Holiday weekends are meant to be relaxing and full of joy. While many are, the reason behind Memorial Day is quite a somber one: we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We are able to enjoy these freedoms because of the burdens these individuals carried for us. As a mother, I know how grateful I am for these freedoms, and that my daughter can enjoy them, too, is not something I take for granted. THANK YOU. To all of those braver than I in the battles fought for our country, we do not forget your sacrifice.
My Memorial Day was spent grilling out, with family, friends, and some pool action in Birmingham, AL. For those of you who haven't been, it has quite the budding foodie community, and has received various accolades this past year alone. Having first visited there early last year, I did not expect to like the city as much as I do, and I definitely did not anticipate eating as well as I do there. We kicked off the weekend at El Barrio. This translates to "The Neighborhood", and that it is. With Mexican-inspired cuisine and a hipster-buzz that made sitting at the bar feel like dining with family, I want this to be my 'hood. There were no strangers there.
Speaking of dining with family, if you're looking for that dish that will cook itself and be a crowd-pleaser every time, this pork is the one for you. Marinate, sear, and the slow cooker will take care of the rest. With a 5-year-old, the slow cooker might as well be my husband. Personally, I go heavier on the marinade, but a dab'll do ya, especially if you marinate overnight. For those guests who prefer low-sodium, like my parents, abide by the recipe; you can always top your serving with more Mama's Mojo for added flavor, or Papa's Mojo for heat-lovers. Take this anywhere for a warm reception!
3 tablespoons Sweet Babs™ Mama's Mojo (or more to taste)
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into fist-sized chunks
3 tablespoons canola oil
1-1 1/2 cups water
Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Season: Pierce pork chunks with a fork or sharp knife in various places. In a large bowl, sprinkle lightly with salt, and rub with Sweet Babs™ Mama's Mojo. Rub the seasoning into the pork with your fingers so the meat is evenly coated on all sides. Cover and let sit for approximately 4 hours, or overnight.
- Sear: Warm the oil in the Dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat. Brush the garlic off of the pork into the bowl, then set bowl aside. Sear the pork on all sides, working in batches as necessary so as not to crowd the pan.
- Cook: Transfer the seared pork into a slow cooker set on high. Add water to the bowl with the remaining Mama's Mojo, and pour into the slow cooker with pork, adding salt and additional Mama's Mojo to taste. Cover and cook on high for approximately 3 hours. Pork will be fork tender, and fall apart. Reserve liquid for serving.
- Serve: Shred it, dip in reserved juices, and serve. Top with Sweet Babs™ Mama's Mojo or Papa's Mojo™, and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Enjoy!
A few serving suggestions:
Serve traditionally with rice, beans, and roasted vegetables, or yucca topped with Mama's Mojo, for a balanced meal.
Serve pulled-pork style on a bun, top with Mama's Mojo, our up-coming Mela's Mojo™ (cilantro) or your favorite barbecue sauce for a flavor combo that is out-of-this-world.
Serve on Texas Toast, drizzle with Matty's Mojo™ (recipe below), and top with cabbage slaw.
1/2 cup Mama's Mojo
1/2 cup ranch dressing
- Mix both ingredients until blended well.
- Cover and refrigerate to combine flavors.
- Serve drizzled over your favorite protein, sandwich, salad, or use as a dipping sauce.