February 15, 2017

Barbecue and Beans

Being a bachelor and cooking for one has some unique challenges, not the least of which is portion size.  It's actually a challenge to make a varied, balanced meal for one... Yes, it's easy to cook a single chicken breast or pork chop or steak.  But what about the side dishes?  Ever try making au gratin potatoes without having enough to feed four?  What about the vegetable?  A can of green beans is enough for two at the minimum.  Because of this, I find myself cooking in volume, and using small plastic tubs like these to store extras in the freezer:

The other day, due to an aching back and some lousy weather, I found myself spending a weekend indoors.  Having a bone-in pork shoulder roast, I set to making some shredded pork barbecue and baked beans:

The night before, soak a pound of dry pinto beans in plenty of water in your refrigerator.  Also, make up some barbecue rub if you don't have some already:

Barbecue Rub:
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar

Mix them all together in an air tight bag, store in the freezer to keep dry.

Generously rub down a medium bone-in pork shoulder roast with the rub, place the roast into your crock pot, add a cup or two of water, and put on low heat.  Come back in 8 hours or so, the pork should be fall apart tender and cooked.  Remove the meat to a pan, let it cool just a bit, then remove the bone and shred well.  Add your favorite barbecue sauce, and enjoy.

In your crock pot, you've still got the juices from the pork shoulder.  Don't throw that out!  It's going to come in useful shortly...

Those pintos you've had soaking overnight?  Drain and rinse well, then add them to the crock pot with the pork shoulder juice.  Add a quantity sufficient of water to cover the beans, and put the heat on low again.  About 8 hours later, the beans should be cooked.  NOW you can strain off that liquid and portion out your beans.  I like to add some shredded pork to each container of beans, but that's just me.

All in all, this netted me five plastic containers each of beans and barbecue pork.  Each container of pork is about 4 or 5 sandwiches, give or take, depending on how much meat I put on each one.  

I kept one container of each in the fridge for dinners/lunches the coming week, and the rest are in the freezer, which means I've got at LEAST 8 meals out of it.

1 comment:

Sevesteen said...

I used to use those containers, but I'd wind up with slightly different versions with lids that were visually similar but physically incompatible. I've switched to deli containers from a local restaurant supply place (GFS Marketplace). 8 oz, 12 oz, 16 oz and 32 oz, all with the same lid. You need a bit of space, since they come 25 or 50 to a pack, but they nest, and they are cheap.