My name is Thomas Lott. I am a proud husband and father of two. Two of my favorite things are football and cooking. I'm no expert in either, but I certainly like to fool around with both. I’ve been a home cook for about 10 years, and been around football since I was 4 years old. This fall, perhaps I’ll find out which one I know better! So I'll be checking in periodically to make a pick - or picks (even I'm allowed a bye week here and there!). Again, I'm no expert, so please don’t go betting the mortgage on my humble picks! From that, I’ll make a dish that has something to do with the game - who I think will win, a star/key player, or other story line. Don’t worry - I’m a home cook so it won’t be anything you can’t do - I promise. I’m still learning so most of these will come from my stash of cookbooks or another recipe floating around the internet. I won’t pawn anything off as my own or pretend there’s some super-secret family recipe that I can't share. Most of these I will probably have made before, others might be an experiment. I hope all will go well, but some may go from stovetop right to the dumpster! I'll be sharing my successes, mishaps, and maybe even a few gratuitous shots of my crew of sous chefs and tasters :-)

I'm always a work in progress, so my food won't *always* be pretty (or healthy!), but it's going to taste good--and if it doesn't I'll tell you that, too. And just so you know, it's also a mathematical certainty that I'll whiff on some of my football picks, too. The whole point is to get better at both! So I hope you keep up with me this fall as I have some fun with the kitchen and the pigskin! I welcome all comments, suggestions, requests and discussions on all things pigskin and kitchen!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Week 5 - Cajun Spiced Pork


College Football! So nice to have you back! After a pretty uneventful week in which one of the major highlights was an onside kick by the Rice Owls, it’s exciting there’s a game or two to look forward to. So let’s get right to it:

First, we’ve got the Oklahoma Sooners traveling up to Notre Dame. If you remember last year, the Irish came to Norman and punched the Sooners right in the mouth at home. They looked absolutely atrocious in that game. Ever since 2003, once or twice a year – big game, small game, bowl game, or national championship – the Sooners seem to miss the memo that they have a game that day. Last year’s Cotton Bowl is a perfect example. It's interesting that Bob Stoops has had to turn to Blake Bell at quarterback after he was suprisingly not handed the reigns on opening day. He had a pretty good game against Tulsa, but this will be his first real test. I'm still not sure about Bell because up until a week ago, I had literally never seen him do anything but take a shotgun snap and bull his way between the tackles. I’ve got a good feeling about him this week, though.  I like that OU is flying under the radar right now, and there is surely a bit of that bad taste left over from last year. They'll be slowed a little by that jungle grass at Notre Dame's stadium, but I like Boomer by 7.  
The BIG one this week is LSU at Georgia and should be an exciting matchup. In my opinion, LSU has been perhaps a bit overrated at times. They usually rely on their athletes more than scheme and are generally pretty unsophisticated – particularly on offense. I can’t remember a time when their quarterback was a game changer that they won because of. I wouldn’t call Zach Mettenberger a star, but I like what he and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron are doing and hopefully he can stay focused and not get caught up in his return to Georgia. As for UGA, a big game in Athens can only mean one thing: time for Georgia to be Georgia again! I think the Dawgs will look good early, but I’m selling my Georgia shares and taking LSU in a close one.

So this week, I'm going to be making Cajun-Spiced Pork. This recipe comes from a book from the good folks at Weber called Charcoal Grilling by Jamie Purviance. It seems pork tenderloins are on sale a lot, and you really can do a lot with them. While this original recipe is for grilling the pork tenderloin, I learned to do this with a searing technique that is finished in the oven. Firing up the charcoal grill isn't always realistic or practical, so by doing it this way, you'll likely be pulling the pork out of the oven the same time your coals would have been ready!



Cajun-Spiced Pork Tenderloin
from Weber's Charcoal Grilling by Jamie Purviance
 
Start out by making the Cajun rub. You'll need fresh thyme, kosher salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, light brown sugar, fresh ground black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well with your fingers or a fork. Also, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
 
(I actually used dried thyme. If you're using dried thyme use about 1/2 - 2/3 tsp)


Rub the Dijon mustard all over the pork. You'll notice that I've actually cut the tenderloin into about 7 medallion pieces. You don't have to do this, but it seems to cook a bit faster that way.
 
  
Season the pork with the rub. Make sure to really press those spices into the meat.
  
 
  
Oil and heat up a skillet to medium high. About 1 to 1 1/2  tablespoons should do it. Grapeseed is the best, but vegetable or canola will do also. You probably want to stay away from olive oil because its not very well suited for high heat searing like we're doing here. Once your pan is good and hot (just about the time EVOO would start smoking), drop the pork in the pan. Let it sear undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes.
  


Keep rotating every 3 minutes or so and let it get nice and brown all over. You'll see a nice crust developing...

...and yes I am totally crowding the pan which I know is a big no-no. BUT, 2 Kids + after 6pm + no bath yet = one round of searing




Then into the oven for 12-15 minutes....could be a little more. Basically until the meat has an internal temperature of 150.


 
 
And there you go! Make sure you let the meat rest for a few minutes before you slice it up. You can see even in the picture how moist it cooked up.

 
 
 
 

Now of course you can’t replicate that wonderful distinct charcoal flavor cooking indoors, but between the rub and a good sear you might actually be surprised how “grilled” it tastes. If I just showed you the picture, wouldn't you think it looks grilled, too? Cutting the tenderloin into medallions not only cuts cooking time, but more of the surface area gets seared which equals more flavor. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, make a gravy or a pan sauce with the drippings/seasonings left in the pan from the sear. So just think: if you’re having mashed potatoes with the pork, how delicious would a Cajun spiced gravy go with them?!

I hope you enjoy the games this week as well as your pork!


Cajun-Spiced Pork Tenderloin
adapted from Weber’s Charcoal Grilling by Jamie Purviance


2 lbs of pork tenderloin (two one pounder tenderloins or two pounds cut into 2” – 3” medallions)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Rub
2 tsp fresh thyme (chopped)
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp light brown sugar
¾ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1)Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl. Use a fork or fingers to mix well. Set aside.

2)Rub the Dijon mustard all over the pork. It should cover the entire surface.

3)Season evenly with the rub, making sure to coat the meat and press the spices into the meat. Let the meat sit at room temperature for about 20 mins. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

4)Oil a skillet with 1-1 ½ tbsp. vegetable, canola, or grapeseed (preferred) oil and heat to medium high. Sear for about 3-4 minutes on all sides to develop a nice brown crust. Once pork is seared on all sides, transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and finish in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until done (150 degree internal temperature). Note: this may take a little longer if they aren’t cut into medallions. Let meat rest for about 10 more minutes and slice diagonally on the bias.











Friday, September 20, 2013

Week 4 - Blueberry Muffins

What a game the Bama/A&M shootout was! I have to say that I was very surprised how The Tide’s D got rolled up like that. My hats off to JF as he certainly impressed me with his playmaking ability and really did some outstanding things. However, I did also see some serious gambling and questionable decisions disguised as “playmaking” that just happened to bounce the Aggies way. And here's the thing about gambling: you can't make a living doing it. Things might be really exciting and prosperous for a while, but the universe has a way of leveling odds and lucky bounces over time. What am I saying? You heard it here first: the Aggies have another loss coming somewhere down the line. I'm about 60% -70% sure I think I know when, but I'll keep quiet for now.

Also keep your eye on Marcus Mariota of Oregon. He doesn't get as much pub as #2, probably partly due to being in Oregon and partly due to his willingness and desire to stay out of the limelight (e.g. being spotted courtside, crashing frat parties, tweeting). He is silky smooth and commands a very high powered offense. I admit the Ducks haven't exactly been challenged and he has quite an arsenal of weaponry, but don't sleep on this guy - he's very very good.

So onto this week: on a personal note it’s my wife’s birthday this weekend (Happy Birthday, Sweetheart) and she couldn’t have picked a better weekend because this week’s slate of games won’t force any tough decisions to have to be made! I’m not even sure what would be a game of the week because looking at the schedule makes me a little sleepy. College Gameday choosing to travel to NORTH DAKOTA - key word: choosing - tells me all I need to know. The only matchup this week between two ranked teams is #23 Arizona State at #5 Stanford, but this is an easy one for me. Arizona State is the Georgia of the west in terms of dream crushing. Sometimes they look like they may make a run, then lay down when you start buying stock. I don’t see them coming into Stanford and beating such a disciplined bunch. Stanford wins by at least 10. On a side note, I'd just like to say that I’m also enjoying this little slide that’s going on in Austin. Mack makes this certain expression in defeat that just tickles me to death. BTW Horns, don't feel bad...this has been years in the making.

Seeing as this is almost a bye week for all of college football, I’m going to do what you are supposed to do on a bye week – get better. In Week 1, I made the fresh peach buckle with the crumb topping. Well if you remember, that crumb topping didn’t quite turn out like I wanted it to. And I’m not going to lie, it’s been bugging me a little bit. So this week, I’m going to take another stab at it. This time with blueberry muffins. The recipe originally came from www.allrecipes.com, but over time I have picked up a few tweaks that make these quite possibly the best blueberry muffins you’ve had. As a matter of fact, my wife actually requested these for the weekend instead of birthday cake. Ever heard that one before?

"No birthday cake, just make me muffins."
-No one ever



Blueberry Streusel Muffins

The first thing you might be wondering is if you should use fresh or (thawed) frozen blueberries. Honestly I have used both and they are perfectly fine. With the frozen ones, when they are thawed there is more liquid, which in turn will make your batter a purple-ish color. That's the only difference, so do what works for you. You'll need 1 Cup (you can be heavy handed with your cup if you wish-LOL).


Lets get right to my arch nemesis-the crumb topping. Mix cubed butter, all-purpose flour, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon with a fork until well mixed. It should look like this:






Now we're in business! On to the muffins....start with your dry mixture. You'll need flour, white sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix together and set aside.

Take a 1 C measuring cup, and fill with 1/3 C vegetable oil. Add one egg to the cup, then fill the rest of the way with buttermilk. The oil, egg, and buttermilk will equal 1 cup of liquid.











Add this to the dry mixture and mix. Don't overdo it, but mix well with a rubber spatula. Then gently fold in the blueberries.










 Take your batter and fill the muffin cups. You can fill them just about to the top. You should end up with just under a dozen. Then sprinkle that crumb topping on top. They won't pop out, but you may want to hit the pan with some Baker's Joy anyway.







Bake on 400 for about 18-22 mins (watch them closely as the sugar can burn)....and VOILA!








These muffins are really, really good. This is a tried and true recipe for me so I know exactly what to expect every time. The original recipe called for regular milk and white sugar for the topping, but trust me when I tell you that using buttermilk and brown sugar really makes a difference. You won't be disappointed by these. We like to cut a little hole in the top and drop a bit of butter in there. Ridiculous! I would say they keep well, but I'd be lying because I've never had any left after two days - so I really wouldn't know!

I hope you enjoy the muffins - have a great week!





Cinnamon Streusel Blueberry Muffins
adapted from allrecipes.com

1 ½ C all-purpose flour
¾ C white sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 C buttermilk
1 C blueberries (can use fresh or frozen, but fresh is best)

Streusel Topping
½ C dark brown sugar
1/3 C all-purpose flour
¼ C butter, cubed
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

1)Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line muffin tin with liners.

2)Make streusel topping: Using a fork, mix ½ C brown sugar, 1/3 C flour, ¼ C cubed butter, and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. Set aside.

3)Mix 1 ½ C flour, ¾ c sugar, salt and baking powder. Place 1/3 C vegetable oil into a 1 C measuring cup. Add the egg, then fill the rest of the cup with buttermilk (ends up being 1/3 C). Add to the dry mixture and mix. Gently fold in blueberries (if you use frozen blueberries the batter will turn a purple-ish color from the juice). Fill the muffin cups. These you want to fill right about to the top, so you probably won’t end up with a dozen like you normally would. Sprinkle with streusel crumb topping.

4)Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until done. Keep an eye on them as the streusel topping can burn.




5)Remove muffins from pan and let them cool on a drying rack. Can be served warm or at room temperature.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week 3 - BBQ Shrimp Enchiladas


What a big week! #1 Alabama makes their much anticipated trip to #6 Texas A&M this Saturday. I don’t have to tell you that the Aggie victory last year stunned pretty much everybody outside of College Station, and really was the game that propelled JF to the Heisman. I always thought that the battle with LSU the previous week beat Bama down emotionally and physically just enough to make them vulnerable to TAMU. People seem to forget: A&M jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter and then scored 9 points the rest of the game. The legend has grown over time, but it was a closer game than your Aggie friends (and we’ve all got at least a couple) want you to believe! They didn’t just waltz into Tuscaloosa and lower the boom. Any other week, I don’t think they would have beaten Bama and then maybe – just maybe we wouldn’t have had to hear about JF all summer long!

But what’s done is done and here we are for Round 2. In my opinion, Nick Saban is clearly the best coach right now, a top 5er of all time, and could one day be the best ever when all is said and done. One of my favorite things about him is during interviews, he always acts like he’s being interrupted in the middle of coming up with a scheme or on his way to go watch film. He even seems annoyed when he gets the championship Gatorade bath...as if now a shirt change is one more thing standing between him and going on a recruiting trip. No matter what he says though, he’s had this one circled for about 300 something days. I’m sure many a night in 2013, Nicky played possum with his wife and pretended he was going to sleep, waited until she fell asleep, and tiptoed out of bed to go watch more A&M film. **Little known fact: I actually invented this move in 2006 so I could play my NCAA Dynasty on Play Station (the key to REALLY selling it is steady, deep breathing and lying very very still).**  Part of his greatness is his ability to keep his team in the short term/present, so I don’t think vengeance is a theme he is preaching this week, but as competitors you know it’s there. Plus a bye week to prepare? The Tide are going to be ready. That defense is nasty, and while JF will make some plays because he’s an athlete, they will force him into some mistakes and Bama will win by at least a touchdown.

The Menu this week is actually inspired from another game: #24 TCU at Texas Tech. I’m not a fan of the 2 qb system so I’ve been leery of TCU, but it looks like the football Gods went ahead and took care of that for Gary Patterson. Only problem is, the better qb is the one that got hurt. It’s going to be crazy in Lubbock Thursday night – almost “
I DREAMED IT IN MY HEAD” crazy. There’s going to be tortillas everywhere and I’m picking the Raiders in an upset. So this week I’m using tortillas and borrowing from one of Fort Worth’s most famous restaurants, The Reata. I’ve wanted an excuse to make the Barbecue Shrimp Enchiladas from the Reata Cookbook since I bought it, and tortillas and TCU sounds like as good of a reason as any!


Barbecue Shrimp Enchiladas from Reata: Legendary Cuisine
This is basically a 3 step process. You make the enchilada sauce, then the shrimp, then assemble the enchiladas.

1-The Sauce
Start out by making the barbecue enchilada sauce. It's pretty easy, just put all the ingredients together into a saucepan. You've got ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, Tabasco, Worcestershire, yellow onion, bay leaf, ground espresso beans, and heavy cream.














Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Then remove from heat to cool. It should be a dark orangish color:

2-The Shrimp
Coat a pan with oil and heat over medium high. Saute the garlic until it becomes a toasty brown color.




Add the shrimp and then dust with salt and pepper. Cook them for about 3 or 4 minutes. You actually don't want them to be completely done because they will continue to cook while they are baking in the enchiladas. Shrimp are so easy to overcook and no one likes rubbery shrimp!



FYI-Shrimp doneness test: If they're shaped like a "J" they're just right - if they are shaped like an "O," OH NO! Smaller shrimp like these are curled up anyway, but next time when you've got bigger shrimp..... 



3-The Assembly
You'll need a dozen tortillas. I like to just buy a dozen from Rosa's. I say no thanks to the Mission store bought ones, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! These are the best in my opinion. If you do go the store-bought route, I recommend that you zap them in the microwave to soften them up. Cut half an inch off the edge to make for easier rolling.







Spread about 1/2 C of sauce on the bottom of your baking dish (I used a 11 x 13). Just enough to lightly coat. Then set up your assembly line: tortillas, sauce, shrimp, cheese, baking pan. 






Pour about a tbsp of sauce down the middle of the tortilla. Put about 4-5 cooked shrimp on top, then sprinkle 2 heaping tablespoons of cheese. Roll up as tight as you can then put it on top of the sauce in the pan. Tortilla, sauce, shrimp, cheese, roll. Rinse and repeat until you use all the tortillas.








Once you fill the pan, pour about 1 1/2 C of the sauce, then top with 3/4 - 1 C cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 15 mins on 350, or until the cheese bubbles and the edges get slightly crusty.





And the finished product (mine actually took closer to 20 mins).....




This is a very interesting dish because you don't normally think of barbecue with enchiladas or cheese with shrimp. For my family and me though, the dish works. It may take you a couple of bites to get used to a "shrimp" enchilada and the taste of the sauce is complex in a way. Make sure that you taste the sauce and like it because it really is the star of the dish and your opinion of the sauce will probably be the same as your opinion of the dish. One thing I would say in the future, I might cut back on the onions from the prescribed 3/4 C to 1/2 C because I found the sauce to be slightly "oniony" for my taste buds. But if you dig onions, leave it. I had leftover sauce and cheese, too so don't be alarmed. If the seafood isn't for you, shredded chicken would also work very well.

All in all, we liked it - its a great Tex-Mex curveball and I will make it again someday. Have a great week and enjoy!


Barbecue Shrimp Enchiladas
from Reata: Legendary Texas Cuisine

Enchilada Sauce - Makes about 4 cups
3 C Ketchup
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
2 tsp Tabasco Sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 C yellow onion, diced
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground espresso beans
1 C heavy cream

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to rapid boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool. Allowing it to thicken will make assembling the enchiladas easier.

Shrimp
1/4 C oil 
2 tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 1/2 lbs fresh shrimp (41-50 size), raw, peeled, deveined
kosher salt
pepper

Coat a saute pan with oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute until garlic is toasted to a rich brown color. Add the shrimp and immediately dust with salt and pepper to lightly coat. Saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often (the goal is for the shrimp to be cooked to a medium temperature when assembled in the enchiladas. Baking the enchiladas will cook the shrimp a little more.)

Enchilada Assembly
(12) 8 inch flour tortillas
4 Cups BBQ enchilada sauce
3-4 C shredded Jack cheese
1 1/2 C sauteed shrimp

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the bottom of a large baking dish with about 1/2 C of the enchilada sauce.

Cut a 1/2 inch strip from the side of each flour tortilla and discard. Pour about 1 tablespoon of Enchilada Sauce in a straight line through the center of each tortilla. Place about 4 or 5 of the cooked shrimp on top of the sauce. Sprinkle 2 heaping tablespoons of the shredded cheese on the cooked shrimp. Roll the tortilla tightly (like a small burrito) and place in a baking dish that has been coated with enchilada sauce.

Nestle the 12 assembled enchiladas side-by-side in the coated baking dish. Pour the remaining 1 1/2 C of enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4-1 C of shredded cheese over the sauce. Cover loosely with aluminum foil, so the cheese doesn't stick to the foil.

Bake in oven for about 15 minutes, or until cheese topping begins to bubble and the edges of the enchiladas turn a little crusty. Remove from the oven and let rest about 5-10 minutes before serving.


 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Week 2 - Pulled Pork

 
I hope everybody had a good opening week. More importantly I hope you aren’t college football’d out from all the Johnny Manziel talk. You can rest assured that this is a safe refuge where JF will never dominate the conversation! I have a 3 sentence maximum on that topic, which I have now reached. Moving on….

We’ve got two big games this week, #14 Notre Dame vs #17 Michigan, and #6 South Carolina vs #11 Georgia. I’ll start with Notre Dame/Michigan. College Gameday will be in Ann Arbor and it should be a great atmosphere. As far as the game itself, it will watch much like a Big Ten game…slow slow slow. I don’t expect the fireworks that we saw in Clemson last week. Brian Kelly is an outstanding coach, and while I don’t see them doing anything like 2012 this 2013 season, I like ND in this matchup. I have a feeling that Tommy Rees could build on his performance from last week. This is a tough pick because both played in a couple of cupcake wars last week that didn’t give us much information about either team. But I guess no game is really that revealing this early in the season because ranked teams in September can become middle of the road teams as the season wears on (see West Virginia 2012).

Speaking of not knowing much this early in the season, a second enticing game is Georgia/South Carolina – another SEC clash. Despite poor tackling and a suspect-looking defense, Georgia actually showed me some heart last week. I saw a graphic that I hadn’t been aware of – Aaron Murray is 1-8, well 1-9 now against ranked opponents. This week though, I think he comes out playing ball and UGA gets the win. Jadeveon Clowney had a real stinker last week and I don’t expect him to play like that again, but I’m taking Georgia. If you take him out of the picture, I just don’t find SC all that impressive and really quite average. Hopefully Georgia won’t do what they have always done and make me look foolish for picking them.


So we've got two slow teams from Big Ten Country, and we have another matchup in the South with Georgia and South Carolina. What can we make? I’m thinking let’s do some pulled pork with a bourbon barbecue sauce for the Georgia/South Carolina clash, and make it in the slow cooker, since Big Ten has some of the slowest football in the country! This recipe actually came from my favorite online recipe site: allrecipes.com. For the record, they have a great app as well. I’ve made this a couple times—once with chicken breasts actually—but today I’m using a boneless pork shoulder (BTW bone-in is the best option).



Bourbon Mango Pulled Pork
Start with two mangoes. Summer is ending so they seem to be getting harder and harder to find, but there are still some good ones out there. Pit the mangoes and drop the pits in the crock pot. Set the rest of the mango to the side.
 






Season your shoulder/roast with salt, pepper, and chipotle chili powder and drop it in the pot. Rub the seasonings in really well. You could even sear it before you put it in if you like. Place in the pot and add balsamic vinegar and water. Cover and cook for 5-8 hours. This will depend on the size of your pork and how your crockpot cooks. I used a 4 lb shoulder for this one.
 
**Random PSA: You might be wondering what's with the plastic bag in the crockpot. Reynolds makes crock pot liners that are absolute LIFE SAVERS. They're usually found by the plastic bags and wrap in the grocery store. Unfortunately, the most consistent place I've been able to find them is Walmart. But these things are worth even going to that wretched place! So pick them up - unless of course you like soaking and scrubbing your crockpot. And that's cool, too! **
 
Meanwhile, it's time to make the barbecue sauce. One of my favorite things about this recipe is you can really make it your own by how you construct your sauce.

Remember those mangoes we didn't throw away? Peel and chop them up into about 1" pieces. Throw away the peel and puree the mango in a blender or food processor until its pretty smooth. 


Any bourbon/whiskey will do. I use  this
Jim Beam Honey for cooking. Same with the BBQ:
Sweet Baby Ray's is my go to, but any sauce
would be just fine.


 
Pour the puree into a saucepan along with honey, chipotle powder, and bourbon. Simmer and reduce this mixture for about 10 minutes. As you stir frequently, it will get darker - reminiscant of a certain place in Austin.

Stir in the barbecue sauce. You can use any barbecue sauce you want, which will do different things to the overall flavor because of the mango and bourbon addition. I actually skipped the step of reducing the mango, and instead put everything in at once and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes. I found the mango flavor to be more noticeable in the sauce (as opposed to an, "I taste something sweet, but can't put my finger on it"). I'll do it this same way in the future. If you do it this way, just remember to stir because the sauce will thicken and stick.
 




After 5-8 hours take your pork out of the crock pot. If you're able to lift it out in one piece without it falling apart at all, you may want to leave it in a bit longer. Shred it with two forks on a cutting board. Again, if your roast is cooked right, this should take little to no effort.
 
 
Pour out the cooking liquid and the mango pits (they will be SCALDING hot). Put the shredded meat back into the pot with your new signature special recipe mango barbecue sauce. Stir together and cook for maybe an hour longer on HIGH, so the two can become better acquianted. You don't have to do this, but if you have the time - which if you're making something in a slow cooker I'm guessing you do - go for it!
 
 

 
 
Then when you're ready, do what you do with pulled pork! Use it for sandwiches, top on baked potatoes, serve over rice...I even had a pulled pork kolache this week at a local bakery. This is tasty stuff, and something you can experiment with to give it your own twist. Different bourbons - no bourbon at all, different bbq sauces, more honey/less honey, the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy the games and your pork this week!
 



Bourbon-Mango Pulled Pork
from Allrecipes.com Chef RuggerDucky

2 Mangoes
1 Pork Shoulder/Boston Butt Roast
2 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 C water

Sauce
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
2 tsp honey
1.5 oz bourbon whiskey
(2) 12 oz bottles bbq sauce of your choice

1) Peel the mangos and remove the pits. Place the pits into a slow cooker, then roughly chop the mango and set aside. Place the pork shoulder into the slow cooker, and season with the black pepper, kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon chipotle powder; pour in the balsamic vinegar and water 


2) Cover, and cook on Low 5 to 8 hours until the meat is very tender. Once done, drain the pork, discarding the cooking liquid and mango pits, and shred with two forks.


3) While the pork is cooking, puree the chopped mango in a blender until smooth, then pour into a saucepan along with the honey, 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, and whiskey. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring frequently until the mango has reduced and darkened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in the barbeque sauce, and remove from the heat.

4) Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir in the mango barbeque sauce. Cover, and cook on High 1 to 2 hours until the pork absorbs the barbeque sauce.