Pulled Pork in cola with a side of Sautéed Kale

pulled pork sandwich and kale

The Lenten fish fries have become a rich source of recipes from our enthusiastic foodie friends. Like this method for making pulled pork using cola, which our friend John shared. After John described how he soaked pork in cola and slowly cooked it, I went to the National Pork Board’s site and checked out their version and then came up with my own.
I also decided it was time I put a big toe (not literally) into the kale waters. Dr. Oz is always talking about how much he loves kale and I had never tried it. At the grocery store I found a handsome young produce stocker. (One who stocks produce, not one who stocks shoppers squeezing the strawberries and spinach.) He recommended a bag of kale already chopped and ready to enjoy. Perfect. Next I checked out Dr. Oz’s recipes and got his site’s instructions on how to cook it. And voila, an interesting new vegetable that went well with the pork sandwich. Dr. Oz’s website also says, “Kale is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese and fiber.”
That’s impressive, even tho I have no idea what manganese is, but I assume it’s not at all like mayonnaise.

pork ready to slowly cook

after 5 hours

Note: to decrease the amount of fat, you may want to make this a day ahead of time. After the meat is cooked, put the meat and sauce into the fridge. The fat will rise to the top and form a thick layer that you can peel off. Then just reheat the meat and it’s ready to go.
2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (or pork loin)
1 onion chopped
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic powder
12 oz cola – (Use regular not diet; the sugar is part of the magic.)
1 cup bbq sauce – I used Cookie’s

meat falls apart

return pork to sauce

wash kale leaves

saute kale and garlic in olive oil

pile on the pork

Cut the roast in half lengthwise to allow the flavors to really seep into it.
Rub salt and garlic powder into the roast.
Sprinkle with the chopped onions,
Pour bbq sauce over the roast and then pour on the cola.
Cook in slow cooker on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 10 hours.
Take the meat out and pull it with a fork to separate.
Return the meat to the slow cooker to soak up the juice for a few minutes.
Serve on buns.

Sautéed Kale Ingredients
Serves 2-3
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, rinsed, stems removed and torn in medium-sized pieces (Or 4-6 cups pieces of kale.)
1/4 cup water, or more as needed
1/4 tsp Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper and sauté until garlic is fragrant but not browned. (Oz says, “Be careful not to burn garlic, as it will give the greens an acrid taste.”)
Add kale, water, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until just wilted but still bright green.
Oz recommended nutmeg and lemon zest, which I skipped.

The pulled pork was sweet and tangy and literally melted in our mouths. The kale was flavorful and crunchy, so it was a great combination.

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