Monthly Archives: February 2015



Beer Braised Pork 

I must of had an idea the other night that I wanted to feel fuller than ever before while enjoying some flavors of the south.  Those ‘fat thoughts’ made me think of a real gooey cheesy mac n cheese.  I then thought if it could possibly get any better than that….and it could!  Why not top the already decadent dish with some braised pork and maybe a tangy & sweet bbq sauce?!!  Genius!

…and yes, I am full.  Had seconds. Thirds.  And I am now onto ‘skinny thoughts’.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 3-5lb pork shoulder/butt roast (excess fat trimmed)
  • 1 12oz beer.  (Your pork, your choice)
  • Low sodium chicken broth/stock (at least 24oz)
  • 2-4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp unsalted butter
  • Onion, quartered
  • Serrano Chili, cut long vertical slit through half (stem to tip) but leave intact
  • BBQ sauce of your liking.

Dry Rub

  • 2tbsp chili powder
  • 2tbsp ground coriander
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tbsp cumin
  • 1tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2tbsp black pepper

Take out your pork roast and trim off any excess fat if needed.  Set aside.  In a shallow dish combine all of the spices thoroughly together to make the dry rub.  Place pork roast in dish and evenly distribute the spices and gently press into the meat on all sides.  Cover the roast in dish with plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for at least an hour if not overnight.  Take the roast out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.

*Preheat oven to 300degrees* On med-high, heat an oven safe Dutch oven on your stove top (I love my enameled Lodge cast iron for this).  Add in the EVOO & butter.  Once the butter has melted place the roast in the pan and sear on all sides.  Typically takes about 8-10minutes.  Set roast aside on plate and pour in the chicken broth.  With a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of pot.  This is the GOOD stuff.  It will greatly enhance the flavor of your meal.  Like one of my favorite chefs, Carla Hall, always says, “there’s flavor in the brown!”.  Add the pork roast back into the broth filled pot along with the onion, Serrano and pour in that can of beer.  I personally like to keep a swig or two for myself ;). The liquids should come up to a little over half of the meat.  You do not want it completely covered.

Cover the pot with its lid and place into the 300degree oven.  After 30 minutes I drop the temp down to 250 and 30minutes later down to 225degrees.  Now you can walk away from the oven for a good 4 hours and let that pork roast get flavorful and ridiculously pull apart tender!

We like to serve ours over my easy, creamy Mac n Cheese with a drizzle of Franklin BBQ sauce!  You can purchase it here in Texas at your local HEB Grocery Store (my fave!!)

Easy Creamy Mac n Cheese

Mac n Cheese is good for the soul I say…comfort food at its most glorious gooey best!  It’s almost sacrilegious to not enjoy a big bowlful.  So as long as you’re not counting calories (which you shouldn’t be anyway with this delightful treat), I’ve made an easy, semi-homemade recipe for this creamy, southern side dish staple!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 package elbow macaroni (or your desired noodle)
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1 large package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3-4 cups) (hand grated fresh is best though!  Melts much better!!)
  •   1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 tsp of dry mustard
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • salt to taste (kosher salt)
  • Panko Japanese breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz crackers with 4 TBSP melted butter overtop(optional)

Creamy Mac n Cheese Ingredients

First things first, boil the noodles for 5-6 minutes tops!  Drain them and set aside. You don’t want them to over cook, but to keep a good chew to hold up to the creamy cheesy sauce.  The noodles will cook a bit more while in the oven as well.  Preheat oven to 350degrees.

In a rather LARGE saucepan or even Dutch oven, melt the butter.  Once melted, add in the can of soup and the seasonings (salt, pepper & dry mustard).

Next, add in the shredded cheddar cheese, about 1 cup at a time and stir till smooth & melted.  Stir in the cup of sour cream.  Add the milk in slowly and stir until smooth and glossy.

Again, a little at a time, add in the cooked noodles and stir to coat.  Once the noodles are coated in that glorious cheese sauce, pour into an oven safe casserole dish (sprayed with nonstick).

Creamy Mac n Cheese

Once transferred to your serving dish, you can either enjoy right there (but don’t tell me that you didn’t sneak in a bite or five already.  Quality assurance of course.) or top with an even layer of plain Panko Japanese breadcrumbs.  Place in oven, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.  To speed things up you can also place under your broiler for about 5 minutes.  Just make sure to watch as not to burn the Panko, but nicely brown it.

Once finished let sit for a few minutes (hard to do I know…) and then when you shovel, err…I mean ‘spoon’ into it you’ll hear a nice crackling sound from the toasted Panko.  Omg.  Good stuff.

Enjoy by itself on a cold rainy day or do what me and my boys like to do…top it off with braised pork and a BBQ sauce drizzle!  (Find pork recipe on Railroad Wife too!)Creamy Mac n Cheese

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