Cherry Republic BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

On July 6, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Normally I would put a pork butt in the smoker and wait 12 hours for an amazing piece of meat.  Unfortunately, a lot was going on this Fourth of July holiday weekend and well I almost forgot to cook the pork I defrosted.  It was 11am and we were getting ready to head to the beach so I needed to do something quick. So this is a solution to quick using slow.

A slower cooker (aka Crock Pot) was my solution. It was slow enough and fast enough at the same time. On high, I could have the pork ready in 6 to 8 hours the perfect amount of time for when the family came back from the beach ready to eat dinner.

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You do lose the rich smoky flavor with a slow cooker, but this recipe depends more on the barbecue sauce.  I went with one I received as a gift from Glen Arbor, Michigan’s Cherry Republic. Their Spicy Cherry BBQ Sauce has a hint of spice that still maintains the sweet cherry flavor. For a jar barbecue sauce, it’s pretty good for a sandwich like this, but you can use whatever sauce you like.

Before arriving home, we also made a quick stop for some La Brea bread bake at home ciabatta bread. They are a great option. If you can’t find them, use a rustic roll instead of a hamburger bun. You’ll enjoy it a lot more and the bread will not get soaked in sauce.

Finally for the meat, use a sustainable ranch.  For this recipe, I bought the pork at the Studio City Farmer’s Market.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Serves 4-6

3-4 lb Pork Butt
1 sweet yellow onion, sliced in half moons
4 garlic cloves, cut in half
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup bbq sauce (optional)

Combine dark brown sugar, salt, and spices into a small bowl.  Pat down the pork butt with some paper towel to make it as dry as possible and then rub the spice mixture into the pork on all sides.  Then add the onion and garlic cloves to the bottom of the slow cooker.  Place the rubbed pork on to the onion and garlic and pour in the stock around the sides so as not to wash off the rub.

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Cook for 6-8 hours on high or 10-12 hours on slow.

Remove the pork when done and then strain the liquid left in the slow cooker, reserving the liquid and discarding any onions, garlic, and fat.  Pull the pork by removing strands of meat and placing them back into the slow cooker and then add 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid back into the pot along with the bbq sauce of your choice.  Mix it up and then let it cook on low for 20 minutes in the slow cooker.

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Serve on hard bread rolls along with sides of your choosing.

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Chicken Curry with Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

On May 8, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I haven’t been writing much lately because I have been busy with a new job I started almost three weeks ago. The new job is a bit longer of a commute which led me to look for some slow cooker (crockpot) recipes since I get home a little later than I used to and well I’m still the personal home chef.

One find, I already had on my Pinterest board (you can follow me on Pinterest here), was a chicken curry dish that looked pretty amazing and simple. I really liked the use of sweet potato in this particular recipe.  You can of course substitute carrots, if you don’t have any sweet potatoes around.

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I prepared the dish before leaving this morning and when I walked through the door when I came home tonight, it smelled amazing!  Plus everything was pretty much ready to go after I quickly steamed some rice.

The dish turned out great and it is a bit spicy with the 2 tablespoons of curry powder the recipe calls for. You can add or increase. If you want something a little more mild with a hint of heat, go with 1 tablespoon.  Really hot, I’d use 3 tablespoons.

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Have some fun experimenting with this dish. You really can’t mess it up. I’m sure it would be great with lamb instead of chicken.  You could also use cauliflower or potatoes too.  It’s full-proof, so enjoy and play around with this recipe.  I’m sure I will as I continue to bring out my slower cooker more often now that I’m arriving a bit later.

Enjoy!

Full Recipe: [Slow Cooker Chicken Curry]

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A Simple Pot Roast on Christmas Day

On December 30, 2013, in Family, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Slow cooking is one of the best ways to enjoy a home cooked after a busy day.  This busy day was Christmas here in Los Angeles where it was a crisp 80 degrees outside.  So we needed something comforting and cozy after opening gifts and sledding.

Sledding?

Yes, sledding. See we decided to get into the Christmas spirit by driving to Zuma Beach where we noticed they had large hills of sand.  We packed the station wagon with the proper winter cargo:  beach blankets and a snow sled.

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Apparently we were not the only people in Southern California who realized Christmas Day 2013 was a perfect day for the beach. All along the coastline we saw cars parked and people playing on the beach as if it were mid-July.  We drove along the Pacific Coast Highway through Santa Monica and Malibu eventually arriving at Zuma Beach.  There were probably ten other families laying out enjoying the warm December sunshine.

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We climbed up the sandhill with our sled and proceeded to cruise down the bumpy hill. After a few slides down, the sand became smooth as some other kids joined our boys to try it out.  We quickly found out that four kids on the sled really made it a fun, quick ride.

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Eventually, our time sledding Zuma Beach came to an end and we hopped back into the car to head home.  The whole time, the pot roast was cooking slowly in the crockpot waiting for when we were ready for it; instead, of most meals that are ready when it’s ready.

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I used the following recipe but instead of using a Dutch oven to slow cook the roast, I simply did steps 1-6 in a Dutch Oven and then transferred everything to a crockpot putting  it on low temperature for 8-10 hours. Just make sure you get all of the goodness of the pan when deglazing before transferring to a crockpot.

Full Recipe: Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast.

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Crock Pot: Pot Roast

On January 15, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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We had a lot of running around to do Saturday after I spent most of the week away from home at the Consumer Electronics Show. While I enjoy shows like CES and trying some new places, including a gas station taco shop in Vegas, I couldn’t wait to get home and back to cooking my own food. Five days of dinning out is miserable in Vegas. Honestly, I’ve never had a great meal there, with the celebrity chef restaurants always being the most disappointing.

Wanting something easy and ready after all the errands makes the crock pot the perfect solution. Plus I had a beautiful Top Sirloin Roast from Burgundy Pasture Beef.

My roast was only a 1 pound roast. I followed the exact ingredients here since I wanted a healthy amount of vegetables and plenty of sauce. Only adjustment is I cooked the roast for 8 hours on low instead of 10.

The following recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.

Pot Roast

6 medium carrots, cut into thirds
2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
1 beef chuck roast (3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 diced garlic clove
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

In a slow cooker, stir together cornstarch, broth, wine, thyme, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Add carrots and onions; season with salt and pepper, and toss.

Sprinkle roast with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; place on top of vegetables.

Cover; cook on high, 6 hours (or on low, 10 hours.)

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Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

On March 18, 2009, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s Saint Patrick’s Day so I decided to do the traditional thing and make some corned beef and cabbage. The following recipe is a better version than most, as it leaves the cabbage separate from the main crock pot, giving the cabbage a more independent taste when combined with the corned beef and other vegetables when served.

This year I found an excellent brand of corned beef. Our local Market Square grocer carried a trim corned beef made by a Detroit company from Eastern Market — Wigleys Famous Eastern Market Corned Beef. They have been in business since 1920, first in Ireland and then here in the U.S. Visit Wigleys at either of their Eastern Market locations: 3405 Russell St., Detroit, 48207, 313-833-3030; or 1429 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, 313-567-2857. This was by far the most tender and trim corned beef I’ve ever had. It is really worth seeking out. The whole family was impressed and said it was the best they have ever had too.

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Serves 6

3 carrots, cut in 3 inch pieces
3 red potatoes, cut in 3 inch pieces
2 med. onions, quartered
3 to 4 lb. corned beef brisket
3/4 to 1 1/4 c. water
1 sm. head cabbage, cut in wedges

Put all ingredients, except cabbage wedges, in crock pot in order listed. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours (high 5-6 hours).

Cabbage: To prepare cabbage, cook it separately in 6 quart pot. Remove 2 cups of broth from crock pot during last hour of cooking; pour over cabbage wedges in skillet. Cover and cook slowly for 20 to 30 minutes.

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