The hard part of deciding what to have for dinner is over. You've made a good choice in choosing pulled pork for dinner, as there are various ways to enjoy this barbecue classic. Whether you want it in sandwich form, taco style, or just plain jane with a few sides is up to you, but no meal is complete without drink and appetizers to go with it. Fret not, as we have you covered.
From start to finish, you'll need some cocktails for loved ones to get them in the groove, appetizers to ensure no one gets hangry, and sides to add to the yummy goodness that is pulled pork.
Cocktail of the Day
The Gin Fizz
First and foremost, you'll need a cocktail to go with this meal you're crafting. Whether it's a cocktail to have during your cooking endeavors, or one to entertain your guests while they wait for appetizers to be served is besides the point. The point here is that alcohol helps the waiting process, and a well-designed cocktail has never been a bad idea.
For this specific dish, we recommend a lighter cocktail, perhaps one of the vodka or gin variety, as to not get in the way of the flavors and heaviness behind the meal you're crafting. After all, who wants to be overly full off a cocktail or two when pulled pork is on the menu?
The best part about this Gin Fizz recipe is that you can make most of it ahead of time and place it in a pitcher, making it easier for your guests--and yourself--to refill and refresh.
Get the recipe here.
The Happy Appetizer
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
The last thing you want is to serve an appetizer that's completely left field from the dinner you're cooking. The trick with appetizers for a barbecue dinner is to ensure they're satisfying, but not overbearing to your dinner and sides.
For example, you probably should avoid serving things such as macaroni and cheese balls or kolaches, as they run the risk of serving as a light dinner, leaving your guests full upon the arrival of the actual meal.
Go for bite-sized treats, such as carrots and hummus, or a cheese and meat plate, as both go seamlessly well with your gin fizz and main course of pulled pork.
Make your own hummus to impress with this recipe here.
Creamy Garlic Parmesan Macaroni and Cheese
For a starchy side, we recommend going with a macaroni and cheese recipe, and we like the addition of bread crumbs, parmesan and garlic to spruce it up a bit.
This is especially helpful if you're a barbecue purist and believe that barbecue sauce has no room on or around your barbecue. Find the recipe here.
Simple Skillet Green Beans
As for the other side, it's near impossible to go wrong with well-seasoned green beans. They'll taste even better with a few dashes of BBQ sauce on top. What more could one want?
Find the recipe here.
The Main Show
Perfect Pulled Pork
Now that you've decided on all other aspects to your meal, it's time to get to business, and find the perfect pulled pork recipe. What to look for is well-seasoned recipes, especially if you're a traditional barbecue enthusiast. Dry rubs are good for purists, as it gives the meat good flavor without drowning it in barbecue sauce to begin with.
This also brings out the savory flavors within the pork shoulder, and allows you and your guests to enjoy each moment of the pork's tender and juicy qualities. Better yet, you can enjoy this pork in a multitude of ways, not just by itself.
Add the shredded meat to a butter bun for a pulled pork sandwich, or even pan-fry it with brown sugar, black pepper, and garlic powder to make crispy carnitas with your pulled pork. You can even whip together pulled pork nachos with leftovers.
Get this traditional pork recipe here.
No-Bake Banana Cream Cheesecake
So you've made it this far in the meal, and it's time for dessert. What dessert goes well with barbecue, and specifically pulled pork? Banana pudding, of course! With it's simple sweetness along with it's light creamy appeal, it makes the perfect cap off to this pulled pork meal.
Take things up a notch and take that banana cream pudding into full decadence by adding a cheesecake element to it. You'll be sure to leave a lasting impression on those you've invited, as well as yourself!
Get the recipe here.
Just like that, you've served the most perfect dinner menu. What will your next dinner endeavor be?