I think it was Brianna's birthday a year ago (can you believe she's about to be 3?) when Tom served pull pork sandwiches (among other things). I had never had pulled pork and absolutely loved what he had fixed.
When I talked with him about it later, he couldn't remember what he had done, but said he thought he had just cooked the pork and then used some sort of bottled sauce.
Naturally, since then I've been on a quest to recreate Tom's pulled pork--or to find a recipe that I like.
I tried one a month or so ago, which I didn't like much and I haven't thought about it since, but the other day I read a blog entry for A Year of Slow Cooking. Someone had sent her a pulled pork recipe that she raved about. It was strange enough (calling for 2 cups of root beer) that I decided to try it--especially when Stephanie O'Dea (who writes the blog) said that she had just tossed a frozen pork roast in the crock pot and it cooked fine.
We were headed off to San Francisco for the day, so I decided this would be my "whip up something new" recipe to try.
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast (I used pork tenderloin)
1 large yellow onion, sliced in rings (I made the slices large, so it was easier for Walt--who hates onions--to pull out)
1-2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce (I probably should have used 2, but I was afraid it would be too spicy)
1 cup chili sauce
2 cups root beer
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 hamburger buns or soft rolls
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. A 6-quart is fine, but your meat will cook faster.
Put the meat into your pot, and add sliced onion. Mix Tabasco sauce, chili sauce, root beer, and vanilla and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours, or until pork shreds easily with a fork. (Since my tenderloin was frozen, I set the timer for 9-1/2 hours)
Serve over rice, or on toasted buns.
My rating: Well, it didn't live up to whatever it was that Tom made, but it was tasty and served us for two meals. My search for the perfect pulled pork continues--but this was definitely a good one.
Needless to say, I have been concerned about our two Japanese "daughters." Chieko was one of our first exchange students and she was here for Christmas that first year, and then returned for the next three Christmases. She became like a sister to Ndangi from Zaire. One year I taught her how to make tempura because I had decided that everyone living with us that year should make something for Christmas dinner from their own country--and she didn't know how to cook.
Her friend Hitomi came the next year and stayed 3 weeks. I've kept in closer contact with Hitomi than Chieko because Chieko is now married and has children. Hitomi, when I last heard from her was still single.I found the last addresses I had for both of them. Hitomi was living in Osaka and Chieko in Yokahama, neither city in danger, though there were some photos I found of some tiles that had fallen and a street that had cracked in Osaka. But no massive damage. I hope both were in their homes when the quake hit.