Today I brought lunch to a bunch of hungry men, including two of my sons, who took a Saturday to pull their considerable talents and muscle together to build a very special tree house for a sweet little 5 year old girl, recovering from major surgery.
One of the easiest, most economical, filling, and yummy things to Make & Take to feed a crowd is bar-b-que pulled pork sandwiches! The sauce is so good, you really don’t need any condiments, but a spoonful of my Easy, Spicy Crunchy Asian Slaw on top adds extra deliciousness!
I like to use an even mixture of pork loin (which is the lean white meat cut of pork) and pork butt (which is darker, a little fattier and more tender). This recipe will easily feed 10 people, but I doubled the recipe today, and was able to cook the whole thing in my extra big crockpot — which yielded enough for 20. Just turn on your crock pot the night before and it will be ready to pull it apart in the morning; or start it in the morning and have dinner ready when you come home.
Easy Bar-B-Que Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot
2 – 3 lbs. pork loin
2 -3 lbs pork butt (with or without bone)
1 full head of fresh garlic, peeled, and rough chopped
2 t. Tony’s Chachere’s Seasoning (or your favorite Cajun Seasoning with Salt)
2 t. Grill Seasoning (or 1 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t pepper)
2 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 cups your favorite bottled B-B-Q Sauce (I like Sweet Baby Rays)
1/2 cup ready-made Italian Dressing, any kind
1 t. Tabasco sauce
1 envelope dry Lipton Onion Soup mix
1 cup water
2 T. brown sugar (if you prefer your sauce a little sweet)
Cut the pieces of pork into about 6 big pieces. Whisk the rest of the ingredients for the sauce into a big bowl. Pour half the sauce into the crock pot, add the cut pieces of pork arranging evenly, pour the rest of the sauce on top of the meat. Cook on high for 5 to 7 hours or until tender enough that when you pull at the meat with two forks it comes apart easily. When pork is tender, lift out the meat with tongs or two big spoons, and place in a big rectangle pan. Using two forks tear the meat into shreds. Pour the sauce from the crock pot over the meat and mix evening so that the light and dark meats are evenly combined. Taste and check seasonings, adjust to your taste. At this point you can serve it right away, or cover and refrigerate, then reheat in the oven (covered with foil) at 350 for about 20 minutes when you are ready to serve. Serve on your favorite buns or potato rolls with slaw, extra bottled BBQ sauce, sliced pickles and jalapenos.
I gave my mom and dad the DVDs to Downton Abbey, which they apparently enjoyed as much as Greg and I did. (Though she calls it Downtown Abbey, which I think is adorable so I’m not going to correct her.) The PBS Masterpiece Theater upper crust soap opera has taken America by storm. But it should come with a warning, one that my mother put so well in an email the other night. “Your father and I can hardly speak plain English anymore.” Alas, ’tis true.
Greg and I also got bit by the Downton Vocal Bug as we watched two hours of the DVD series night after night. It grew apparent as we were readying for bed one evening and I heard a loud “whack” in the walk-in closet followed by my husband announcing, in a victorious British accent, “I have vanquished a moth!” I paused in the middle of applying my night cream to comment dramatically, “How terribly brave of you, Darling.”
We are fascinated with the servants from the show, called valets (“t” is pronounced), whose sole job it was to help rich people get into and out of their clothes, shoes, and jewelry, along with keeping the garments washed, pressed and ready to wear at a whim. How I would love a valet, if only to keep my clothes off the closet floor and clean underwear in our drawers.
My father asked about our 4th of July plans yesterday and I told him, “We are just enjoying down time today. Or as we like to call it, ‘Downtime Becky.'” And I have to say, the meal I produced for the two of us was worthy of royalty. Especially the steak.
I am not a big ‘hunk of meat’ fan, as a general rule. I prefer meat as an appetizer with veggies and fruits taking up the bulk of my plate. But a petite tenderloin steak, cooked to medium rare perfection and topped with bar-b-que sauce and green chilis, a tender cut of meat that is incredibly juicy and slices like butter… well, this is hard not to love.
So I bequeath this recipe to you, to be cooked and served and savored on special occasions when you want to feel rich, and pampered and spoiled. And if you haven’t seen the two seasons of Downton Abbey, do yourself a favor and beg, borrow or buy them. You are in for a royal treat.
BBQ Tenderloin Steaks with Green Chilis
Two tenderloin steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick, brought to room temperature
1 T. grill or steak seasoning
2 t. Worchestershire sauce
2 T. olive oil
2 T Bar-b-que sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
2 T. chopped green chilis
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour oil into an oven proof skillet, or preferably, a grill pan. Let the pan and oil get “screaming hot.” In the meantime, pierce one side of the steaks with a fork in several places; turn the steaks over and pierce the other side as well. Sprinkle both sides generously with steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce, rubbing it in a little with your hands.
Put the steaks into the grill pan on high, and sear until the meat is golden brown with dark grill marks, just a few minutes. Turn the steaks over and repeat.
Put a tablespoon of bbq sauce and a tablespoon of green chilis on top of each steak, then put the skillet of steaks in the oven for five minutes to let finish cooking in the middle.
I like our steaks medium rare so this amount of time is usually perfect for us, but of course, cook the steaks to your desired temperature. A digital meat thermometer is a wonderful thing for this job. Pull the pan out of the oven and tent the steaks loosely with foil for at least three minutes to let them sit and juices distribute. Serve to oohs and ahhs and applause.