I think in some other former life…wayyyy, way, wayyyy other…I was a Southerner. I love the soulful blues, the white columned plantations, the heat of it all. Hate the slow pace, though. That might drive me a bit batty. But I love Southern food something craaaa-zy! Gumbos, chicory coffee, jambalaya, benne wafers…fried chicken (death on a plate). I swear, if I lived South of the Mason-Dixon, I’d be 300 pounds, at the least.
Southerners have some interesting culinary traditions around New Years. For example, they serve:
–Greens, which symbolize dollars and wealth
–Black-eyed Peas, which symbolize coins, or wealth and luck
–Cornbread, which symbolizes gold (I’m sensing a theme here…)
–Hoppin’ John, which is a mix of black-eye peas and rice, cooked in bacon for prosperity
–Skippin’ Jenny, is the Hoppin’ John leftovers (you keeping up with this?), which then symbolizes frugality, which leads to an increased chance of prosperity
-And finally, the Almighty Collard. Supposedly, you are to save a few uncooked leaves and tack them to your ceiling (uh….ok..) for good luck (what? a quiet household because no visitor will want to come over thinking you have lost your marbles because you have veggies stuck to your ceiling?) OR you can hang them over your front door to ward off evil spirits. The House of the Collards.
Based on all this prosperity-inducing food, the South should be a leading world economy.
No mention of pulled pork in that list, though, which is one of my family’s favorites. As a silly and totally juvenile side-note, I can never order Pulled Pork at a restaurant with a straight face. I just can’t.
Top it with a crunchy slaw and some “gold” (cornbread) on the side and it’s perfection. And who knows? Maybe wealth and good luck will follow. At the very least, this will warm the friends and family around your table on a cold, Northern night.
Slow Roasted Pulled Pork, courtesy of Sara Foster
1 (5 lb.) pork butt, trimmed and tied
3 Tb. Q Shack Dry Rub (recipe below)
1 Tb. olive oil
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup water
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
4 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise
Barbecue sauce, optional
Preheat oven to 325. Rub pork with Q Shack Dry Rub. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear pork about 2 minutes on each side or until well browned. Remove from heat. Place pork skin side up, and add apple cider and next 3 ingredients.
Cover and bake at 325 for 3 hours 30 minutes. Remove lid; continue to bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand for 10 minutes. Pull pork with fingers into large pieces. Serve warm with barbecue sauce, if desired.
Q Shack Dry Rub
Makes about 1/2 cup
2 Tb. paprika
1 Tb. ground red pepper (*actually, I leave this one out. Paprika does the job well enough)
1 Tb. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tb. powdered garlic
1 Tb. powdered onion
1 Tb. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. oregano
Combine all ingredients in a small airtight container. Cover and shake to mix. Store in a cool, dry place for up to a month. Or share with a friend!