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Posts Tagged ‘Pulled Pork’

Cuban Pork Roast Recipe


I had this girlfriend from Barcelona  who had many charms and talents, not the least of which was in the kitchen.  On occasion, she would make me a traditional dish, which I have long forgotten the name of –  it was cubed chunks of porks heavily encrusted with herbs.   It was delicious, especially served with her family’s version of patatas bravas.

(Funny, I’ve traveled all over the world, and nearly the best Spanish food / tapas I have ever had was at a joint in Amsterdam.  At least I think so.  Too much “coffee” prior to dinner may have influenced my opinion.)  (Warning:  do not attempt to negotiate the stairs to the bathroom in that place if you aren’t 100% “right.”)

Now that you know all that, this recipe is nothing like hers, but it’s good, nonetheless, and turns a quite ordinary event into a culinary masterpieces.  Spoiler alert?  It does take some advance planning.

Cuban Braised Pork Shoulder

Total preparation time 42 hours!!!!!


Crock pot


3 pound pork shoulder or butt


  • 1/2 C fresh oregano
  • 1/4 C fresh parsley
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 ½ T sea salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste, is an option


Using a mortar and pestle (or mini Cuisineart), grind the ingredients above together into a thick paste:

Make a series of deep crosshatch -cuts into a 3 pound  pork roast (shoulder best, butt second choice) , and rub the paste well into the meat, covering as much of the surface as you can.

Cover, refrigerate for 24 hours.

Place in a crock pot with 2 more T of vinegar and cup of water.

Cook on low, for 18 hours. Turn ONE time during cooking, otherwise leave that F&*((&&  lid on!

Remove from pot, let rest on cutting board for 20 minutes. The roast will fall apart easily, into larger pieces or shredded, as you desire to serve.

Serve with roasted potatoes or black beans and rice.

Leftovers? “Cuban” pulled pork sandwiches!

What I thought was ultra-cool about this method, tho I was hesitant to leave anything in a crock pot for 18 hours, was that the liquid eventually evaporates and some of the bits of pork get crusty edges and tips (second photo below), much like if it had been done on a smoker or grill.   Come to think of it, if one desired, they might add a dash of liquid smoke.


Crock pot pork roast

Herb paste rub into roast


Crock pot pork roast

18 hour pork result





pork roast recipe slow cooker


Elgin, IL – Elgin Pit BBQ Review


Elgin Pit BBQ ReviewBarbecue isn’t at the top of my list of cravings, but once and awhile, I appreciate some good ‘cue, especially whole hog pulled pork. Mrs. BurgerDogBoy loves it, so we do seek it out from time to time.

Probably the best we’ve ever had was in the ‘barbecue capital’ of Texas, a town called Lockhart, between Houston and Austin. If you enjoy Texas style barbecue, and haven’t been there, go! A close second or tie for first was navigating our way down the North Carolina barbecue trail last year. Many think that our modern style of barbecue was first introduced in North Carolina, and there are a good couple dozen places dating back a hundred years that will try and convince you of that fact.

I’ve had ‘passable’ barbecue here in Portland, at a place that was owned by “Snoop Dog’s” uncle.

“Experts” believe that barbecue is an art, and I have to say I might agree.  The US is home to many different styles of preparation, including Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis, Texas and more.  Some are sauced, some are dry rubbed.  Some in North Carolina have a mustard-based sauce, instead of a tomato one.  I do like that.

I admire anybody that starts a restaurant.  Hard, thankless work, for little chance of success.  Especially when they start a place in a geographical area not particularly known to be a hot bed of that genre, like the Elgin Pit BBQ in Elgin, IL.

They have all the usual offerings and sides, and it can all be ordered ala carte, as a plate dinner, or in combinations.  The “two meat combo,” comes with your choice of two meats (ribs, pork, brisket, sausage, chicken) and two sides.  I opted for take out, and went with chicken and pulled pork, fries and collard greens.   Collard greens ARE one of my top cravings.

Elgin’s are slightly sweet, which is a surprise, as I am used to a thick smoke flavor seasoned with garlic, processed pork, and onion.  Elgin’s are a-ok, not just my preparation preference.

The pulled pork and chicken were excellent.  Chicken was sauced, pork was not.  Both had benefited from hours in the in-house smoker.

Give them a try if you’re passing through the area, or take a drive and pick some up.   In a world of suburbs chock a block full of hot dog and pizza joints, Elgin BBQ Pit is an island of unique flavors.

Here’s their menu.

Elgin Pit Barbecue




Elgin BBQ Pit on Urbanspoon

Elgin Pit BBQ


Portland, OR – Pork Chop City


Pork Chop City Portland OregonWe headed out to pick up some office supplies at the world’s worst location for same, and over hill, over dale, all along the dusty trail, we (at least I) felt like we had missed two meal times in the process, and whipped into the parking lot at 9525 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton, OR, to pause for a light repast.

Pork Chop City has been operating in the neighborhood for a year or so, (with a second location in Florida), and we’d driven by a million times, particularly as I have to zoom into that parking lot on occasion to score some Stroopwaffels for Mrs. Burgerdogboy from the Dutch Import Store.

With a brief menu focusing on all things “Q”, Pork Chop City serves up some of the best smoked meats we’ve had in the Pacific Northwest.  Mrs. Burgerdogboy went with the rib plate,  ginormous meaty pork ribs, with two sides (rice, corn nibs, mac salad, potato salad, baked beans, slaw) and a drink.  Dr. Pepper seemed the perfect beverage for her choice.

I went with the “Simply Wrong” sandwich, nearly a pound and a half of pulled pork and brisket, a mound of slaw on the sandwich, wedged between a heavenly “pub bun.”   The bun was the perfect delivery vehicle, bakery soft, yet firm enough to hold the mound o’ meat.

I loved me some pulled pork, and the boys of Pork Chop City have it down pat.  They also make their own sauces in-house, from a traditional Q sauce to one on the ‘hotter’ side.

I’d only suggest one change, a personal thing only.  Please add a smoked hot link to the menu, and make a version of the “Simply Wrong” into a “Really, Really Wrong”, plopping one of those tasty links on top of the pork!  Please!

You’ll love this place.  They’re mobile, and they do cater.  Their plans include Q dominance of the world and brick and mortars – I have no doubt they will make it.  Since the plate prices (under $10) include the sides and drink, it’s a great value, as well.

Pork Chop City Portland Oregon


Home Cookin’ Test – Tony Romas Pulled Pork BBQ


Tony Romas Pulled Pork Barbecue ReviewI’ve been into a Tony Roma’s once, and it was on the occasion of a group of Chinese I was working with wanting an “authentic American meal”;  the restaurant was in Hong Kong.   No idea what I had to eat that nite, for sure it wasn’t ribs, cause that particular dish is never on my target list of potential dinners out; just not my favorite.

As you have undoubtedly noticed, grocery stores are loading up on branded products from America’s fast casual food chains, and whether you want products named “Taco Bell,” “Fridays”, “Marie Callendars”, “Claim Jumper”, or any other representative samples of the casual dining experience at home, your local grocery is sure to have a wide selection of these types of products.

They are usually puked out of some co-packer factory and licensed by the copyright owner, and such is the case with Tony Roma’s Pulled Pork BBQ, manufactured by Rupari Food Services, with an HQ in Florida, and a factory in suburban Chicago.  Various internet articles called them “purveyors of fine foods to wholesalers, retailers, and restaurant chains,” and one reference called them the largest manufacturer of ribs in the country.

The pulled pork is sold in an 18 oz tub, pre-cooked, ready for the microwave or stove top.  Nutritional information says the tub serves 4.

I always opt for the stove-top heating option, just a personal quirk of mine, and in minutes the meat/sauce was ready for a bun and plating.

I like my pulled pork on a bun one of two ways, with either a mound of cole slaw on top, or dill pickle chips.  No slaw in site, I opted for the latter on this day.

I can’t imagine there would be any economy of scale in having a troop of workers scraping pork roasts with forks to reach what is normally regarded as pulled pork consistency, and the ultra-fine shredded meat in this preparation would lead me to believe that mechanical automation had a hand in separating this meat.

The sauce is thick, smoky, and leans towards the ‘sweet’ recipe of BBQ sauce.  This is probably due to the restaurant’s heritage and Southeastern roots, their first restaurant was in Miami.

The product has a good taste, texture, and is a relatively good value compared to similar grocery offerings.

To make good pulled pork at home is a multi-step, 24 hour operation, and Tony Roma’s product satisfies my urges without the fuss or muss.



Tony Romas Pulled Pork BBQ



Reos Ribs Review – Portland, OR



Reo's Ribs - Portland

This could be subtitled “Uncle Dogg’s Eatery”, because apparently, this master chef is kin folk to the Snoop, and you might guess there is some connection by the 10′ portrait of Mr. Dogg when you walk in the front door.

Makes no never mind to me, I could never figure out why the guy is a celebrity, but I can say that about most “celebrities” these days.

I’m not a rib guy, but if you are a regular reader, you know that. You also know Mrs. BDB loves ribs, but she wasn’t along for the ride. There will probably be less and less about her in these posts, she’s going all organic vegan, maybe she’ll start her own blog!

I ended up at Reo’s because watching an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives the previous day, I had developed a craving for a pulled pork sandwich, watching head clown  Fieri gobble one down somewhere in the Southeast. I love pulled pork, and actually had developed a pretty-fair one made at home on a smoker, prior to leaving Louisiana for the glorious Northwest. They key to great BBQ is low and slow, and there were many nites in swamp land where I would tend the back yard smoker for 12 hours, next to the pool,  under the starry skies, accompanied only by the croaking bullfrogs.

Reo makes a fine mess o’ smoked pulled pork, and the sandwich comes in three different sizes, regular, medium, or large. The waitress explained menu questions in detail, including that the different sizes don’t mean a change in bun-size, but rather, quantity of meat, with the bun-filled for the regular, slightly overflowing for the medium, and gianormously overflowing for the large. We opted for mediums, and all sandwiches (beef, pork, chicken, sausage), come with one of a dozen choices of traditional Southern sides, either hot or cold. These run the gamut from collard greens, to gumbo, mac n cheese, fries, hush puppies, and so on.

One of my fellow diners went with the mac n cheese, the waitress spoke of it so highly. I opted for the fries, tho normally I would choose greens, we’ve cooked up a pile of greens at home from the garden this summer, and I know Dogg’s uncle couldn’t beat Mrs. BDB’s prep of that dish!

The food came quickly, and the servings were ample, as promised. The meat was overflowing the buns, and the smoke odor was thick and pleasant. Caramelized bits of sauce could be seen ringing the meat, but the sandwich was served ‘dry’, not bathed in sauce like some proprietors have a tendency to do.

The meat was tender and smokealicious. The bun bakery fresh and soft, but ample enough to keep the meat in its place. The fries were hot, crispy, salty, and also overflowing the plate.

Reo's Outdoor Smokers

Reo’s offers a full range of typical southern cuisine, with ribs as the highlight, brisket, chicken, and of course the sandwiches and sides. No beer or wine on site, that might be a drawback for some diners. I will definitely be back.

There is a kind of funny sidebar to the story. Reo’s moved to its present John’s landing location from a different area neighborhood, and a great many locals complained about the smoke generated from Reo’s outdoor smokers (photo left). They complained to the city, state, neighbors, media, any one who would listen. Portland is funny about stuff like that. Citizens and governments alike are good at making large issues out of nothing, instead of constructively working towards making the city a better place in areas that matter.

The end result was the agencies couldn’t find any law that had been violated, but in a neighborly fashion, Reo installed giant stacks on his cookers so the smoke would drift away from local homes and commerce. Funny, I’d PAY to have someone pump that delicious smoke in to my house!

Update, 11/2016. They relocated to the other side of the river sometime back: 4211-4225 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213

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Reo's Pulled Pork Sandwich

Reo’s Ribs Pulled Pork Sandwich

Reo's Ribs

Reo’s Ribs

Reos Ribs Review

Reo's Ribs on Urbanspoon,, bu

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