Monday, December 28, 2009

Down Home First Attempt

I have a couple of friends that just moved here from Memphis, Tennessee, and if you read my previous post, you may remember that that is where my favorite Food Network couple, the Neelys, are from. A little background behind this recipe day I was watching the Neelys and they made BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos that looked amazing, but I never took the time to actually make them because I looked up the recipe and it took a long time to make your own pulled pork, BBQ sauce, etc, and I just didn't feel like going through that much trouble for nachos. My two friends from Memphis, Megan and Daniel, came over soon after and were talking about how Memphis serves these BBQ Nachos at all sporting events and claimed they were quite possibly the greatest nachos ever. Ergo, I wanted to make them even more.

My new Neelys cookbook had the pulled pork recipe in it, along with their homemade BBQ sauce and dry rub, so no more excuses, I knew I had to make it. With a $50 gift card to Target that I got for Christmas, I went to Target in search of a crock pot. Now, the Neelys recipe actually says to "slow cook" the BBQ on a smoker, but I weighed the odds of me actually using a crockpot vs. a smoker (after making this recipe)and decided I would probably get more use out of a crockpot than a smoker. Smart decision? I say so.

After my Target excursion, I made a list of ingredients I needed for the recipe and set off for the store. Things I did not have in my spice collection: paprika, onion powder, and dry mustard (shameful, I know). I bought an 8 lb. Boston Butt for my recipe, which said pork shoulder would also work, but my local grocery store only had one option, thank goodness. Next on my list, tortilla chips and some generic cheese sauce to pour over the nachos. I'm still not sure how I feel about the generic cheese sauce...cheese in a jar? Didn't sound that good and not very "chef-y" of me, but I went with it because that's what the recipe called for and to my surprise, it was actually really good on top of these nachos. Maybe if I'm feeling ambitious one day, I'll try to make my own velvety cheese sauce, but for now, my first pulled pork mission was enough of a challenge.

First recipe to make, Neelys' dry rub-3 simple ingredients, I couldn't believe it. Rubbed it all over the pork then put in the refrigerator for the night. Then I set to work on the homemade BBQ sauce, whose base ingredient was ketchup!

This is the sauce simmering for 3-4 hours on the stove.'s so so good.
The next morning I put my pork butt in the slow cooker and let it cook on low for 8 hours. It took a long time, but well worth the wait. Once it pulled apart easily, I shredded the pork with two forks, then put it back in the crockpot with the juice that cooked off of it and a little bbq sauce and let it simmer a little bit longer. Here's a picture of the shredded pork, although I don't think it looks very appetizing by itself.

And now for the assembled product. The infamous Neelys BBQ Nachos. First step, layer tortilla chips on a plate. I chose some thicker chips that would hold up with all the weight of the meat and cheese, so I used "On the Border Restaurant Style Chips." Second step, pile pulled pork on top of chips. Third step, pour BBQ sauce over pork. Fourth step, pour melted cheese sauce over all of these layers. Fifth step, sprinkle with Neely's dry rub seasoning. Last and final step, eat and be amazed.

I still haven't figured out how to put words that when you click on them go to the recipe, but I'm still learning. So for now, if you go to the Food Network website, you can find all of these recipes to try for yourself!

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