There is a truly beautiful (almost unexplainable) synergy between warm weather and barbecue. As we pack away the last of our wool sweaters, it’s time to unearth all the summertime classics. I personally feel a nostalgic tug when reminiscing on summer cookouts, where everyone had to balance styrofoam plates overflowing with corn on the cob, barbecued chicken and vegetables. I made this particular dish quite some time ago, though better late than never to feature this delicious Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Sweet-and-Smokey Barbecue Sauce.
The genius of this recipe lies in its simplicity. Granted, the sauce has its own tricks, though the pork’s flavor defies logic. The secret is root beer. You probably don’t believe me, and I don’t blame you – I had my own reservations, yet the result was a beautifully tender pork infused with a touch of sweetness from the root beer. I personally splurged on Stewart’s (a personal favorite) for this recipe.
The original recipe only calls for pork, root beer and barbecue sauce, but I threw in a few extra ingredients for the added depth. After nearly 9 hours of cooking, the pork all but melted, it was that tender! It definitely takes a while, but it is definitely worth the wait! You can use any barbecue sauce, though the included recipe is a guaranteed winner – click HERE to make this amazing barbecue pulled pork! I served these with potato rolls and Classic Buttermilk Coleslaw, which most of my friends chose to pile on top of their pork sandwiches – you can find the recipe for this crunchy slaw HERE.
The patience required to make this mouthwatering meal inspired my musical pairing – Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61. Composed towards the end of 1806, the concerto has become a truly iconic work in the violin repertoire. Patience is the name of the game for this concerto. The first movement opens with an orchestral introduction that carries on for nearly 100 bars before the violin entrance – you nearly forget you’re listening to a concerto! The soloist finally emerges, spinning a series of ornamental motifs before settling into the main theme. The second movement captures the listener’s attention through its lyrical essence, suspending time into a realm free of worry or violence. As though waking from a dream, the transition into the Rondo goes without pause. This final movement rewards said patience with its merriment, weaving lively themes within a rich orchestral context. The recording below is with none other than the ingenious Jascha Heifetz and the Boston Symphony – enjoy!
“Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra,” The Kennedy Center
“BEETHOVEN: Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 61,” San Francisco Symphony