Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dr Pepper Pulled Pork and Cucumber Salad in a Jar-O

A friend of ours makes this Pulled Pork cooked with Dr Pepper, and it is one of Paul's favorites. She and her husband lead one of the many small groups (aka "Care Groups") at our church. We get together for lunch and fellowship, and everyone brings something. She was kind enough to share the recipe. The photo pictures it with a jarred cucumber salad that makes a good side dish for it if you get tired of cole slaw - recipe below.

You would never dream there is Dr Pepper in it. The faint sweetness could easily be from the onions alone. I used the Dr Pepper with real sugar in it (in the vintage-looking can). This is not as good as the old Dublin Dr Pepper, but at least it does not have high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in it - we avoid purchasing anything with artificial or modified sweeteners.

 Since I am a pepper wimp, I also took all of the seeds out of the peppers before adding them but it is still spicy enough for Paul. Depending on your taste, you could start with say half the can (maybe 1/4 cup), then if it needs more spice after cooking is done, you can add the rest to taste. 

This reheats fabulously, and freezes well too. 

Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Recipe

1 pork roast (I used half a pork butt)
2 cans Dr Pepper
2 or 3 large onions, sliced thinly
1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Place half the onions in your crock pot, add the meat, then the rest of the onions. Since this will be shredded after cooking, it is ok to cut the meat into pieces to fit it nicely into your crock pot.

Pour the peppers and adobo sauce over. Slowly, one can at a time, pour the Dr Pepper over it all. You can reduce the Dr Pepper if there is not enough room to hold it all. I like to have about an inch at the top in my crock pot so things don't overflow.  Each crock pot is a little different so judge for yourself.

Cook in the crock pot on high for 6 hours. Shred within the juices so that it stays moist. Serve on buns. You can add more hot sauce or pickles or onions. I usually put onion on mine (the pickled onions from the salad below were wonderful on it!), Paul likes his plain and simple. The bun soaks up the juices like a pork version of au jus. Yum!


Cucumber Salad in a Jar-O

This is my version of a recipe that has been making the rounds on Facebook. I have reduced the volume since this makes up so quickly, and I would rather fill my fridge with homemade sauerkraut. :-)

2 salad cucumbers, peeled and sliced very thinly
Half a red onion, sliced thinly into rings
1 bell pepper, your favorite color, sliced into rings (it is prettier like this but strips are fine)
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 cup of white vinegar
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Put the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat, add the water and let cool while you work on the vegetables. 

Peel and slice the vegetables. Layer the vegetables pleasingly into a clean quart glass jar - a pickle jar will work great if you don't have canning jars. If there is more left over, put the rest into a smaller jar. 

Sprinkle the celery seed and pepper flakes over the vegetables. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over it all to cover. Put the lid on and refrigerate at least overnight. This will keep for a month or more easily as long as it is refrigerated.

There you go! This can all be done ahead and leftovers are as good or better than the first time. :-)

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