Whenever I post recipes here or on A Beautiful Bite, they are usually my own. But I do have some cookbooks that I’m pretty fond of that I cook from regularly. So today I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you.
While I have a vast collection of cookbooks, only about a dozen reside on my kitchen countertop. Because let’s face it, that countertop real estate is valuable. Only the good stuff gets to hang out there. And three of those twelve happen to be authored by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.
I’ve cooked many recipes from all three books. And all have been a success which is rather rare because I don’t often find a book that’s so consistent. Not to mention three. So clearly Ree is good about testing her recipes before they go to print.
But of all three, the one I keep reaching for on a regular basis is Food from My Frontier.
As I was thumbing through that cookbook the other day, I scanned through the pages looking for something that I hadn’t yet tried. That particular day was wet and chilly, so when I saw the Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork, I knew that was going to be supper.
I had been flirting with that recipe for a good long while. I love pulled pork, but I’m not at all a fan of Dr. Pepper. I was also reluctant because the idea of cooking meat in pop just sounded odd. But I was feeling a little adventurous that morning and figured what the heck, let’s try something new.
It was a darn good thing that I decided on that early in the morning as it takes at least six hours to cook! A good thing to make on a rainy day for certain.
This recipe is also posted on her website, so I went over to read the reviews before I went shopping. Reading other people’s comments on a recipe is super helpful. Often times people will make suggestions on modifications or give feedback on their results.
Most of the comments mentioned that this was beyond spicy which shouldn’t be all that surprising because Ree states in the recipe that this is a sinus clearer. And some other people mentioned that while the flavor was good, they wished that the sauce had more body.
So I took both of those comments onboard and got to work.
While my kids are used to spicy food, I knew that anything labeled as a sinus clearer might be too much for my littlest cubs. So I cut the called for 11 ounces of chipotle peppers down to 5.
The end result yielded a slightly spicy pulled pork. Next time I will up the ante to 8 ounces. If it weren’t for my littles I would’ve stuck with Ree’s suggestion of 11 ounces. I’m not sure why there were so many people complaining about the heat in the comments of her recipe. My tongue must be fireproof or something.
And even though it was cooked in Dr. Pepper, I couldn’t taste the Dr. Pepper flavor. All of the flavors just melded together and turned into something quite wonderful. The meat itself? It literally fell apart as I removed it from my dutch oven. So very tender.
I do agree with the commenters that the cooking sauce needed more body. So I went ahead and made Elizabeth Karmel’s barbecue sauce which was out of this fruit loopin’ world good.
Once again, you can’t really taste the Dr. Pepper in the recipe, but it does go well with the other ingredients and the result is a tangy thick sauce that goes just perfectly with Ree’s recipe.
Of course there were leftovers which was a good thing because we used those leftovers the next day to make the best nachos I’ve ever made. Pulled pork, fresh grated cheddar, avocados and cilantro. Perfection.
And what would dinner be without dessert? Incomplete. So I made another recipe from that same cookbook. Billie’s Italian Cream Cake. Actually, this is a recipe that Michael picked out. As I was cooking the pork, he was on the hunt for a dessert that he could whip up.
I had suggested an easy looking brownie recipe. He chose this recipe that requires multiple steps including beating egg whites until stiff peaks form. Way beyond his open the brownie box, dump mixture in bowl and and add three ingredients capabilities.
He showed me the picture and said do you think you could make this? I think it might be more than I can handle. And what’s a mom supposed to say to that? Pass me the eggs.
And just like every other recipe I’ve made from that book, this one was also a winner. Light and fluffy coconut cake layers with a rich cream cheese frosting topped with toasted coconut and pecans. What’s not to love?
Never mind that I will be eating carrot sticks for the next two weeks to make up for the calorie carnage, it was so worth it.
Those are just two of the many excellent recipes from Food from My Frontier. My favorite of Ree’s three cookbooks. How about you? Do you have this cookbook? Have you tried either of these recipes? Have any other Pioneer Woman recipes that you love to cook? Let’s chat food.
This is not a sponsored post. I purchased all of the cookbooks mentioned. There are affiliate links in this post.