Easy Crock Pot Bar-B-Que Pulled Pork for a Hungry Bunch!

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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.

tree house 1

tree house 2

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!

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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.

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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)

 

Directions:

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.

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Smoky Baked Goulash

(Becky, the Mama.)

The other night was crazy.

I performed my usual bedtime routines: bath, then walked through the kitchen on the way to the bedroom, put lotion on my feet and legs and got in bed.

Suddenly my feet were on FIRE! Could not imagine why, but I rushed to get a wet cloth and washed them off.  Thankfully, the pain subsided, so I padded back through the kitchen, applied  more lotion, back in bed. Feet on fire!

I trekked back to the  kitchen where I saw that while making the recipe, I somehow spilled Tony’s Cajun Seasoning all over the kitchen floor. So basically, I was putting salt and cayenne pepper on my feet, then rubbing it in with lotion.

I hate it with this happens, don’t you?

So enjoy this recipe for Smoky Baked Goulash, as it is delicious and easy and great for a crowd.  (When your family is tired of turkey, this is a great make-ahead dish to stick in the oven and serve with a simple salad.)   Just make sure to let it melt in your mouth, and not on your feet.

Smoky Baked Goulash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Serves six to eight people

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1/2  lb  sweet Italian turkey sausage

(*Vegans: In place of beef and sausage, use a mixture of crumbled vegan sausage– Field Roast Apple Sage brand recommended; lentils or beans; and chopped Portobello mushrooms to equal about  2 ½ cups)

3 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

½ c. BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s brand)

1 t. cumin

1 t. smoked paprika

1 t. Hungarian paprika

½ t. Tony’s Cajun seasoning

Salt & Pepper to Taste

8 oz  Penne Noodles (I used a high fiber Barilla Plus brand)

½ c to 1 c. cheddar cheese

1 red onion, diced

1 chopped sweet red or yellow pepper (or mixture)

½ cup Lite Ranch Dressing

¼ cup sliced olives, green or black

Directions:

Cook noodles according to package directions.  While they are cooking, brown the hamburger and crumbled turkey sausage in a large skillet  (Vegans, use a little olive oil and sauté the mushrooms and vegan sausage, then add beans or lentils.)

Add can of crushed tomatoes, bar-b-que sauce and seasonings to browned meat in skillet  Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate pan sauté onions and pepper in olive oil. (To save time, you can do this when you brown the meat.  But it is prettier to see that layer of color on top of the casserole.)

When noodles are done, lightly oil a large rectangle casserole pan, and place noodles in it, in an even layer.   Gently spoon the meat sauce over the noodles.

Next, spoon sautéed onions and peppers over the sauce.  Then sprinkle cheddar cheese over all, as much as you like.  (We go light on the cheese, but if you love it, go for it! Vegans, omit cheese or use a vegan cheese product.)

Then pour pretty “squiggles” of Ranch Dressing over cheese layer. (Vegans use Vegan Ranch Dressing or make Rachel’s awesome recipe!)

Finally top with olives.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until melts and dish is hot all the way through.

Variations: This is a great recipe for using left-over veggies: corn, diced carrots, mushrooms,  diced squash, beans — it is all good.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
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The Title: Smoky Baked Goulash
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This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook


BBQ Tenderloin Steaks with Green Chilis: Fit for Royalty

BBQ Tenderloin with Green Chilis

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.

Downton Abbey characters….we are royally hooked

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

BBQ Tenderloin Steaks with Green Chilis

Ingredients

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

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, Montreal Grill or Steak Seasoning, roasted chopped green chili peppers (In a jar! Love this new product)

Directions:

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.

Putting steaks with BBQ sauce into the oven, right before also topping with green chilis

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.

BBQ Tenderloin Steaks with Green Chilis