I didn't cook very much in January. From mid-December to mid-January, I didn't spend more than 4 nights in a row in my own apartment. Then a nasty visitor called The Flu came to wipe me out for a couple weeks. I found all food completely repulsive for at least two weeks. I never felt hungry and only ate when I became lightheaded and realized I hadn't eaten more than a banana all day.
But enough about The Flu. You don't come to this blog to read about my illnesses. I finally started feeling better and trudged through the snow in Boston to buy groceries. It isn't easy to buy groceries in the winter when you live in the city and don't own a car. The cart I use to transport my groceries doesn't have snow tires. I drag it, pull it and sometimes carry it through inches of snow, ice and enormous puddles. And I should note that I'm not a snow wimp. But the snow never stops in Boston. We had almost 40 inches in January alone.
Ok, you're probably not reading this and wondering about the New England weather patterns either. The summary is that I threw out all the food in my refrigerator that smelled and expired in December and bought groceries and made a delicious meal of pulled pork. Actually, I made the buns first and then I slow roasted the pork while the snow fell outside.
Start the pulled pork first. It takes a long time to cook, but it's worth it. I promise.
Pork shoulder (2.5 pounds)
1 can of rootbeer
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Braise the pork until each side is golden brown (about 5 minutes per side). Transfer the pork to the crock pot / slow cooker. Pour the root beer over the pork and then cover the top with spices. Turn the crock pot on low and let it cook for about 8-10 hours. You'll know the pork is done when it easily pulls apart.
When the pork is cooked, pull it apart in the crock pot and add BBQ sauce.
While the pork is cooking, start making the homemade buns.
1 cup milk 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup butter 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast 2 tablespoons white sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 eggInstructions:
Heat the milk, water and butter until 120 degrees F (don't let it boil over and make a huge mess like I did). In a large bowl, mix together 1 and 3/4 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Combine the milk mixture with the flour mixture and then mix in the egg. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. When the dough pulls together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes).
Divide the dough into equal pieces (I made little buns because I wanted sliders instead of large sandwiches). Shape the dough into smooth balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten them slightly and then cover them and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
Bake the buns at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.