I have a few more recipes to post before 2013 ends. I’m determined to start 2014 with a clean slate and no recipes carried over. New recipe adventures ahead! And, weirdly, I have two separate ones for pulled pork that I tried this year. I may post them both today. This first one is from Cook’s Country, and it was pretty good. In no universe am I claiming to be making real, full-on pulled pork in a smoker. But sometimes I just get a hankering for this dish, which is one of the things I miss the most from my time living in the South in college. This one is great because it’s a small-batch recipe. Even though it’s made for two, I still had some leftovers. Which was fine with me. I made this back in April, which just goes to show how slow I’ve been to post goodies this year. I sense a resolution coming about that.

Pulled Pork for Two (from Cook’s Country)
Serves 2

Use pork blade chops that are 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. This recipe makes enough for 2 deli-style large sandwich buns or 4 regular soft hamburger buns.

3 pounds bone-in blade-cut pork chops (see note)
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 slices bacon, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar

BROWN PORK Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Cut chops away from bones and slice meat into 1-inch-thick strips (I cubed mine because I do not always read the directions closely). Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper in bowl. Pat pork dry with paper towels and rub with spice mixture.


Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate.


Brown pork in 2 batches, 3 to 4 minutes per side, and transfer to second plate.



BRAISE PORK Add onion to pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Stir in ketchup, vinegar, and remaining brown sugar, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to boil.



Return bacon and browned pork and any accumulated juices to pot.


Transfer to oven and braise, covered, until pork is fork-tender, about 1½ hours.

SHRED PORK Transfer pork to bowl and, using 2 forks, shred into bite-size pieces.


Return pork to Dutch oven and toss to combine.