Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Root Beer Pulled Pork on Cheesy 30 minutes

It seems like everyone I know is crunched for time, lately. The holidays, work, kids, pets....aack! But you still need to eat, right? And if you're anything like me, you like to have at least a smidgen of homemade in whatever you make. Deride Sandra Lee all you want, she is successful for a reason---what she makes is easy, fast, tasty, and semi-homemade. :)

I cook like most home cooks. Once in awhile, I take a shortcut. Or two. But when I take those shortcuts, I put my touch on them. Biscuits from a can get a cheesy, crunchy coating and one of those refrigerated pork entrees gets all shredded up and doused with a quick, homemade barbecue sauce (using up my sample of Red Gold Tomato Sauce). Take a look-see.

Quick and Easy Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

1 (8oz) can Tomato Sauce (or use 1 cup of the 15 oz can)
1/2 cup Root Beer
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger 
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized heavy saucepan; stir until combined. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced and starts to thicken.

While your sauce is simmering, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Now, combine 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese, 2 tablespoons Panko Bread Crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl. Break open a can of biscuits...get the 8 ct. big, flaky kind. Lightly spray each side of the biscuits with cooking spray. Coat each biscuit in the cheese/breadcrumb mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet, sprinkling any extra over the tops of the biscuits. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden.

The cheese and the breadcrumbs make for a crunchy biscuit and the two kinds of pepper add a little spice. If you prefer, mix in some Italian seasoning instead of the pepper.

My husband always has to eat one hot off of the pan.

I was a little leary of these microwavable meat entrees, but it turns out they are pretty tasty. If you are going to use the barbeque sauce, be sure to get the pork au jus and not the pork in gravy.

Now just nuke your entree for about 4 minutes (follow the package directions), dispose of the "au jus" (I save it to mix in with the dogs' food), shred the meat, and mix in the barbeque sauce.

This time, I topped it with pickles, but sometimes I like coleslaw on my sandwich.

There you have it...a semi-homemade meal in less than 30 minutes....and it all starts with a can of Tomato Sauce. 

Disclaimer: I was given a sample of Red Gold Tomato products in order to give a review. All opinions, however, are my own.


  1. With or without the biscuit that sounds really good! Although I do love the idea of a good biscuit smothered in cheese as well...

  2. I am all for semi-homemade when the need arises! Your sandwiches look delicious!! Root beer is such a fun ingredient to add to bbq.

  3. Oh, Cathy, a shortcut for me would be going out to eat, lol, but that wouldn't taste as delicious as this! I hope you had a Merry Christmas, dear friend, and that 2012 is filled with all good things.

    Your recipes have certainly brightened my life (and my family's table!)