Friday recipe: party pork

If you peruse our Friday recipes with any regularity, you know I lean toward healthy and tasty, with big emphasis on the latter. If it doesn’t taste good, don’t bother, I say. And as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve learned great flavor and good nutrition can be best friends on your plate.

Oh, but sometimes, I just have to go to the dark side of delicious with to-die-for feasts that make one’s brain forget all about counting calories. That make one’s tastebuds believe they’ve died and gone to heaven. That lure you to the fridge to eat leftovers for five consecutive nights – happily.

Mmmmm…it’s a party for your palate.

My spouse got the idea for this dish from the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” program while researching options for our son’s high school graduation party. It was a big crowd-pleaser and great for such an affair, as The Man did all the prep days before the party, stored in the freezer and then – on party day – warmed it up in our electric roaster for guests to spoon onto buns. (Thanks, Honey!) I’ve dubbed it “party pork” because of when we first served it and because it makes your mouth want to celebrate.

Now, this recipe isn’t TOO devilish; nothing breaded, deep-fat-fried or smothered in chocolate. It makes a huge batch, which I’ve convinced myself spreads out the calories of its naughtiest ingredients The quantity it produces and its wonderful melt-in-your-mouth taste make it a great choice for Labor Day picnics or potlucks.

Lest you think badly of me for this recipe, check out next Friday’s blog for another pulled “pork” recipe that’s vegetarian. Stay tuned!

Party pork

  • 8- to 10-pound bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt)
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 28 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 12 oz. can of cola (The Man has used Pepsi, RC and even root beer)
  • 2 medium white onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cup water
  • Your choice of spices and seasonings

Place onions in the bottom of a big roaster, lay pork shoulder on top, pour sweetened condensed milk over pork, rinse the can and add liquid. Pour the tomato sauce and cola  over the pork and stir it a little to mix the ingredients. Then add any of your favorite spices. The Man has used garlic powder, black pepper, ground chipotle and or rosemary, and it’s all good. You can experiment how you want your pork to be flavored.

Cook uncovered in a 275-degree over for six to eight hours. Tent the meat with foil if too much carmelization occurs.

The pork will be so tender it will fall off the bone. Serve with buns or by itself. You could also make this dish in a crockpot; just be forewarned you need a BIG pot – or use two – to fit all the ingredients. Makes enough for a small army. Freeze some for another day. Enjoy!

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