Pulled Pork, Vegetarian Hoppin’ John and Collard Greens

Here are some foods I served a a recent church luncheon for which I had many requests for the recipes. I also served these dishes, along with a ham and bacon version of the Hoppin’ John and a few fun condiments, at my 2009 New Year’s Day party. YUM! This is good stuff. (Kelli, see the link for the pulled pork for the chutney recipe!)

As I have described to some folks, I was really nervous when pouring the barbecue sauce over the pork when making pulled pork that first time the day before the January 1 party… It seemed bitter and overly “molassasy.” But, within two hours at 250 degrees, it smelled heavenly.

And, the smoked paprika is key in all these recipes. I don’t remember how I discovered it, but I know I didn’t want to use Liquid Smoke after reading about it online. Perhaps that is how I found this amazing way to impart a deep smokey flavor without the kettle grill or smoker. AND, it is super for vegetarian recipes. The original Hoppin’ John and boiled collard green recipes depended on smoked ham hocks or the like to create that deep flavor, but smoked paprika does the trick.

Okay, here are the recipes and links at which I found them:

Pulled Pork (serve over rice – I use brown basmati)

I used 9.5 lbs for the church luncheon and just multiplied all ingredients by 1.5.

6 Pounds Boston Butt (Pork Shoulder)

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cumin
1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
1 Tablespoon Dried Rosemary
2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Salt

BBQ Sauce:
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Dark Molasses
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke or smoked paprika! (optional)*
1/4 Cup Mustard
3 Tablespoons Honey
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Jalapeno Juice or 1
Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

*Use smoked paprika – useful also in vegetarian dishes to give that “smoked ham” flavor.

Prepare the Pork:
In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar, cumin, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Rub mixture all over pork shoulder. Refrigerate pork for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to medium-high. Add the pork shoulder to the pan and brown on all sides.

For the BBQ Sauce:
In another bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, mustard, honey, cider vinegar, jalapeno juice, salt, and pepper.
Transfer pork shoulder to a Dutch oven or large oven proof dish. Pour BBQ sauce over the top and place into oven. Cover with lid or aluminum foil. Cook pork for 8 to 10 hours until it easily falls apart. Remove the lid or foil the last 30 minutes.
Remove pork and let cool. Shred pork by pulling it apart with two forks.

[NOTE: this is a re-heatable dish and be kept at a safe warm temperature for a number of hours with no harm to texture or flavor.]

Vegetarian Hoppin’ John

one 16-ounce package of dried black-eyed peas
one large can of tomatoes [diced and their juice work fine]
one large onion
one green pepper
three sticks celery
three carrots
1/4 cabbage
four to five tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable seasoning such as Mrs. Dash **
1 tablespoon garlic salt
[NOTE: I don’t buy Mrs. Dash, so I looked up a “copycat recipe for Mrs. Dash and added a pinch or so of most ingredients listed (everything from marjoram to cumin) and also added two teaspoons or so of smoked paprika. The smoked paprika is key.] **

Soak beans overnight. Drain. Simmer beans in enough water to cover them for about four hours [more like 1 or 1½ or so!] or until done. Remove the core from the cabbage, and peel and chop all the vegetables. Heat olive oil in a six-quart, Dutch-oven pot. Add the chopped vegetables to the olive oil and cook, with the lid on, for about ten minutes or until the cabbage is soft, stirring the vegetables occasionally.
After the vegetables are “sweated,” add the vegetable seasoning and salt and cook for a few more minutes to create a flavor base. Add the canned tomatoes. Heat to a simmer. Add the cooked beans and their liquid. Heat again to a simmer and then turn off the heat. The beans are done.

[NOTE: this also is a re-heatable dish and be kept at a safe warm temperature for a number of hours with no harm to texture or flavor.]

Vegetarian “Southern-style” Collard Greens

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 pound collard greens, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil and butter. Saute the onions until slightly softened, about 2 minutes, then add the red pepper flakes and garlic, cook another minute. Add collard greens and cook another minute. Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until greens are tender, about 40 minutes. Add tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
[Note: These can be left in the water over a burner set on low for a number of hours and again re-heated later.]