Monday, December 3, 2012

Barbecue Pork with Cheddar Ranch Scalloped Potatoes and Slaw


A delicious smoked pork butt sliced thin and served with creamy, cheesy, scalloped  potatoes and a red cabbage slaw.  A very satisfying weekend meal.

There is nothing better, to me, than a pork roast sitting on the smoker all day.  I had this pleasure over the weekend.  My husband brought home a pork butt (which is actually the shoulder) and he spent all day with it on the smoker.  We didn't do anything too fancy with the pork, just put a dry rub on it and let it smoke for hours.  The rub consisted of brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and onion powder.  I made the rub a while ago so I don't remember exactly what proportions I used but that is the basic contents.  The main thing to make this great is a long slow smoke with occasional 'sopping' (brushing or spraying with a beer and spice concoction).

Since my husband manned the smoker I made the sides.  The scalloped potatoes are a pretty basic recipe that I use all the time, but I spiked it with about 1/2 cup of ranch dressing.  Here is the recipe.

Cheddar Ranch Scalloped Potatoes:

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 small onion, chopped small
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk, I used skim but any will be fine
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, I used mild
salt and pepper to taste
pinch habanero flakes (optional)

First I made a white sauce.  I sweat the onion until soft, in a small amount of oil or butter.  Then I added the 1/4 cup of butter until it melted and added the flour.  I stirred for about a minute or too until cooked then added the milk and ranch and habanero flakes, if using.  I kept stirring over medium low temperature until the sauce thickened and began to simmer.  Then I turned off the heat and stirred in the cheese until melted and smooth.  Finally I added salt and pepper.

Once the sauce was made, I layered an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with a layer of potatoes, then sauce, then potatoes again, finishing with a layer of sauce.  This was covered with aluminum foil and baked for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees F until potatoes were soft.  Serves 4.

The slaw was nothing fancy, but it tasted very good and the colors were pretty.

I shredded 1/2 of a small head of red cabbage, 1 carrot, and thinly sliced 4 stalks of celery.  To this I added the juice of 1 lemon, 2 Tbsp brown sugar and about 1/4 cup olive oil.  I also added some salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Mixed it all up and let it sit for at least 1 hour.

All together this made a great evening meal.  The pork was so tender and juicy.  The potatoes were creamy and the slaw was colorful and fresh.  We will be happily eating this for another night or two.  Enjoy.

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