Tag Archives: brussels sprouts

Roast Pork with Onions and Apples

pork plated

When I drive into town I always pass this little building with a big black smoker sitting next to it.  Often times the air is filled with a smokey BBQ smell and the sign says  “BBQ PORK BUTT”.  I don’t know about you, but pork butt just doesn’t sound very appealing to me. 🙂  After my friend Ginger told me about a delicious pork butt she made, I had to say “exactly what is pork butt?”  Turns out we had to Google it to get the facts.  Pork butt, also known as Boston butt is a cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the shoulder from the front leg and may contain the blade bone.  Smoked Boston butt, which is then pulled from the bone and served with or in a spicy sauce is what is commonly referred to in the American Deep South as Barbecue.

pork butt half

Oh!  Pork shoulder roast, that I am familiar with.  Next trip to the market I had pork on my mind.  The butt or shoulder roast usually comes in a 10 lb. chunk or more.  Since this is waaaay too much meat for us at one cooking, I cut this in half and put 5 lbs. in the freezer for another day.

apples basket
My sous chef dish-washing mom really likes apples with pork.  I started out with apples of a couple different varieties.  Any apple will work in this recipe but Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala or a Pink Lady will give you exceptional flavor.

peeled pearl onions

I had a bag of pearl onions on hand so I used them. You can use what you have on hand, white or yellow or pearly! The pearl onions are cooked for a couple of minutes in boiling water to get the skins to slide off easily.

pork butt bbq

I am not fond of browning meat on the stove-top when I can give it a good turn on the BBQ grill.  I get a beautiful result with the added benefit of a bit of natural smokey flavoring.

pork crock pot

From the grill I placed the meat in my crock pot. I mixed up orange juice, pineapple juice, beef stock, brown sugar, minced garlic and salt and pepper.  Along with the apples and onions I poured this over the meat, covered it and cooked it on HIGH for 2 hours. At the end of 2 hours I turned it to LOW and continued to let it cook for the rest of the day, about 5 hours.

shredding pork roast

The fragrance that filled the house was amazing.  First time the Chief walked through mid-afternoon he said, “Wow, what are you cooking? That smells incredible!”  Later in the afternoon my sous chef dish-washing mom came to see what all the excitement was about in the kitchen.  By then I had pulled the pork from the crock pot and it practically shredded apart in my hands.

I did have a little trouble at this point.  Shred some, eat some, shred some, nibble a bit, shred some, …. you get the point.  I couldn’t keep this stuff out of my mouth! Oh my gosh this is good! 🙂

pecan wild rice

I decided on wild rice to go along with the pork.  I browned some lovely fresh pecans, added in the wild rice, chicken stock, and set it to simmering.

pork roast plate

While the rice and a dish of Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin were cooking, I took the liquid containing the cooked apples and onions and drained off the grease that had cooked out of the meat.  Then I placed it in a saucepan, cooking it over medium heat to reduce and thicken it.  Just before dinner was ready I added a bit of cornstarch to thicken it to a gravy consistency, albeit a chunky gravy/sauce because of the cooked apples and onions.

pulled pork plated

I served the sauce over the meat.  I can barely finish writing this post because my mouth is watering for a taste of this luscious meal again!  Pork butt is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat and one large roast will serve a crowd!

Bon Appétit!  Or as we say down south, “Ya’ll come and get it!”

“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.” Erma Bombeck

Happy Cooking! Catherine!
P.S. Skip to the bottom of the recipe for a bonus picture!

Roast Pork with Onions and Apples
Prep time
Total time
Feed the family or feed a crowd, pulled pork is a pleaser!
  • Pork butt roast
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1½ cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 3 whole apples, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 bag pearl onions, peeled, or 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • corn starch for thickening, as needed
  1. Heat BBQ grill on high for 10 minutes. Turn down to medium heat.
  2. Salt and pepper roast and place on BBQ grill. Brown on each side for 5 to 7 minutes (20 minutes total). Remove from grill and place in BBQ crock pot.
  3. While meat is on the grill, slice apples and peel onions. Add to juice, stock, sugar, and minced garlic. Mix well. Pour meat in the crock pot.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours. Turn heat to LOW and continue cooking for 4 to 5 hours.
  5. When the meat is done, remove roast from crock pot and shred. Cover with foil and set aside.
  6. Take the liquid containing the cooked apples and onions and drain off the grease that had cooked out of the meat.
  7. Placed the liquid in a saucepan, cooking it over medium heat to reduce and thicken it.
  8. If needed add cornstarch into ¼ cup cold water.
  9. Just before serving add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it to a gravy consistency, albeit a chunky gravy/sauce because of the cooked apples and onions.
  10. Serve sauce over pulled pork.

My brother John and his wife Jeanne are masters at creating a BBQ Pulled Pork that melts in your mouth.  While I was writing this blog post he sent this picture he had just taken of the grill!  Thanks for sharing John!
john's pork butt


Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Au Gratin

sprous au gratin spoonedLast fall The Brown Eyed Baker shared a recipe for Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin.  I liked the look of the recipe and filed it on my to-do list.  All I can say is this — oh my gosh! My sous-chef dish-washing mom does not eat Brussels sprouts – until now. Once I fixed this recipe mom was all in!

brussel sproutsI started out with these lovely little b. sprouts.  Since I thought only two of us would be eating this side dish I made only half a recipe.  Rookie mistake. 🙁 Once the b. sprouts are cleaned they are tossed together with cooked bacon, melted butter, salt and pepper.  The original recipe calls for adding uncooked bacon and letting it cook during roasting.  I prefer to cook the bacon first — you decide.

brussels augratin bacon The sprouts are arranged in a single layer in a baking dish and baked for 25 minutes.  During the baking the b. sprouts roast and turn a wonderful toasty brown color.  Meanwhile a luscious topping of Panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, butter, salt and pepper is mixed together.

Sprouts gratin cheeseAfter the first baking, Half  & Half  is poured over all the sprouts and the topping is sprinkled evenly over the sprouts. A second baking finishes the dish when the half & half gets all bubbly and the topping is golden.  The fragrance in the house will call everyone to the table! The recipe calls for heavy cream but I lightened it up with Half & Half and it turned out beautifully.  Healthified?  Hmmm, I believe I just healthified this recipe! 🙂
baked au gratin sproutsI’ve already made this again and this time I made the full recipe! Smart. 🙂

Happy Cooking,

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Au Gratin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Roasted, creamy, crunchy and complete with bacon and Panko crumbs. You will never serve Brussels sprouts simply steamed again!
Serves: 8
For the Brussels Sprouts
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 6 ounces bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Half & Half
For the Topping
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. with rack in middle position.
  2. Remove outer leaf layers of the Brussels sprouts, slice off the stem ends. Wash and set aside to drain.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss together the Brussels sprouts, cooked bacon, melted butter, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer in a 9" x 13" baking dish sprayed with canola oil (or your favorite spray.) Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toss together all of the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl; set aside.
  5. Remove baking dish from the oven and pour the Half & Half over top of the Brussels sprouts; use a spoon to toss together, ensuring all of the sprouts are coated in the cream. Arrange them again in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the Brussels Sprouts. Return to the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the cream is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker.





Brussels Sprout Slaw with Glazed Pecans In A Mustard Dressing

When You Want To Be Understanding

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.   Jeremiah 33:3

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Ephesians 5:17

COMING TOMORROW — START OF MY DECEMBER BAKING SPREE!  I am so excited about the recipes for this season.  As if I am not excited enough — I am doubly excited about a giveaway I am doing during December.  Do you like cookbooks?  Do you have a cookbook collection?  Do you buy a cookbook just to look at the pictures?  I have four different wonderful cookbooks that I want to giveaway in December.  But, I need your help! In order to be registered for the drawing, I need you to subscribe to this blog and then leave a comment on the designated drawing day.  For instance, next Monday (December 5) I will post a picture of the first book to be given away.  All you need to do is leave a comment that day to be entered in to the drawing.  The “catch” is that we need to have 25 comments in order to give the book away.  I ask you to get your friends, co-workers, mom, neighbor, anyone connected to cyberspace, to also leave a comment so that we can get at least 25 and give away the book!!!  Easy as that!  So get busy telling your friends to sign up, comment and let’s give away some cookbooks!

One of my favorite foodie sites is Brown-Eyed Baker.  Recently she posted a recipe for Brussels sprout slaw.  We love Cole slaw and I thought this sounded like a great new twist on an old dish.  Turns out I was right.  Not only is the dish colorful and tasty but the maple glazed pecans make the whole thing pop!  I made two changes in the recipe the first adding a little bit of mayo to the mustard dressing.
The second change, I added broccoli straws mixed with a little red cabbage.  I think it made for a perfect combination.  I hope you do too!

Taking a quick look back to last month, remember these?

Many Blessings and Happy Cooking!

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Glazed Pecans In A Mustard Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A new twist on Cole Slaw this colorful dish is made with Brussels sprouts, broccoli straws, and maple glazed pecans!
Serves: 8
Glazed pecans
  • 1 cup Pecan halves or pieces
Glazed Pecans
  • ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
Glazed pecans
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Canola Oil
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
  • 2 cup Broccoli straws
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a sheet of foil on a cookie sheet and spray lightly with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, whisk maple syrup, ½ teaspoon Kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper together. Add nuts. Mix well. Spread on foil lined cookie sheet. Bake nuts for 5 minutes. Toss and bake for another 6 minutes until nuts are toasted and glaze is bubbling. Cool completely. This step can be done up to 2 days ahead.
  2. Whisk mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and salad dressing in a small bowl; whisk in oil. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Set Aside.
  3. Wash and trim Brussels sprouts.
  4. Bring large pot of water to boil with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add Brussels sprouts. Cook until tender-crisp and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water. Cool on paper towels.
  5. Using a food processor fitted with ⅛ to ¼" slicing disk, slice Brussels sprouts. (You can also use a sharp knife to slice thinly.) Transfer to bowl. DRESSING and Brussels sprouts can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.
  6. Toss Brussels sprouts and broccoli straws with dressing. Let marinate 30 to 60 minutes.
  7. Mix in some pecans. Place slaw in a serving bowl. Top with remaining pecans.
1- Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit via Brown Eyed Baker, some changes made from original recipe.
2- Broccoli straws can be purchased in produce section or made by thinly cutting broccoli stalk into thin strips.
3- Salad dressing or mayonnaise sweetens the dressing just slightly making a perfect blend for the dressing.
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