Happy 4th of July my American readers!
Today I'm celebrating with some all-American cuisine: BBQ pulled pork and the newest food craze- pretzel buns.
Food Network Star style I have an amazing tip for you. I found the secret to perfectly tender melt-in-your-mouth pork: soak the cooked pork over night and cook in for a couple hours the next day to get it PERFECTLY tender. Douse it with sweet and smokey BBQ sauce and slap it on a savory pretzel bun. I don't think you can find anything more American than that.
They only thing left to say is make this. Seriously. Make it. This sandwich is one of the best meals I've eaten in my life time- my mom and friends can vouch for that because it is THAT delicious :)
Crockpot BBQ pulled pork:
Ingredients: (serves 6)
4 lbs pork butt (shoulder)
1 1/2 cups water
One 10 oz bottle BBQ sauce (I used Bone Suckin’ sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
Thick BBQ sauce, for serving
Season the pork with salt & pepper and throw it in the crockpot with the water and BBQ sauce. Cook on low for at least 8 hours then but the crockpot (with the meat & liquid in it) in the fridge overnight. The next morning, cook it on high for about 2 hours (or until it’s super tender) and shred it with a fork. Add a little bit of the cooking liquid in with the shredded pork as well as some fresh (thick) BBQ sauce and serve!
Homemade Pretzel Rolls:
Original recipe from My Life As A Mrs. who adapted it from Tasty Kitchen
Ingredients: (makes 8)
1 ½ cup warm water (110°F)
1 package active dry yeast (not instant rise yeast)
2 teaspoons sugar
4-½ cups unbleached all-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted
¼ cups baking soda
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Pretzel salt (coarse salt), for sprinkling
In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the dough hook attachment), add the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let rest 5-10 minutes until foamy (mine didn’t look all that foamy but still turned out).
Add the flour, salt, and melted butter and mix using the dough hook until combined well. Cover with a plastic wrap (or a towel) and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk (again, mine didn’t look like it rose all that much, but turned out amazingly). Punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured clean surface.
Line 1 large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Cut the dough into 8 pieces (4 1/2 – 5 ounces each). To shape the dough “take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.”
Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. I like to stagger mine: 2 rolls side by side, then one down one row but between the two in the top row… Then 2 more side by side, followed by one down a row but between the 2 in the top row… etc (this will fit all 8 on one cookie sheet). Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes until they rise & double (mine didn’t rise a whole lot).
Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven rack in the middle position. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the baking soda (I dumped mine in and it boiled up and overflowed all over my stove – lesson learned! hah) place back on heat and lower to a simmer.
Place 2-3 of the rolls at a time into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds and then carefully turn the roll over and poach for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely & then prinkle each roll with a little pretzel salt. Using a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash (or 2) -or- an “X” shape in the top of each roll. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot!
Enjoy your 4th guys! :)