This post is all about everything classic American. We will discuss a classic American author, pair his work up with my favourite American dish, and some good old fashioned classic American rock and roll. We’re starting things off simply, with a bang.
Book: Slaughter House 5 - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Slaughter House 5 is the Kurt Vonnegut classic. It is the story of Billy Pilgrim, a man who goes on a fractured journey through time and space. It recounts his time in WWII, specifically the events that led up to and including the bombing of Dresden Germany. It also touches on his home life after the war and his abduction by the aliens from Tralfamadore. In true Kurt Vonnegut fashion, the prose is engaging and extremely entertaining. Slaughterhouse 5 is a book that provides the reader with ample opportunity to reflect on war but also gives an interesting look on the meaning of life in a world where time doesn’t always move in a forward direction. This is an extremely great read; you’ll be done it in no time.
Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
Chuck Berry - Maybellene
Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue
Elvis - Jailhouse Rock
The Allman Brothers - Ramblin Man
CCR - Fortunate Son
Jimi Hendricks - All Along the Watchtower
The Eagles - One of These Nights
Bruce Springsteen - 10th Avenue Freeze Out
The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
Bob Dylan - Times They Are a Changing
Meal: Pulled Pork with Apple-Cranberry, Avocado Coleslaw
1 pork shoulder
1 large spanish (or white) onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tall can of beer (or two. You can also add a little cider if you would like a more sweet pulled pork)
1 tbsp of corn starch or flour (for thickening)
1/2 cup of bbq sauce of your choice (optional)
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs peper
1 tsp salt
1 tbs fresh chopped basil
1 tbs fresh chopped rosemary
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 small head of white/green cabbage
1 1/2 cups of dried cranberries
1 apple of your choice (something crisp)
1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp mayo
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a bowl and mix together. Cover the pork shoulder generously in the rub and once coated and rubbed into the meat, wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least of couple of hours but preferably overnight.
We are going to be cooking the pork in the oven so the cooking dish you are going to want needs to be oven safe and deep enough to hold the pork and beer with room to work. I used my enamelled cast iron pot which works perfectly.
Preheat your oven to 300˚F. Finely chop your onion, garlic and tomatoes. Heat your cooking dish on the stove top and sauté your onions and garlic with a little butter and oil until soft.
Add the tomatoes before the onions finish and allow them to also reduce and soften. Once done, add your pork to the dish fill with your beer of choice. I used a bottle of Anchor Steam which I highly recommend. Cover and put in the oven.
Now every pork shoulder is going to cook differently. I’ve had this take anywhere between 3 to 5+ hours so you need to pay close attention to your pork. I like to rotate the pork while it cooks so that it’s equally exposed to the bottom of the dish and liquid. The pork will be ready once it pulls apart with your tongs or a fork. It shouldn’t be difficult, if you need to really pull to separate the meat, be patient and let it cook some more. Once it’s done remove the pork and shred the meet into a separate bowl.
Now it’s time to make your sauce. Pour the remaining liquid through a strainer catching the liquid. put the strained liquid in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and you corn starch for thickening (always mix your cornstarch with cold water in a separate cup before adding). I like to add a little store bought bbq sauce at this point as well just to add some familiar flavour. You can get creative with your sauce.
Put the pork back in the sauce and it’s ready to go.
While you were waiting for your pork to cook you had plenty of time to make your coleslaw. If you don’t put coleslaw on your pulled pork you are certifiably crazy. Coleslaw adds the perfect crunch to balance out the soft meet of the pork. Here’s how to make the best coleslaw i’ve ever had.
Shred your cabbage (cut the head into quarters and than slice it thinly like you would chop onions, the layers of cabbage will fall apart into perfect slices) and put in a large bowl. Thinly slice your apple(s) to match the size of your cabbage and add to the bowl. Add the cranberries. In a blender, combine the avocado, apple cider vinegar (add more or less depending on how you like your coleslaw), mayo, water, paprika, and salt. Blend until consistent. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and mix together until completely covered. Place coleslaw in the fridge for a couple of hours so the cabbage can absorb the dressing. The longer the coleslaw rests the better the flavours will come out (The coleslaw was best the next morning).
Now it’s time to eat! Put your pork on the bread/bun/tortilla of your choice, top with coleslaw and go to town.
And you can always use your left over pulled pork for as a topping for any of your favourite breakfast dishes. Like this egg, avocado and cheese bagel (known as the Sarah Bagel at the Rustic Cosmo Cafe)