered) before pulling it.  Branden just used two forks to pull it and after 13 hours on the grill, the meat literally fell apart.  Most folks will eat it on a bun with BBQ sauce, but not me!  I took mine bunless (why waste the room in my stomach?) and smothered in sauce.  Delicious and well worth the wait!

Need some more tips and details?  Check out this link for grill setup or this link for information on smoking.  Got questions for Branden?  Click on the “Contact the Author” page and shoot me an email- I’d be happy to ask him and get back to you!


Categories: American, Entrees, Kitchen Gadgets, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Branden’s Pulled Pork with Homemade BBQ Sauce: Part I

Okay, so this is like a month after the fact for some reason- this was our 4th of July entree (and Branden’s been bugging me to blog about it…someone get him to write his own posts, please!).  I’ve just had so much to share lately!

So Branden has been telling me for YEARS (and that’s no exaggeration) that he makes a really good pulled pork, but I didn’t believe him because I’ve never been given a reason to believe otherwise…we like to give each other a hard time if you haven’t noticed!  After years of pleading with him to make his “really good” pulled pork, it was decided that the 4th of July was the perfect time to make this incredible creation.  We set up shop at his parent’s house since they just bought a brand spankin’ new Weber grill this summer and what better way to break it in with some good ‘ole fashioned BBQ.  Now even though we don’t have access to a smoker, Branden has done much research on how to smoke on a grill and really has perfected it for what it is.

I’m going to break this little project (yes, it was a project) into 3 posts as to not overwhelm with one giant novel of a post.  Part I is going to be the meat prep and Branden’s rub.  Part II will be the execution for smoking the meat on a gas grill – really cool stuff.  Finally, Part III is going to be Branden’s BBQ sauce recipe.  So fasten your seat belts, you’re about to be blown away with a LOT of information!

Pulled Pork

  • 1 (5 to 6 pounds) pork butt
  • 1/2 cup Spice Rub, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Apple chips, soaked in water
  • BBQ sauce, recipe follows in Part III
  • 8 large rolls
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large pickles, sliced into thin rounds

Place the pork butt in a shallow pan. To the pork rub, add the dry mustard and mix well. Rub the whole surface with the Pork Rub. Drizzle the surface with olive oil and rub well again. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Spice Rub (this is awesome for other meats too and we’ve started keeping it on hand.  I used this spice rub on the chicken in my Chilaquiles recipe recently to add some pizazz to my chicken)

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 4 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons mild paprika
  • 2 tablespoons hot paprika
  • 4 teaspoons cayenne
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Mix all ingredients together and stir well.

Yield: about 1 cup

Thanks Wolfgang Puck for this recipe!

Categories: American, Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Restaurant Review: Omahoma Bob’s BBQ

When I was a kid, I hated BBQ sauce.  Seriously hated  it.  I don’t know why I had such a dislike for it (maybe it was because I had only had cheap stuff), but some time in my late teens, a switch flipped and I became nutty for quality BBQ.  And of course, when you have quality sauce, you need something to smother with it.  Which leads me to one of Branden and I’s favorite places to eat in downtown Wooster, Ohio: Omahoma Bob’s BBQ.

Branden and I love this place so much that we actually had them cater our backyard rehearsal dinner for our wedding last year and everyone loved it!  Bob smokes his meat with love and is usually hanging around the restaurant visiting with patrons.  Seriously, I go there at least once a month and he’s always there no matter what time of day I go.

Today’s picture is courtesy of Omahoma Bob’s and Groupon.  I had a Groupon worth $20, so Branden and I decided to go big or go home and splurge on the “Meat Sampler” for $17.99 (which by the way, is as huge as it looks).  I apologize for the poor image quality, I had to take this with my phone as I left my good camera at home.  Anywhosers, this picture shows a fine sample of the meaty goodness offered at Bob’s: (clockwise from top right) Pulled Pork, Smoked Sausage, Chicken Wings, Pork Ribs, Beef Brisket, and Smoked Pork Loin.  We also got hush puppies and fried okra as our sides (I’ve fallen in love with the fried okra, by the way).  The meat is consistently smoked to perfection (I usually get the two meat platter of pulled pork and beef brisket)- I’ve never been disappointed.

Is your mouth watering yet?  If not, something is wrong with you!  So support a local business (if you’re visiting NE Ohio) and check out Omahoma Bob’s!

Categories: American, Restaurants | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Restaurant Review: Sue Min’s Chinese Gourmet

If you ever find yourself in Wooster, Ohio and craving authentic Chinese, you have to find Sue Min’s Chinese Gourmet!  Branden and I first heard of Sue Min Lee while at Today’s Kitchen Store where she was teaching a Chinese cooking class one Saturday- the store smelled incredible!  That was all it took for us to go searching for Sue Min’s restaurant.

One of the great things about Sue Min’s, apart from it being delicious, is the fact that Sue Min uses no MSG or lard and only uses pure vegetable oil in her cooking.  Although I can’t confirm it since I’m not a vegetarian, but the owner of TKS told us that Sue Min also has a separate set of utensils and cookware for vegetarians that have never touched meat.  The ingredients used at Sue Min’s are incredibly fresh and of the highest quality (which I’ll rave about more later in this post).

Pot Stickers

Finding Sue Min’s is a bit of a challenge as there’s no signage to indicate what it is.  I’ve lived in the area my entire life and never noticed this restaurant (apparently its been there for 20 years!?).  If you’re familiar with the area, its directly across from the OARDC on Madison Avenue.  Hopefully my picture will help you spot it should you go searching.  Branden and I actually drove past it a couple times before deciding that this building must be it and were a little skeptical as we walked in.  One other word for the wise: check to see if they’re open before heading over, they have kind of funny hours.

If you’re looking for aesthetics, you’re not going to find them here.  The inside of the restaurant is really nothing special at all and oddly resembles a really old ice cream parlor (odd, I know).  But once your food is served, you couldn’t care less about what the place looks like.  Seriously, this is some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had.  I’m not normally a huge Chinese fan (I much prefer other Asian cuisines over Chinese), but I honestly have been craving Sue Min’s lately so of course we went again today.

Moo Shoo Pork

Tonight’s dinner consisted of potstickers for an appetizer and then Branden and I shared an order of Moo Shoo Pork and an order of Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.  So let’s start with the Pot Stickers…holy cow.  Every order is made to order, so it does take some time to get your food, but its worth every second.  These pot stickers are fresh out of the pan and are perfectly crisp (we’ve had them twice now and both orders were consistent).  They’re served with a citrus soy sauce which is to die for (we like to save it to pour on our rice).  Branden will probably kill me for saying this, but he was borderline sipping it like soup, but you didn’t hear it from me…

On to the entrees…perfect!  The Moo Shoo Pork is probably some of the best I’ve ever had and the homemade plum sauce makes it even better.  Like traditional Moo Shoo, its served with Chinese crepes, but these are made to order and were so hot I actually burnt myself.  Now that’s fresh!  The pork is cooked to perfection and the cabbage was cooked, but still had a crunchy texture.  Seriously, I can’t explain good enough how awesome this dish is.  The Shrimp with Lobster Sauce was pretty fabulous, too.  You could tell that high quality shrimp was used and was cooked just right.  The flavor of fresh ginger lingered in the sauce that covered the shrimp and fresh veggies.  Served over white rice, this dish was a winner as well. 

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

You’ve got options when you go to Sue Min’s.  She offers a full (and extensive) menu that includes options to make “combos” out of your meal by adding rice and an eggroll.  There is also a buffet that looks yummy, but I’ve honestly never tried.  Bottom line is everything is quality and made to order, so it does take time.  Its only Sue Min and her husband are the only ones doing the cooking so either order carryout ahead of time or come prepared to wait a little bit.

Sue Min’s is by far the best Chinese in Wayne County, Ohio and I’d be willing to argue the tri-county area.  If you love Chinese food, Sue Min’s Chinese Gourmet should definitely be added to you list of places to check out in the near future!

Categories: Chinese, Restaurants | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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