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It all started several weeks ago when Lilly ended up in the hospital with x-rays that looked like this:

That’s a British One Pound Coin stuck in her esophagus.

Photo 2013-05-19 02.01.26 PMPhoto 2013-05-19 02.01.41 PM

Needless to say it was a long 24 hours for mommy and daddy but she is just fine. Here she is about to go into the OR (She liked the gloves and hats with teddy bears that the nurses had so they gave her her own):Photo 2013-05-19 02.01.57 PMAnd here she is after the coin was removed, drinking a cherry slushy…her first food or drink in 24 hours:Photo 2013-05-19 02.02.15 PMWe were sent home that evening and my friend Jenny had not only picked Trinity up from the hospital so she didn’t have to sit around for hours and hours, she had stopped by our house and put dinner in our refrigerator for us! Mmmmmm. Nachos with the yummiest pulled pork! It was seriously delicious.

A couple of weeks later I was craving those nachos but wanted to make a slightly healthier (and slightly lazier) version. So I used the recipe Jenny gave me from:Β http://www.chow.com/recipes/27755-beer-braised-pulled-porkΒ and made a few changes to make it into a slow cooker recipe. Feel free to make the original if you have the time but this slow cooker edition was fantastic.

Since we are a family of 4 with two little ones, I used about half of the pulled pork to make the remainder of the salad recipe and froze the rest. But you could easily double the rest of the salad ingredients and make a larger batch of this in a 9×13 pan for a larger crowd.

Pulled Pork Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-2.5 lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of all excess fat
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 12 oz brown ale beer

Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 cups pulled pork
  • 2 cups chopped red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (I used all three)
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican Mix cheese (or cheddar, or Pepper Jack whatever you like), divided
  • sliced green onions for garnish
  • 1 1/2 (about) cups of your favorite salsa (we like fire roasted!)
  • multigrain chips or your favorite tortilla chips to crush and sprinkle on top
  • other yummy toppings to consider adding on top: black beans, corn, avocado
  • salad greens: we used spinach but chopped Romaine lettuce would also be great.

Directions for the Pulled Pork:

Mix together salt, chilli powder and cinnamon. Rub into the pork:DSC_0261Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Set the pork into the pan and cook without moving for 2-3 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Brown on all sides in this way. Then place the roast into the slow cooker.

Pour beer over the meat:DSC_0268Doesn’t that roast look SO happy? Β Add the garlic and onions:DSC_0271Cook on low for 7 hours, remove pork from the slow cooker and shred the meat, then add back to the slow cooker, stir in the cider vinegar and brown sugar and cook for one more hour.

Drain the pulled pork of excess liquid.

Make the Salad:

In a large bowl mix 4 cups of the shredded meat, the chopped bell peppers, olives, and 1/2 cup cheese. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish:DSC_0274Pour 1- 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa on top:DSC_0277Then top with the other 1/2 cup of cheese (or more if you like!):DSC_0280Bake at 350*F for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted, then broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve over a bed of baby spinach or chopped Romaine:DSC_0289I was too hungry to take the time stage a pretty table setting so you get the close up shot. πŸ™‚

Crumble your favorite tortilla chips on top. We like Multigrain Chips:DSC_0293Garish with sliced green onions (if desired) and enjoy!