Sunday, June 22, 2008


Tonight's Menu

  • barbecued pork on buns
  • marinated cucumber salad
  • sliced tomatoes
Finally, the boy was feeling good enough to eat "normal" food tonight! So I went whole hog (hee! see what I did there?) and made some barbecued pork sandwiches for dinner.

I have to admit, this pork was sort of an experiment. What I did was take a shoulder roast, rub it with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika, and stick it on a rack in a roasting pan. Then I added some water to the bottom of the pan and dropped in two large-ish whole sprigs of rosemary. The idea was to get the rosemary to barely scent/flavor the meat. I covered the pan tightly with heavy-duty foil and stuck it in the oven at 200 degrees F for about 5 hours.

When I pulled it out of the oven I stuck an instant-read thermometer in the roast just to be sure it was fully cooked, which it was, so then I removed it from the pan and set up the grill for indirect heat (two burners on medium, one burner unlit). I put the roast on the unlit burner and started basting it with a Carolina-style barbecue sauce (I buy this already made; it's a mustard-based sauce that goes great with pork).

After maybe 15 minutes total, flipping it from one side to another halfway through, the sauce had kind of baked on to the meat. There still wasn't any browning, though, so I flipped the roast over to one of the lit burners for just a couple of minutes per side to get some nice grill mark action going. Much better, aesthetically speaking! After resting it for a few minutes, I shredded it and served it on buns with thinly sliced sweet onions and more barbecue sauce on the side. Delicious! And not as much trouble as it sounds, honest.

This cucumber salad is one of my favorite things. DH and I first discovered it at a Hungarian restaurant near here and we absolutely fell in love with the way this refreshing, cool salad contrasted with the rather rich main dishes (I admit it, I'm a chicken paprikas addict). A couple of years ago I was poking around in an antique store when I found a little pamphlet of Hungarian recipes. Lo and behold, there was our favorite cucumber salad!

Here's how you make it: take two good-sized cucumbers, wash and peel them, then cut cross-wise into thin slices. Put them in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt, then set aside for one hour. After an hour, start squeezing the cucumber slices in your hand, discarding the liquid. Put the squeezed cucumbers into a non-reactive bowl, then mix together the following:

3 Tbs white vinegar
3 Tbs water
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp minced garlic (I grated it with my microplane)

Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers, toss to coat, then sprinkle another 1/4 tsp or so of paprika over top. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. We like to serve it the way they do in the restaurant, with a tiny dollop of sour cream on top.

So yummy, and the crunchy, vinegary cucumbers were a nice foil to the rich barbecued pork!

Oh and P.S.: the cucumbers and tomatoes were from the CSA, natch.

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