This is a little bit off topic for the blog of a Bed & Breakfast in Asheville, NC but the experience was wonderful and the recipe too good not to share with you. And even though we probably won’t serve you pulled pork for breakfast we do call it “Carolina Pulled Pork”.
James and I lived overseas for 27 years before returning to the United States and buying our Asheville Bed & Breakfast. Our daughters were born in Paris and Hong Kong and educated in the United Kingdom and Singapore. A lot changed while we were away and for our daughters, when they returned, there were many quintessentially American
experiences they had not had. Among these is the traditional tailgate party before a college football game. Abby, our youngest daughter, ended up at the University of South Carolina which, for those of you who follow college football, has a nationally ranked team along with all the hoopla and ceremony one could ask for. This is her senior year in Columbia and she invited James and me down for a tailgate party and game entirely organized by Abby.
According to Southern Living Magazine: “Only in the South is game day more celebrated than any other event–even weddings.” And it is true that on any weekend the highways around Asheville and heading south are filled with cars flying college banners and bearing mascot decals. And no self-respecting college man is without a special cooler(hopefully decorated by a caring girlfriend) dedicated to the tailgate. Typically there is lots of beer
and burgers on the grill but for our tailgate Abby decided to make her sister’s pulled pork recipe. I am not sure where Emily got the recipe but in the manner of our family it has been tweaked until we can call it ours. Abby and Emily started the pork the day before and intended to finish it in a slow cooker using the car battery and an attachment for the cigarette lighter. Unfortunately this proved not to provide enough power and while we consider letting it “cook” in the hot car during the game we decided that probably wasn’t too safe! Looking around, we noticed that the car behind us had a large flat screen TV, a big music system and assorted other electronics plugged into a power strip attached
to a generator. They were happy to let us plug our little slow cooker into their system and watch it for us while we went to the game. (Good neighborliness is another important part of the tailgate tradition).
The game was amazing. The marching band filled the field. There were cheerleaders, a flag team and a dance team. Mascots paraded and fireworks went off. Believe me, 80,000 people can make a lot of noise! Of course the home team won.
Afterwards we returned to the car, set up our table and opened the slow cooker. The delicious smell of the BBQ culled envious looks from those nearby. Emily had made a vinegar based cold slaw which we ate with the pork on hamburger buns. Abby’s friends and their parents stopped by and the golden glow of the November sunset made everything shine. It was the perfect end to a great day and James and I returned to the Carolina Bed & Breakfast happy to have enjoyed a Southern Tradition.
Time: 6.5 hours
Serves: 10 people (depending on how hungry they are !)
2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 whole pork butt/shoulder roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 11-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cans of Dr. Pepper
4 packed tablespoons brown sugar
(Optional: 1 cup orange juice)
1) Preheat oven to 300° F
2) Place onion quarters in the bottom of a large Dutch oven
3) Generously salt and pepper both sides of the pork then place it on top of the onions
4) Pour the can of chipotle peppers and cans of Dr Pepper over top of the pork (and OJ if using)
5) Add brown sugar to the liquid
6) Place the top on the Dutch oven and cook for 6 hours, turning the pork 2-3 times during the cooking time
7) Remove the meat and shred the pork (the bone should come right out and be completely clean if the meat is done) and then place the pork back into the liquid. Continue to slow cook for a while if not tender enough.
8) Serve with Hawaiian buns and coleslaw
* Use half of the can of chipotle peppers if this recipe is too spicy. Also I remove all of the peppers from the sauce after the meat is done cooking before replacing the shredded meat back into the pot. Otherwise it is WAY too spicy.
* I cook the pork with the fat still on (to get the yummy flavors) and then remove the fat from the pork when shredding