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).
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! **|
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.
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.
Enjoy the games and your pork this week!
Bourbon-Mango Pulled Pork
from Allrecipes.com Chef RuggerDucky
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
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.