South Carolina Vinegar Based Pulled Pork- Slow Cooker Style

1/4 onion chopped
1 tbsp white sugar (you can use brown if you have it)
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire
1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (I like my BBQ with a little kick so omit this if you don’t like it that way)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 pork butt or shoulder roast (I grab whatever is on sale)
Chop your onion and set it in the bottom of your slow cooker. In a large bowl mix your sugar, paprika, salt and pepper together. This will be your rub. Use your hands y’all, it will wash off, I promise. Set your roast on top of the onion in your slow cooker. Now mix the rest of the ingredients together: liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, mustard and garlic. Pour half over your roast and refrigerate the rest. Place the cover on your slow cooker, set it to low, and let it go… for the next 6-8 hours. When it’s done take it out of your crock pot and let it rest and cool.
Split it in half and take two forks and pull it apart. If you really know what you are doing ~wink, aren’t you glad you have me here to walk you through it~ when you are shredding it, you will place the side of the meat that does not have the rub on it (what was the center) down on your cutting board so you don’t lose your rub on your board in the process of shredding. Once you have shredded all of your pork, place it in a container that has a lid to it. Pour the juice from your crock pot on to your shredded pork, grab the rest of your juice from the fridge and pour that on there too. Stir it. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Here is the trick that no one will tell you. If you can wait, do it. It gets better with time. If you put the crushed red pepper flakes in there it will have a little kick to it after the first 24 hours. After 48 hours it’s perfect and I do mean perfect.
We went to Sea World over the weekend. I put this in night before, went to bed and turned it off when I woke up around 7am. I shredded it, and let it marinate while we were at Sea World all day. When we came home we had sandwiches. I froze half and we ate off of the rest of the for two more days.
You can’t eat this with out the fixings so let me share the recipes I used for my fixings.
Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese. Click on the link and it will take you to the recipe… good grinds right there
Now this one is an oldie but goodie. We had marinated tomatoes as well that night. Growing up my Nonnie and my mom would pick cucumber, tomato, and bell pepper from our garden. They would also add some onion, olive oil, sugar and apple cider vinegar with loads of salt and pepper. We called it Goulash. It’s another one of those comfort foods for me that I haven’t had since leaving home for college. I hadn’t thought about it in years until I ran across a post on someone else’s blog about marinating tomatoes. I didn’t have time to actually think about what I was doing.. I saw the very large tomato I picked up at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday sitting in the fridge and just went to it.
Slice your tomato(s). I only used one for this because that is all I had and the two of us (the man and I) ate off of this for the next 24 hours. In a container (with a lid) add salt and pepper, I used my fresh basil and Thyme from my little window sill herb garden (use what you have), about 1/4 cup of olive oil, about 1 tbsp of lemon juice,  2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, about three green onions (just the green), a tsp of sugar and a tbsp of minced garlic. I know that I added more of something to get it where I wanted it but I am not sure what. The above was just estimates of what I threw in there. I didn’t measure when I was doing it.
When you first taste it, you will taste the shock of the vinegar, lemon then the sugar and that’s all. Let it marinate for 24 hours before eating it. As we sat at the dinner table that night I was trying to explain to the kids why the man and I were so happy about our meal. I was telling Thing 1 that even though she wasn’t born in South Carolina and may never live in South Carolina, she will know what soul food is and WILL learn how to cook it. She doesn’t even realize she’s going through southern belle training. Before she leaves my house she will appreciate a good home-grown tomato sandwich, fried okra and squash, good BBQ, chicken bog, country ham, sweet tea made from the coffee pot, and learn how to fit a piece of cucumber in every sandwich. This along with some family recipes that I will pass down. They boys will learn how to smoke a hog so I can finally have a real pig picking 🙂 y’all have a great weekend! You won’t hear from me until Monday. Try this out over the weekend and do it up Southern style with a tall glass of iced sweet tea.

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Southern Comfort Food

Looking for some real southern comfort food recipes? Below I have typed out my favorites. I hope you enjoy!! Also, if you didn’t know, I was born and raised in South Carolina so my BBQ will be vinegar based (not tomato or mustard) and my bog and perlot may be spicy.

South Carolina Vinegar based BBQ:
For this recipe you can use chicken quarters or a shoulder. I like to use a shoulder – to me the meat is better. I found this recipe a while back and I jotted it down on paper. I haven’t been able to find where I got it from since. I am thinking it was someone’s blog because I remember seeing pictures of the chicken quarters she was using.
24 hours before making your BBQ you will rub your meat down with the rub and leave it in the fridge to sit before you cook. Go ahead and make the sauce too (and place in the fridge) because the sauce needs 24 hours to sit after you mix it.
Rub:
1/4 cup cumin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup pepper
onion powder
tsp garlic
It seems like a ton of rub but it’s not. I mix all of my rub together in a large bowl and then place my shoulder in the bowl. I use my hands to rub the spices all over the meat and flip it a few times. In the course of 24 hours I will go in the fridge and flip it again to make sure the rub is getting in and all over the meat.
Sauce:
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp hot red pepper (I leave this out)
1 tsp salt and pepper
After your meat has sat in the rub for 24 hours you are ready to cook it in the oven. I put it in the oven at 350 for about 4-6 hours. Cook time depends on how big of a shoulder you are cooking. Once the meat is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to work with you can begin pulling the meat apart and shredding it with your fingers. After you have all your meat shredded, place it in a big bowl and pour the sauce on the meat. I use about 1/2 the sauce that I make for a 2-3 lb shoulder. I also don’t eat the meat right away. After stirring the meat and the sauce together I put it back in the fridge for a few hours (even 24 hours) to let the meat really soak up the sauce. Then we eat it. It’s so good!! I know all the ingredients seem really strong when making this but as long as you are giving the meat and sauce time to settle and mix it turns out yummy!

Pertlot- a  Georgetown SC version of Chicken bog
The same thing for this perlot recipe. I found it a while back when we moved from Florida to Texas and I can not find where I got it from.
1 (3-5) lb chicken (cut into pieces) – (I use three boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed instead of shredded)
1 lb of smoked sausage (I use 3 sausage links of Kielbasa sausage)
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp Lawry’s seasoning salt
tsp ground red pepper (I use about 1/4 tsp)
2 tsp ground black pepper (I use about 1/2 tsp)
1 pinch of salt (I use about 1/4 tsp)
dash of garlic powder (I use about 1/4 tsp)
3  bay leaves
8 cups of water ( I fill up a pot with water just for cooking meat and the water I need for rice)
3 cups of raw white rice (I use 2)
1. Cut sausage into 1/2 inch pieces
2. Combine chicken, sausage, butter, seasonings and bay leaves in a large stock pot
3. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover for about 40 minutes at a low boil.
4. Remove chicken (I remove the chicken, sausage and bay leaves so that the sausage won’t be rubbery and the bay leaves won’t get lost in the rice)
5. Remove the meat from bones of chicken and skin *if you cubed your boneless skinless breasts skip this step
6. Add the rice to the pot with the remaining chicken broth and seasonings. (I measure the broth to make sure it is 4 cups of broth for my 2 cups of rice)
7. Cook rice as normal bringing broth back to a boil then adding rice and cooking with a lid on the pot on low for about 40 minutes (if you used 2 cups of rice)
Throw the sausage and chicken back in the pot once the rice is done, mix and serve. You can freeze this as well.
When I make this with the measurements I gave you in parenthesis it will feed about 4-6 adults.
Chicken Bog:

This is cooked almost exactly the same as the perlot but without the extra spices and sausage.. this is my recipe so it will feed a family of 4
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts * you can use a whole chicken cut up into pieces or quarters but I use the breasts to save time.  Salt and pepper chicken on both sides really well
1 tbsp butter
2 cups rice
2 bay leaves
I leave my breasts whole, not cubed salt and peppered and place them in a pot of boiling water mixed with a box of Swanson’s chicken broth,  with my butter and bay leaves. I cook until the chicken in done. Once the chicken is cooked, I remove the chicken from the broth, throw away the bay leaves and let it cool. I measure out 4 cups of broth for the rice and place the 4 cups of broth back in the pot and bring to a boil again- once boiling turn it to low add the rice and cover to cook on low for 40 minutes. Once the rice is cooked I add my chicken (shredded or cubed) back to the rice and stir. Add salt and pepper as needed. We eat our bog a lot of pepper because that is how we eat it where I grew up. You can add other spices to it if you want.
* A lot of my family make their bog with chicken wing meat. Again, I just don’t.. if you cooked quarters and shredded the meat, it would turn out really nice but usually when I making chicken bog its my “quick” meal and I am doing it at the last minute which is why I use breasts.
Hope you enjoy your southern food! Add some hush puppies, fried okra, and sweet tea and you will be eating like you are at a SC buffet 🙂

Menu Plan

I have been having a hard time creating my meal plans lately for two reasons: 1) I am finding myself too tired to cook at the end of the day 2) Thing 3 doesn’t always want to eat what I take out in the morning to prepare for dinner. This go around it was especially difficult to make up my menu because I knew I only cooked half of what I had planned to cook the last two weeks. I set out on an adventure through the web to find great crock pot recipes last night. I have tons of energy in the morning but as my day wears on I am too tired to start a meal. I thought if I can find great meals to cook in the crock pot, this will no longer be a problem. So for the next two weeks I have four meals that I have designated just for the crockpot, one breakfast meal that will be super easy to whip up and a few meals for the days where I really do want to cook. I am especially excited about trying out a new bbq recipe that has the eastern Carolina vinegar based bbq sauce with the shredded chicken that I am making in the crock pot. I am using crock pot recipes that I gathered from the new site that I stumbled across last night called A Year of Slow Cooking. Blogger/author Stephanie O’dea has created this great site to host some of her recipes that she published in her book.

So here is what we are having:

1. South Carolina style bbq, squash casserole, fried okra and biscuits
2. Chicken tortilla soup (made with the shredded pork that I am making for the bbq)
3. Chicken fajitas (made with the shredded pork that I am making for the bbq)
4. Pork Tenderloin & rice
5. Cranberry roast, mashed potatoes and salad
6. Chinese
7. Garlic roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots
8. Sticky buns and breakfast (these aren’t my normal sticky buns, I am trying out a new recipe)
9. Tequila Lime chicken, broccoli and green beans
10. Strawberry buttermilk pancakes
11. Salisbury steak and asparagus with roasted potatoes
12. Cajun chicken Alfredo
13. tbd
14. tbd