PULLED PORK TACOS

Lard is made of animals fats, most commonly rendered hog fat. Crisco and Lard are both shortenings. Lard is shortening. BUT, Crisco is a shortening made from vegetable oils therefore Crisco is NOT lard.

LOL while this sounds confusing, it’s pretty simple really.  For this recipe because I am DESPERATELY trying to clean out the pantry AND the freezer I improvised this time, but did not reflect my changes in my normal recipe (BELOW) which is a recipe I made combining the best ingredients (for us) and cooking procedures (for me) from Guy Fieri’s version with Giada’s version of Pulled pork.

PULLED PORK
3-pound bone in pork butt, cut into 4 pieces
3 pounds refined lard
1 red onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons FRESH ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 chipotle in adobo, diced plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce
1 cup beer, such as Modelo Especial
Corn tortillas, for serving

GARNISHES
Pico De Gallo, recipe below
Sour cream
Chopped green onions, sliced or diced
Lime wedges, for serving
Radish slices, for serving

  • Remove the pork butt from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Do not remove the bone.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, coriander, salt and oregano.
  • Rub the spice mixture all over the pork roast.
  • Bring oil to 250°.
  • Carefully add pork pieces to the hot oil. Keep pork pieces moving so they don’t stick until the are well seared on ALL sides.
  • Remove meat from lard and add onions and garlic, sautéing 2-3 minutes. DO NOT LET GARLIC BURN – IF IT DOES, START OVER!
  • Add pork pieces to roaster.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove onions and garlic, adding it to the meat. Discard oil.
  • Whisk together the beer, chipotle pepper pieces and adobo sauce.
  • Pour beer mixture over pork pieces.
  • Bake 1-1 1/2 hours. The pork should be caramel-colored with an internal temperature of 170 to 180°.
  • Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Shred the meat. Discard the bone and any gristle.
  • Add the shredded meat back to the slow cooker and toss with the onions and cooking juices.
  • Serve with Pico de Gallo, warm tortillas and garnishes.

PICO DE GALLO
4 Roma tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Serve.

FRENCH ONION SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS

FRENCH ONION SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS adapted from the Chunky Chef serves 4

1 Vidalia onions peeled, cut in half, and sliced into half-moon shaped slices
1 shallot cut in half, and sliced into half-moon shaped slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 1/4 cups beef stock
4 boneless pork chops about 1 – 1 ½ inches thick
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 ½ tablespoons WONDRA flour
4 slices provolone cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss or gruyere cheese
fresh thyme sprigs

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Melt butter and avocado oil in a large cast iron or other oven safe skillet, over MED-HIGH heat.
  • Add sliced onions and shallots, saute’ 3-5 minutes, until soft.
  • Add garlic and saute’ another minute until fragrant.
  • Add 1/4 cup beef stock and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes, until onions are extremely tender and golden brown.
  • Whisk together the salt, pepper, dried thyme and garlic powder.
  • As onions are sautéing, season both sides of pork chops with seasoning mix.
  • Transfer onions to a plate, do not wipe out skillet.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add a drizzle of avocado oil to the skillet if needed, and cook pork chops, about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • Transfer pork chops to plate.
  • Return cooked onions to pan and sprinkle with flour.
  • Stir to coat and cook about a minute.
  • Add remaining 1 cup beef stock and stir often until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Nestle pork chops back into the pan, spooning some of the beef stock over the tops of the chops.
  • Top with a slices of provolone cheese and a 1/4 cup mound of the shredded Gruyere on top each chop.
  • Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme to the skillet.
  • Place skillet in oven and bake 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and gooey.
  • Before serving, spoon some of the beef stock/onion mixture over the top of the cheese.
  • Garnish with some additional black pepper if desired.

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SWEET & SPICY BACON DUTCH BABY PANCAKE

Giving up sugar is the HARDEST thing I have ever had to do. And since it will NEVER change I’m still working to take some favorite recipes and rework them into less sugary meals so I can eat them.

SWEET & SPICY BACON adapted from GIADA
1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1-by-1/2-inch pieces **
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons FRANK’S original hot sauce

  • Place the bacon in an even layer in a large skillet.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with spatula until the bacon is light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Whisk together the maple syrup, black pepper and Frank’s in a small bowl.
  • Pour off some of the rendered bacon fat, leaving just a small amount.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and pour the maple syrup mixture over the bacon.
  • Braise gently until the syrup thickens and glazes the bacon and the bacon is deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

DUTCH BABY PANCAKE
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon
OPTIONAL
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, to garnish
Berries, whipped cream, jam or maple syrup if desired

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Place butter in a 10-12 inch enameled cast iron skillet and place skillet in the hot oven to heat up while you mix the batter.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a separate medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use an electric beater to fully incorporate the wet and dry together until smooth.
  • Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and swirl butter over all sides.
  • Pour the batter into the center of the pan and place the pan in hot oven.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and brown around the edges and set in the center.
  • Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar. The pancake will immediately start to collapse.
  • Top with bacon pieces or berries and whipped cream.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and add berries if desired.

NOTES**

  • Any leftover bacon is PERFECT in a homemade baked BBQ bean recipe.
  • SLAB bacon can be hard to find. When I can’t find it, I use thick sliced and cut it into 2 inch pieces.

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PORK SALTIMBOCCA with SHERRY MARSALA SAUCE (deconstructed)

Traditional (Roman Style) Saltimbocca is Italian for jumps in the mouth, an Italian usually made of veal lined, rolled-up or wrapped with prosciutto and sage; marinated in wine, oil or saltwater depending on the region or one’s own taste and cooked in dry white wine and butter. Marsala wine is sometimes used. Also, sometimes the veal and prosciutto are not rolled-up but left flat. An American twist replaces the veal with chicken or pork.

PORK SALTIMBOCCA with SHERRY MARSALA SAUCE (deconstructed)

3/4 pound pork tenderloin, sliced into medallions
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 slices bacon, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
6 large button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup cream sherry
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Prepared pasta of choice

  • Generously season medallions with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge medallions in flour.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add bacon, cooking until crisp. Using a slotted spoon remove bacon to drain on paper towels.
  • Add medallions to pan and brown each side. Transfer medallions to plate.
  • Add mushrooms to pan, cooking 5 minutes or so until they start to caramelize.
  • Add garlic and cook 1 minute more until fragrant.
  • Add sherry, Marsala and chicken broth to de-glaze pan, scraping all the tidbits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced by half.
  • Remove from heat and add butter.
  • Plate pasta followed by medallions.
  • Top with sauce followed by bacon pieces.

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GRILLED PORK CHOPS & RASPBERRY BBQ SAUCE

When I went to the grocery store February 25, 2010 I ran across some awesome meat deals and these pork chops were perfect for a new BBQ sauce I wanted to try. Dave over at My Year on the Grill has been raving about a raspberry chipotle sauce that I can’t get here either, but left me craving raspberries and at $4.99 a small box that craving was going to go unsatisfied until I ran across this raspberry vinegar at $3.99 a bottle – a much better deal and it made an awesome sauce. So this recipe was developed on February 26, 2010, but is so worth the rerun!

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & RASPBERRY BBQ SAUCE
6 tablespoons Alessi raspberry blush vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons grandma’s molasses
1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot Pepper Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 thin pork chops
skewers

  • Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  • Whisk all the ingredients (except pork chops) together until well blended over a medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup.
  • Skewer each pork chop with 2 skewers (this helps them lay flat).
  • Generously salt and pepper each side.
  • Bring your grill to temperature.
  • Brush each side with sauce.
  • Spray grill surface with PURE.
  • Place chops on grill, grilling uncovered for 2-3 minutes total, turning once.

 

hubby approved

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BISCUITS AND SAUSAGE GRAVY BAKE

BISCUITS AND SAUSAGE GRAVY BAKE
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 tablespoon avocado oil
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Wondra flour
3 cups milk
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1 can Pillsbury JUMBO biscuits
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (hubby like sharp – I prefer medium)

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add sausage and cook until completely browned and crumbly.
  • Drain sausage in colander until free of oil.
  • Return pan to heat and add butter.
  • Whisk in flour until a golden roux appears.
  • SLOWLY add milk, whisking constantly until heated through.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add sausage pieces.
  • Coat 11×7 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place dish on baking pan to catch any drips.
  • Separate biscuits and then separate each biscuit in half so you have 16 pieces.
  • Place 8 halves in baking dish.
  • Cover with half the sausage mixture.
  • Sprinkle half the green onions over the sausage.
  • Repeat layers and sprinkle with cheese on top.
  • Bake 40 minutes or until golden.

NOTE: CAN EASILY BE MADE INTO INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS & I OFTEN SERVE IT WITH AN EGG ON TOP.

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ALOHA BBQ PORK RIBS – revisited

I wrote this back in 2015 and it is still our FAVORITE recipe for ribs. I made them again recently and wanted to update that I used orange marmalade instead of the apricot pineapple jam and hubby thinks they are even better.

“We had the most amazing dinner tonight if I do say so myself.  I was missing a few ingredients for my normal BBQ sauce so made a few substitutions and we have a new “NORMAL” in this family. I added fresh pineapple slices topped with some of the BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of bake time and they were so juicy, tender and flavorful. We added a fresh steamed artichoke and there were NO leftovers!  I will use the rest of the sauce on chicken later in the week.”

ALOHA BBQ PORK RIBS
2-4 pounds baby back pork ribs
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Bring ribs to room temperature.
  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
  • Generously sprinkle with salt and paper.
  • Line a large cookie sheet with heavy duty foil.
  • Bake for 2 hours undisturbed.
  • Uncover, add pineapple slices and top with sauce and bake another 30 or minutes until the meat pulls away from the bone easily.

SAUCE
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup Smucker’s apricot pineapple jam (orange marmalade works well too)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3/4 cup Tabasco Jalapeno ketchup
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  •  In a large sauce pan whisk together all the ingredients and bring to a SLOW boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to as low as possible and simmer while the ribs bake. Sauce will thicken during this simmering so stir frequently.

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PORK MARSALA

The Marsala wine is the key to this dish. Hubby HATES mushrooms so I often substitute shallots and the recipe is just as good.
PORK MARSALA
4 boneless pork tenderloin pork chops, pounded to 1/4 inch thick
2 eggs, well beaten
Fresh ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 cup Wondra flour
2 tablespoons avocado oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 cup sweet Marsala wine
1 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch or Wondra gravy flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
Buttered egg noodles
Chopped flat leaf parsley

  • Heat oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Generously season pork pieces with fresh ground black pepper and salt.
  • Dredge pork pieces through egg and then flour before adding to skillet.
  • Cook 3-4 minutes per side until browned and cooked through (based on thickness). Set aside and keep warm.
  • Add onions and mushrooms to the skillet cooking 5-6 minutes until golden.
  • Add Marsala wine and beef broth, scraping bits from bottom of pan as you deglaze it.
  • Cook 5-6 minutes until liquid is reduced by half.
  • Whisk the cornstarch into the heavy cream until smooth.
  • When Marsala is reduced and a deep rich color, add the cornstarch mixture and cook 2 minutes until begins to bubble and thicken.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add remaining butter.
  • Return pork chops to pan, turning to coat.
  • Serve over buttered noodles.
  • Top with sauce and chopped flat leaf parsley.

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NAVY BEAN & HAM SOUP with GARLIC CHEESE BISCUITS

NAVY BEAN & HAM SOUP

1 ham bone with meat on it
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Frank’s red pepper hot sauce
1/4 cup finely grated cheddar cheese

  • Soak the beans in room temperature water overnight.
  • Cover ham bone with water. Sprinkle generously with cayenne pepper, salt, thyme sprigs and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours or ham falls off the bone.
  • Strain the stock and separate into 2 separate 8 cup portions. Freeze 1 portion for your next batch of soup.
  • Return the stock to your pan and add the vegetables.
  • Bring to a boil. Add beans and ham pieces. Lower to a simmer for 2 hours.
  • Sprinkle with a few drops of Frank’s red pepper sauce and some grated cheese.
  • Serve with Garlic Cheddar Biscuits.

GARLIC CHEESE BISCUITS
2 cups biscuit baking mix
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 clove finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  • In a large bowl, combine baking mix, 1 1/4 cups of the Cheddar cheese, minced garlic and garlic powder.
  • Stir in milk.
  • Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Brush biscuits with melted butter, and sprinkle with parsley, garlic salt and remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.

CREAMY PORK TENDERLOIN

CREAMY PORK TENDERLOIN serves 4
1 pork tenderloin cut into quarters
1 egg, beaten
pinch garlic powder
pinch fresh ground black pepper
pinch fresh ground salt
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup Wondra flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 can cream of chicken soup undiluted or soup substitute (recipe below)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chicken broth

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Place each piece of tenderloin in a ziplock bag and flatten to 1/2 inch thick.
  • In a shallow dish combine egg and milk.
  • In another shallow dish sift together the bread crumbs, flour, pepper, salt and garlic powder seasonings.
  • In a large skillet heat butter and oil.
  • Dredge each of pork in the egg mixture then the bread crumb mixture and add to skillet.
  • Brown on each side about 5 minutes until golden.
  • Transfer pork pieces to a baking dish.
  • Add mushrooms to skillet, sautéing until tender.
  • Add soup and broth, folding until smooth.
  • Fold in sour cream.
  • Pour over pork.
  • Cover and bake 30-45 minutes until pork is cooked through.

SOUP SUBSTITTUTE
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth

  • Melt the butter in heavy saucepan.
  • Blend in flour and salt. Cook until bubbly.
  • Remove from heat and gradually stir or whisk in liquid.
  • Return to heat and cook, constantly stirring until smooth and slightly thickened.

ITALIAN PIGGY SHELLS

ITALIAN PIGGY SHELLS
SHELLS
1 pound sweet Italian ground sausage
12-15 jumbo shells
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup diced mushrooms
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced celery & leaf tops
3 tablespoons quality DRY sherry
Fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste
1 batch Balsamella (Italian béchamel) recipe below
2 cups fresh tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh torn basil (small pieces)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Add shells to boiling water for 4 minutes in boiling water. Drain in colander and rinse with cool water. Drain again.**
  • Heat avocado oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and celery, stirring to cook until soft.
  • Add pork, cooking until completely browned. DRAIN off any fat.
  • Add sherry and simmer over medium heat until liquid is completely absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat and cool.

Meanwhile prepare the balsmella sauce recipe below.

  • Combine the meat mixture and the balsmella sauce until well blended.
  • Combine tomato sauce and basil pieces.
  • Pour half the sauce into the bottom of your baking dish.
  • Carefully stuff each shell and arrange on sauce in the baking dish.
  • Cover with foil.@@
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Remove foil.
  • Drizzle remaining tomato sauce over top of all the shells.
  • Sprinkle with cheeses.
  • Bake 5 minutes more until cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  • Garnish with basil.

**NOTE 1: BE SURE TO BREAK DOWN THE MEAT INTO TINY PIECES to make stuffing the shells easier. I use my NINJA to breakdown the meat mixture into a smooth consistency.
@@NOTE 2: This can be refrigerated overnight and baked the following day. Bring to room temperature before baking.

BALSMELLA (Bechamel)

1/2 tablespoon unsalted better
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Melt butter to a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour until golden brown.
  • Whisk in milk and nutmeg until well blended.
  • Bring to a SLOW simmer, whisking intermittently. Simmer until it thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly.

**NOTE: Cook the shells 4 minutes ONLY – JUST enough to be pliable for filling! They will continue cooking while the dish bakes.

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LEMON PEPPER PORK CHOPS with ORANGE MARMALADE BEETS

LEMON PEPPER PORK CHOPS
4 thick boneless pork chops
fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
2 + 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
1 shallot, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup diced grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Barefoot white moscato
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon curd

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter and avocado oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Season pork chops with fresh ground salt and pepper.
  • Add pork chops to butter and oil, browning well on both sides – 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  • Remove pork chops to a plate and keep warm in oven.
  • Add shallots, garlic, tomatoes and peppers to butter, sautéing 2-3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour over shallots and peppers, stirring until flour is golden brown.
  • Add wine and de-glaze pan for a couple minutes.
  • Add chicken broth and cook 2-3 minutes more.
  • Whisk in lemon curd and cook 3-4 minutes until thickened.

ORANGE MARMALADE BEETS
1/2 cup orange marmalade
6 tablespoons orange juice
1/3 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans sliced beets. drained VERY well

  • In a large skillet combine everything but the beets, stirring to blend well.
  • Bring to a boil, cooking and stirring 5 minutes until thickened.
  • Add beets and cook 5 minutes more r until most of the liquid is absorbed.

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