One of the hardest adjustments I've had to make with living here in Germany is not having access to American staples. You don't realize how much you rely on those staples, until you move somewhere they aren't, like enchillada verdes, lump crab cakes, or pit beef. And, so, in lieu of not having them here, I've learned how to cook them. Well at least some of them. Not planning on making my own lumb crab cakes anytime soon.
Pulled Pork is one of the things I've learned how to cook. The first time I made North Carolina Style Pulled Pork, I made it for friends, an Australian mom and German dad. It was a trial run of the pulled pork I wanted to make for our first (and last) annual Halloween Bash, a decidedly American holiday. At the time I was pregnant with Maggie, and the smell of pork butt roasting in the kitchen all day long, made me extremely ill.
It was a long time after that, before I could even stomach the thought of doing it again, and I ended up making chili for the Halloween party in the end, but every year when I return home, I go visit the local BBQ shack by my parents house, and I eat plenty of pulled pork BBQ. In lieu of making pulled pork, I started making pulled chicken, faster with a much less offensive smell, and still delicious with Carolina Sauce, a mustard and vinegar based BBQ sauce.
This week, perhaps because I've been feeling a bit nostalgic, I decided to make pulled pork again, only this time instead of roasting it in the oven, I roasted it in a slow cooker, and lo and behold, the smell didn't make me ill at all. When I went to make the Best Carolina BBQ Meat Sauce, I realized a few key ingredients were low or missing in my kitchen, mainly apple cider vinegar and beer. So, I completely eliminated the beer, but I substituted a 3-1 ratio of red wine vinegar and water for the apple cider vinegar, adding a splash of apple sauce to give it that apple goodness and an extra spoonful of horseradish since I was low on mustard.
Eating it not only helped clean out my sinuses, but its nostalgia inducing quality takes me home for just a few moments.