Sunday, August 4, 2013

bring on fall!

I'm going rogue and posting not one but TWO recipes today. I was watching a DVR-ed episode of The Pioneer Woman several evenings ago. She made my most favourite spicy shredded pork and the yummiest looking "flat apple pie." Oh, my! How it had me longing for fall. Crisp evenings. Pretty red leaves. Pumpkins galore. Sometimes I feel we Texans get gypped on fall. It stays downright hot for a long, long, long time. Of course, as I mentioned before, that doesn't stop me from declaring the "official start of fall" on September 2nd.

Thus, in honor of Autumn "quickly" approaching, please enjoy these recipes! I can most certainly vouch for the scrumptiousness of the pork. Though I haven't tried the apple pie, it looks down-right divine. Can you really go wrong with apples, butter and crust? I think not, Dear Friends.

PW's Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Serves: 18

(I always use a much smaller "butt" -- tee hee hee -- and reduce the amount of chipotles and brown sugar. Of course, you could always freeze any leftovers, too!)

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it's not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.
Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it's cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.
Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you'd like.


PW's Flat Apple Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 2 pies

Ingredients

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows
6 tablespoons butter


Directions


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, salt and lemon juice. Set aside and see how long you can keep from sneaking a slice of apple.

With a rolling pin, begin rolling out the Perfect Pie Crusts into large circles. Roll the dough from the center outward. Be gentle and patient, it'll take a little time to get the dough completely rolled out.

If you think the bottom is really sticking to the surface below, use a nice, sharp spatula to loosen the dough and sprinkle some extra flour on top. Then flip it over to finish rolling. Remember to roll from the center in single, outward strokes, no back-and-forth rolling.

Again with a spatula, loosen and lift the dough and carefully place the circles on large baking sheets.

Place half the apple mixture on one crust and the other half on the other crust. Fold over the edges of each crust so that it covers 2 to 3 inches of the apple mixture. No need to be artistic - the more rustic the better. Dot the tops of the pies with chunks of the butter.

Bake until the filling is golden and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. If the crust appears to brown too quickly, cover the edges with aluminium foil for the remaining baking time.

Allow to cool slightly, then slice into wedges with a pizza cutter. Eat 'em on the go!

Perfect Pie Crust:


3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
5 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This step should take 3 or 4 minutes.

Lightly beat the egg with a fork, and then add it to the mixture. Next, add in the cold water and vinegar. Stir the mixture together until it's just combined, and then remove half the dough from the bowl. Yield: dough for 2 crusts.