Recipe from my sister Laura. A home chef and cooking class instructor in california
You can prepare this with chicken or beef as well. But pork is classic, and delicious.
2T BBQ rub (sample recipe attached)
3-4lb Pork Shoulder or Butt
3-5 garlic cloves
2T Tomato Paste
2T brown sugar
2T prepared mustard
1T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbsp BBQ Rub
1 14oz can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, fire roasted if possible.
1 onion, sliced
Optional Rub: If you have time or think of it, rub the pork with about two tablespoons of your favorite BBQ rub the night before. This will give the meat a deeper bbq flavor, especially if there is smoked paprika or chipotle powder involved.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside until ready to pour over.
Turn your slow cooker on to low and add the pork, nothing else yet. Let the meat cook for about an hour like this so that some of the fat renders out. This is a great thing to do early in the morning while you are getting ready for work. If you don’t have time, just try and trim as much fat as possible. Before you leave, pour off any rendered fat, add the sliced onions and pour the puree over the meat. If your cooker has a timer set it for 8-10 hours, depending on the size of your meat. You can speed up the cooking time by cutting the meat into slightly smaller chunks.
When you get home, check the pork with a fork. If it shreds easily, it’s ready to go. You can shred it in the pot and toss with the sauce. Or if the sauce is too watery, remove it from the cooker and reduce on the stove until desired consistency is reached.
Serve on buns with extra barbecue sauce if desired. Coleslaw is also amazing and classic pairing.
Another recipe from my talented sister Laura, a home chef and cooking class instructor out in California!
"This rub is great on any bbq meat. Here we use it on pork, but I have used it with delicious success on chicken, fish and even tofu."-Laura D
1 tsp each:
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chipotle powder or smoked paprika
Toss everything together and store in a jar for a month or two.
My sister Laura sent in this recipe.She is a home chef and teaches cooking classes out in California. Her tips are definitely worth checking out!
"These can be used for any number of things. I really like to put them on salads or slice for sandwiches. You can also switch up the spices so they would work better for things like tacos. You can also use this brine for other chicken cuts, but I would recommend removing the skin as the buttermilk makes it rather flabby."-Laura D
Super Tender Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, shallots, garlic, salt, sugar, cumin, and pepper.
Submerge chicken pieces in buttermilk brine. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day.
Lift chicken from brine; discard brine. Wipe excess from chicken.
Lay chicken pieces on a clean, hot grill over medium coals or medium heat on a gas grill. Cook, turning frequently, until it has browned on both sides and reached 165 degrees (or is no longer pink inside) about 8-12 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
Tips for Great Grilled Chicken:
Poor chicken is usually so badly treated at back yard bbqs. It’s either dry or raw or burned on the outside or a combination of all three. Here are some tips for consistently great bbq chicken.
Our Fantastic Customer and Friend submitted this recipe so we could share it with you all! Enjoy!
"I made this with chicken thighs and froze it for maternity leave. It was amazing and easy. You can always add more salt and pepper and parsley." -Janine B
4 chicken thighs or 2 large chicken thighs, sliced length-wise for 4 thin pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
12 ounces sliced mushrooms- I use shiitake
⅓ cup Marsala wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Bunch chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
2. Season chicken with salt and black pepper.
3. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and lightly dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess; reserve the 1 teaspoon remaining flour to use later.
4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil to the pan and swirl the pan until the butter has melted. Add the chicken and cook until slightly golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking dish and place in the oven to keep warm.
5. Add butter and olive oil to the skillet, About TBSP each. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until soft and golden, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the reserved 1 teaspoon of flour and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the Marsala wine, chicken broth, and parsley.
6. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet with the mushrooms, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer in the sauce to let the flavors blend, about 4 to 5 minutes.
8. To serve, put a piece of chicken on each of 2 serving plates. Spoon the mushrooms and sauce evenly over the top, and serve hot.
This is such a fantastic comforting fall or winter recipe. Super flavorful with a number of variations to try. I’ll do my best to include all the possible options.
2 Acorn squash (cut in half with the seeds and pulp removed)
1 apple diced
1 lb fresh sausage links
½ onion finely diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup kale or spinach
1 tsp thyme
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup bread dried bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the cut and cleaned acorn squash cut side down onto a cookie sheet and bake for 50 minutes until squash is soft but still holding its shape.
Cook the sausages in a frying pan over medium low heat until cooked through. Then remove from pan and set aside.
Using the same frying pan you cooked the sausage in, sauté the onion in the sausage drippings (if there is not enough grease in the pan add a tbsp. of olive oil or other cooking oil so the onions don’t stick) sauté for 4-5 minutes then add the diced apple and sauté another 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about one minute. Add your chopped kale and sauté until kale is wilted. Add your spices give one last stir and remove from heat.
Take your sausage and chop into small pieces. If you’d like to remove the casing make a thin shallow cut long ways down the sausage. The casing should start to pull away on it’s own and with some gentle pulling will come right off. (I always remove my casing after cooking because I like the texture of the sausage better when it’s been cooked in a link but many people remove the casing before cooking it)
Combine the sausage with your sautéed ingredients in a large bowl. Add your breadcrumbs and egg and mix thoroughly.
Stuff your cooked squash with the ingredients from you bowl and mound them as high as possible packing down the ingredients as you go.
Reduce Oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20minutes until the egg has set and cooked through.
Serve and Enjoy!
A few optional/ alternative ingredients
Switch the bread crumps out for a cup of cooked quinoa for extra nutrients
If you have extra stuffing, mix it into cooked quinoa, brown rice, or couscous for a fast easy side
Almost any leafy green can be substituted, kale, spinach, chard, collards etc
You could add red bell pepper, corn, mushrooms or summer squash to the sautéed mixture based on what you have on hand
You can use a variety of fresh or dried herbs including, thyme, sage or rosemary
Those are the variations that come to mind but if you think any anymore please share them in the comments and let me know how it turns out!
This is my go to emergency meal when it’s 5 o’clock and I have no plan for dinner! Simple flavorful and the girls will always eat it. You can also make this as a quick lunch!
I always use Annie’s brand boxed organic macaroni and cheese (we like the white cheddar). Other brands will of course work, that’s just what I keep on hand. I also use our Fresh Sausage, which is only seasoned with salt and pepper, so the flavor doesn’t clash with the cheese and it’s mild enough my picky toddler will eat it!
1 Box of Macaroni and Cheese
1 pack of fresh sausage links
1 cup frozen peas
Put a small pot of water on to boil for the mac n cheese. Add pasta when it boils.
Cook the sausages in a frying pan on medium low until fully cooked (you can cut one open to make sure there is no pink left) once they are fully cooked cut the sausage into small rounds and set aside.
Just before the pasta is done add the frozen peas to the water for the last few minutes to heat. Drain and add cheese based on package instructions.
Mix the sausage into the macaroni, cheese and peas
Serve and enjoy an easy night! (at least when it comes to dinner)
This is by far one of our favorite go to meals. The best part is it’s extremely flexible (like all my favorite meals). You can put the seasoned pulled pork on a salad, sprinkle on a batch of nachos, place in a fajita wrap, a larger burrito wrap or make into enchiladas. There are an endless number of topping varieties to choose from and best of all, each family members can build their meal differently to suit individual taste!
First you have to break down your shoulder roast into pulled pork. You’ll find a number of recipes online with complex ingredients. However, I only use salt and pepper when I’m making pulled pork. Since most shoulder roasts are large, at least 3-4lbs, they usually have more pork then you’ll need for one meal. By holding off seasoning the pork I can break the pulled pork into two batches and use half for tacos one night and the other half for a second recipe like pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. Without having complex seasoning getting in the way.
The most common way to break down a shoulder is slow cooking it in the oven. Season the pork with salt and pepper, cover with foil and cook at 300 degrees for 6hours until pork pulls apart easily with a fork.
You can also break it down in a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper; put a ½ cup water in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours until pork pull apart easily with a fork.
The way I do it is in my Instant Pot, which I love. A defrosted 3lb pork shoulder will break down in the instant pot in 90minutes. I usually put a frozen 3lb shoulder roast in the instant pot for 120 minutes (I almost never remember to defrost the night before). I put ½ cup of water in the bottom and season the roast with salt and pepper, then let the instant pot do it’s magic. Add 15 minutes for every additional pound.
Once you have your pork broken down and pulled apart you’re ready to make your tacos!
The following spice amounts can easily be adjusted to taste depending on personal taste. Honestly I never measure out ingredients, I usually just shake the bottle until it feels right but the numbers below will work well to get you started. If you like your food spicy you can up the paprika and add some cayenne pepper. If you don’t love cumin reduce it to ½ teaspoon. You can also pick up a pre-mixed pack of taco seasoning from the store to throw in with the pork if you want a faster option. .
1-2lbs of pulled pork
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp brown sugar (optional but it helps bring out the spice)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
12 taco shells
2 cups grated cheese
The rest of these topping are optional, but this is what we usually have on our table:
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 diced tomatoes
8 oz salsa
8 oz plain yogurt or sour cream
1 cup guacamole
Place the portion of pulled pork you are using in a skillet with about ½ cup of the dripping to keep it moist. Add all your spices and simmer on medium low for 10-15 minutes.
Toast the taco shells in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes to make them crispy.
Serve buffet style. Load the shells with the pork and grated cheese, then placing the rest of your topping into the shell. My order of operations if you’re curious is as follows. Pulled pork, cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce.
Note for babies:
if you have a little one or a picky eater heat up some refried beans (if they are too young to chew the pork) and try a broken open taco on their plate. Put a small pile of beans or pork, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and if you think they’ll try it salsa on their plate. It’ll be a mess but I promise they’ll enjoy it!
Meatloaf is one of my all time favorite foods! It is warm and comforting and you can mix a variety of different ingredients together, depending on what you have on hand, and still come out with a delicious dinner.
This is one of our favorite versions and my girls both love it, which is key when cooking for toddlers.
This is my first time actually writing up one of my recipes so bare with me. I tend to cook by feel, based on what I have available. So the following recipe and quantities can easily be modified to taste. I always save my bacon dripping to use in recipes like this but if you don’t have any on hand oil works just as well. Not a fan of thyme? Skip it! Don’t have spinach? Switch to kale or leave it out! A bottled BBQ sauce can easily be substituted for the one I make. My point is, have fun with it, and feel free to ask me any questions you can think of.
2 lbs ground pork
2 tbsp bacon grease (or cooking oil)
1 medium/small apple (grated or finely diced)
1 medium small onion (finely diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
½ cup spinach (chopped fine)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1.5-2 cups panko breadcrumbs (or 2cups fresh breadcrumbs)
½ cup ketchup
½ cup brown sugar (alternately ½ cup white sugar and tsp of molasses)
½ onion (finely chopped by hand or blended in a food processor)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp mustard (I use stone ground)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ground pork in a large mixing bowel. Heat a large skillet to medium and add the bacon grease. Sauté the onion 2-3 minutes then add the apple. Sauté them together another 3-4 minute until the onion begins to look translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two. Add the spinach and sauté until the greens are wilted. Add the thyme, mustard salt and pepper. Last splash the apple cider vinegar into the pan to loosen any bits that may have stuck to the bottom and bring all the ingredients together.
Mix the sautéed ingredients into the ground pork. You can use a spoon to do this but I find mixing it all together with my hands is the best way to make sure all the ingredients really meld together. Next, add you eggs and breadcrumbs, and mix again by hand. Your meat should still be moist but hold together well when pressed. Choose a medium-size baking dish and mold the meat into a long loaf in the pan. Place in the preheated oven for about 50minutes.
While your loaf is baking mix all your sauce ingredients together in a small sauce pan and heat until the ingredients combine and the sauce gets a smooth glossy look. If you do not like the texture of the onion in your sauce you can strain it through a wire strainer after heating but this is completely optional.
When the 50minutes are up, remove the loaf and cover with your sauce. Place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes so the sauce can adhere to the loaf. Check the temperature in the center of the loaf to make sure it reaches 160degrees (pork chops and roasts are good at 145 degrees but ground pork should be taken to 160)
Slice and serve!
I hope this recipe works out for you all, I would love to hear any feedback you have!
i have gotten a lot of requests for recipe ideas, especially for less common cuts like Pork Jowl, and Country Style Spare Ribs. So I have decided to start posting some recipes that we use to help inspire others. Most of my recipes are simple comfort food which Has a number of possible variations. You will notice my recipes have a lot of "optional" ingredients. That is because I enjoy cooking in season as much as possible and like utilizing whatever is on hand in my recipes. so if you like what you see subscribe to the blog and keep coming back for more great ideas!
We have our first litter of piglets born on the farm!
Their mama is a beautiful gentle Hampshire Berkshire cross and their father was a full blood Berkshire. They should grow into strong well muscled pigs that are excellent foragers!
Everyone is keeping warm in a huge pile of hay in the barn! Big Mama is exhausted but the piglets are all nursing great and already up running around exploring their new world!
Mother of 2 beautiful girls! Our growing family is the largest drive we have to build a life filled with good food and a connection to the land.