JEFF TIEDEMAN: Pulling on the ritzSlow-cooked pot roasts make perfect fare for shredding.
I can’t think of a better combination than meat and barbecue sauce. This long-held belief of mine was confirmed at last summer’s rib fest in Oslo, Minn., at which I had the pleasure of helping judge.
Since I do a lot of hunting and am fairly successful, we don’t buy a lot of meat. One of my favorite ways to cook wild game is in homemade barbecue sauce. (See recipe at www. grandforksherald.com/event/tag/group/Life/tag/food/.) And the type of meat doesn’t matter.
One of my specialties is barbecued pheasant. I find this is an excellent way to use the meat from the legs and thighs of the popular upland game bird. I like to poach the meat, let it cool and then pull the meat off the bones. (Hunters know that there are a lot of small bones in a pheasant leg, but the time it takes to strip the meat off is well worth it.)
I also like to slow-cook elk, venison and buffalo roasts in homemade barbecue sauce. After the meat has cooked in a 325-degree oven for about two to three hours and starts to fall apart, I take it out of my Dutch oven, shred it with a couple of forks and return it to the pot with the sauce for another half-hour to an hour of cooking. Then, it’s served on buns or bread or put over a baked potato.
(Sometimes, when I haven’t had the foresight to take the roast out of the freezer to thaw, we cook it in the barbecue sauce for about four hours at 275 degrees.)
Leftover roasts also work great. A friend of mine, Mark Young, likes to combine leftover elk roast and barbecue sauce in a pan on the stove and cook it until the flavors meld. Others I know who don’t want to take the time to cook a pot roast buy precooked, microwavable beef or pork roasts that are available near the meat case in many supermarkets. (They heat up the roast, shred it and combine it barbecue sauce.)
One type of meat that I do buy for barbecuing is pork. But while I have cooked country-style and baby-back pork ribs in barbecue sauce many times, my first time with a roast was just a week or so ago.
On one of my bird hunting trips this past fall, I picked up a couple of nice pork ham roasts — along with 5 pounds of smoked bacon —from my friend, Al Ekness, who with his son operates a small store in Westby, Mont. Al raises his own pigs, butchers them and sells the meat in the store.
My intention was to cook one of the roasts like my mom used to when I was growing up, browning it first in some butter to seal in the juices and then roasting it in a 325- to 350-degree oven for a couple of hours.
I hadn’t decided what to do with the other one until a couple of Sundays ago, when my thoughts turned to making some pulled or shredded pork, the kind that you can find on a lot of restaurant menus these days, often served on small buns and called sliders.
Despite seldomly using store-bought barbecue sauce — though there are a lot of good ones on the market — for this roast I decided to supplement my own with a pint jar of some that we had won in at a silent auction at last summer’s Humane Society fundraiser at Touch of Magic in East Grand Forks. It was made by Dennis Narlock, also known as Chef Nardane.
It was a good choice. We feasted on the pork for several days. To me, it kept getting better, just like most meats cooked in a sauce do.
If you don’t believe me, you be the judge.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.