Not sure if you’ve heard or seen any Draft Kings or FanDuel commercials, but it’s football season! It’s still crazy to me that there are only two days between the end of football weekend and the beginning. Even the worst Thursday Night Football is better than none at all.
Football is a big deal in our house. I’ve been watching since I was a child and Jay is a huge fan. I’m not even going to tell you how many hours combined we spend on our Fantasy Football teams.
(Apparently not enough, because the Koman house hasn’t won a Fantasy Super Bowl in years.)
Not going to lie, as I get older, the sport is getting harder and harder to watch. As more reports on CTE and the long-term damage the sport does, it affirms that hypothetical, future Kid Koman will not be suiting up for the gridiron.
And don’t get me started on the league’s treatment of women…
But you didn’t come here to hear me soapbox about football. You came to read about food. And this, my friends, is one of my favorite game day foods: my Ultimate Pulled Pork Nachos.
Our beautiful friends Meg, Bryan and their sweet baby boy Max are departing DC (tear), so before they left, we hosted them for a Sunday of games, pulled pork nachos and red velvet cookies (recipe to come!).
If you have ever been to any social event where I have brought food, chances are high that you’ve had my pulled pork. Don’t read this next part, smoker enthusiasts, but yes, I make it in the crockpot. Hopefully, by spring 2016 we will be making it in a smoker. But for now, a little rub, the right liquids, and a few hours will have people raving about your amazing pulled pork.
After tiring of eating it on sandwiches, I decided to throw it on some nachos one day. Like all nachos, you can do whatever you want. My go-to toppings are pickled onions, pickled jalapeños, black beans, green onions, cilantro, cheese and PULLED PORK! I top it off with a little barbecue sauce and an avocado crema that you will fall in love with.
While it’s not difficult, I fully recognize that there are a billion steps in this. They are, after all my ULTIMATE PULLED PORK NACHOS. But feel free to remove a step. Just want raw onions and jalapeños and don’t have time to make a crema? All good! Yes, making pulled pork is a commitment, but it’s a delicious one. Make sure to give yourself enough time to make this recipe. Recipe below!
Ingredients for Pulled Pork
- 1 pork shoulder (sometimes called a butt. 4-5 lbs, will feed 4-6 people. Need more, buy bigger!)
- 1/3 c brown sugar
- 3 tbsp seasoned salt (don’t have seasoned salt, use regular, but then next time at the store do yourself a favor and pick up some Lawry’s)
- 2 tsp of paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp of cayenne powder
- Black Pepper
- 1 onion, sliced
- ½ cup of apple cider vinegar (if you really like vinegary bbq, you can increase this. I like a slight tang, but that’s it)
- 1 can of beer (you have flexibility with what kind – stick with something light and not too much flavor – PBR, Tecate, Bud, Miller, etc. Don’t put a peanut butter stout in your pulled pork).
1. Mix the brown sugar, 2 tbsp of seasoned salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper. Taste it to adjust, I swear it’s not weird. I like mine to be a good mix of sweet and salty.
2. Put some plastic wrap down and place your pork shoulder on there . Cover alllllll sides of your meat with the rub. Really massage it in there, like you LOVE it. Then wrap your pork in the wrap so that rub can really settle in. Place it in a bowl (it will leak) and pop it in the fridge. I like to let this sit for about 8 hours, but if you’re short on time, just pull it when you’re ready.
3. When ready, place the meat and the sliced onions in the crock pot. Pour in the beer and apple cider vinegar. Add water, just until the meat is covered.
4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Check on it, move it, flip it around. Don’t be scared of your meat, guys.
5. When the pork is done (tender, easily pulls apart), separate from liquid, reserving some juices for later. Pick through the meat and take out any super fatty, grisly pieces. No one wants to eat those.
6. I like to season with a little more seasoned salt and brown sugar. If you have extra rub, feel free to throw it in there. If you are saucing, this is the perfect time to do so. For sandwiches, place on bun and voila! This is also a great party food. I like to serve it with a slaw or crispy onions. But if you’re doing nachos, keep it going!
Ingredients for Nachos (Remember, these are your nachos – add, remove whatever you want!)
- Already made Pulled Pork
- 1 bag of Tortilla Chips
- 1 Pickled Red Onion
- 2-3 Pickled Jalapeños
- (To pickle the vegetables, I use Dave Leibovitz’s recipe. The sugar and vinegar are necessities, but I rarely have all of the other spices he mentions, so I typically throw some peppercorns and bay leaf in there and call it a day. I use this method for jalapeños as well, but I do remove the seeds and slice them first. Delicious!)
- 2 cups of cheese (For ultimate, I go half queso fresco and half shredded Mexican blend…I like a lot of cheese. Don’t judge me.)
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained.
- 2-3 chopped scallions
- 1/2 bunch of Cilantro, chopped
- Avocado Crema (People, if you love yourselves, you will make this and store it in your fridge. It makes for an amazing dressing, dip and topping. I will feature more recipes with it in the future)
- Barbecue Sauce of your choice
- Turn your broiler to high.
- If you like saucy pulled pork, go ahead and sauce it up (but not too much – we’re not going for soggy chips here).
- Put a layer of chips down in a 9×11 pyrex dish. Layer the pork, black beans, and pickled veggies. Top it off with both cheeses. Place under broiler for 4-6 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, you don’t want it to burn.
- Remove from the oven, top with crema, more barbecue sauce (if you desire) and cilantro. Serve to your guests and make them fall in love with you!
PS – Upcoming posts! Fall and the holidays are upon us! I will be featuring some of my holiday favorites such as my ridiculous macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pies and apple cake. Hell, I might even do a few pumpkin things to keep the husband happy!
PPS – I have started getting my groceries delivered from Relay Foods. I know, I know. But the convenience is so delightful. I will feature some recipes using items they sent. Their produce boxes are so fun. If you’d like to give Relay a try, use this link to get yourself $30 off.