Tag Archives: supper club

Just Add Crunch

Right. A while back I told you about pulled pork, mentioning that it didn’t need much, just some white bread and slaw.

The problem is when it comes to slaw, I’m as finicky an eater as there is. Despite trying it countless times, I simply cannot bring myself to like mayonnaise. And, as I searched for mayo-less recipes, one thing became quickly apparent: I would have to make my own.

I know, I know, my life is so hard.

This slaw is fantastic with the pork, not least because the dressing gets its acidic kick from mustard—an ingredient that’s featured in the dry rub of the meat and the accompanying sauce. The apples, right in season at present, play off the classic pork and apple combination as well, bringing it to a different level.

That said, there’s no reason not to serve this at all your (indoor) picnics.

Cabbage and Apple Slaw

1 head of green cabbage, shredded
4 gala apples, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 TBS and 1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1.5 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS honey
2 TBS red wine vinegar

Place the shredded cabbage in a bowl of ice water with 1 TBS salt and all to sit at least 30 minutes.

Strain the cabbage and spin in a salad spinner until it is completely dry.

In a large bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, honey, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper and whisk it all together. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Add the cabbage and apples to the dressing and toss until well combined. All the slaw to sit at least 15 minutes prior to serving to all all of the flavors to meld together.

Makes approximately 8 cups


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Filed under Vegetables

Spilling the Beans

Fine, I admit it: by the time these baked beans came out of the oven, I was too hungry to get any serviceable pictures. Squint a little and you can sort of see them on the photo below.

That said, I’m not convinced it matters.

The truth is, baked beans are never going to be glamorous, but what they lack in appearance, they make up in taste, and this recipe does not disappoint. The Dijon mustard gives them a nice acidic kick which is well balanced by the sweetness of the molasses.

If you’re looking to make them quickly, you can use canned beans instead of the dried. Three cans’ worth should do the trick. If you choose to go the dried bean route, the beans can be made several days ahead. Simply allow them to come up to room temperature before the next step.

Baked Beans

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

The original recipe calls for bacon to be added to the top of the beans for the last 30 minutes of cooking. I left it out (shocking, I know) since I was serving these beans alongside pulled pork, but I can only imagine it making the beans even better.

1 pound dried navy beans
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced into 1/4″ thick slivers
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse the navy beans and place them in a dutch oven. Add water to the dutch oven, so that it comes up an inch above the beans. Bring to a boil and then place the covered dutch over and cook for an hour and a half, until the beans are tender.

Drain and rinse the cooked navy beans and add them back into the Dutch oven.

Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the molasses, ketchup, and mustard with the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Place the onion slices on top and cover the dutch oven.

Bake 30 minutes covered and another 30 uncovered. Cool for at least 5 minutes and stir well before serving.

Serves 8 as a side dish

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Filed under Beans

The Best Laid Plans

Conventional wisdom holds that it’s best to try out a recipe before cooking it for company. I tend to agree. But, sometimes it just can’t be avoided.

Case in point, in my case (now there’s a mouthful): slow cooked pork shoulder.

The truth is, I had slow cooked pork once before, but it was a different recipe, and I was acting as the sous chef. In that instance the title really meant that I fetching ingredients, going so far as to make a New Year’s morning trip to the local grocery store. So, yeah, not much kitchen time after all.

But, I had wanted to cook up a summer picnic since sometime in the Spring. As with anything, the best laid plans sometimes get derailed by living. I was determined not to let this one go. However, as I live alone, testing out a recipe that calls for 5-7 pounds of meat seemed an unrealistic proposition.

I was going to have to wing it on this one and hope against hope that I didn’t screw it up.

I’m happy to report that it was a resounding success. The trick here is letting low heat and time do the bulk of the work for you. There’s some prep work—a dry rub that can be applied up to the day before.

And, you’ll have to pull it. But that’s quick work since, by the time you’re at this step, the meat will have almost fallen off of the bone. Besides, by that point, all of your guests will have arrived, to keep you entertained while you put the finishing touches on the dinner.

This pork doesn’t need much. Just some barbecue sauce (see note below), white bread, and slaw. I’ll be posting a recipe for slaw in the next few days, so check back.

Pulled Pork

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

The biggest change that I made to this recipe was to double up the rub and use a mix of cayenne and paprika to make the pork a little spicier. I also served the barbecue sauce on the side, rather than mixing it in with the pulled pork. I thought the meat was plenty tender on its own, so didn’t need nearly as much sauce on it as the recipe suggests. Since that’s a matter of personal preference, I’m including the recipe here. Florence suggests you mix half of the sauce with the pulled pork from the get go and use the rest to moisten as needed.

4 TBS paprika
3 TBS cayenne pepper
2 TBS garlic powder
2 TBS dark brown sugar
2 TBS dry mustard
6 TBS kosher salt
6-8 pound pork shoulder

Trim excess fat off of the pork shoulder and pat dry.

In a small bowl mix the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together and combine to form a rub. Spread the spice rub all over the pork and marinate, covered, at least one hour and up to overnight.

When you are ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pork in a roasting pan and bake it for approximately 6 hours. The pork will be ready when its falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the pork roast from the oven and allow it to rest at least ten minutes. While the pork is still warm, pull the meat into shreds using two forks. Hold one form in place and use the other to pull the meat away.

Serve the shredded pork with barbecue sauce (recipe follows), white bread and slaw.

Serves twelve

Barbecue Sauce

1.5 cups cider vinegar
1 cup mustard (I used Dijon)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer, stirring for at least ten minutes until the sugar dissolves and the sauce becomes thick. Take off of the heat and allow to cool to just above room temperature.

Serves twelve


Filed under Meat

The First Annual Indian Summer Picnic

The first supper club—and first annual Indian Summer Picnic—was a resounding success!

Stay tuned for recipes in the upcoming weeks. For now, here’s the menu:

Pulled Pork with homemade barbecue sauce
White Bread
Baked Beans
Cabbage and Apple Slaw
Garlic Pickles
Macaroni and Cheese
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Pie
Cherry Calfoutis

To drink: Porter (a nod to the fall)
Boozy Arnold Palmers


Filed under Etc.