LUCY BURDETTE: The Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America has a mentor program, in which a published writer is matched with an aspiring writer so that words of realistic encouragement can be exchanged. I’ve enjoyed meeting Laurie Sterbens so much that I thought you’d like to meet her too. She’s a former newspaper food editor with an MFA and she has a very funny voice—read on, you’ll see!
Root Beer Pulled Pork the Hard Way by Laurie Sterbens
|photo by Allen|
If you cook at home and are inclined to things like pulled pork, you’ve probably heard of root beer pulled pork. Easiest thing in the world: Throw a bottle of root beer in the slow cooker, plop a pork roast in, cook. So I don’t mean to be misleading with that headline. Slow cooker pulled pork is not difficult.
However, it’s not without its issues. For one thing, root beer. Option one is to buy a six-pack of pricey craft-brewed root beer, then figure out what to do with the other five since we don’t normally drink soda, and never with sugar. Hey, we may eat pork and throw chemicals on it, but we have some rules to live by.
The other option is to buy a 2,000-pack of diet root beer, and then we end up drinking diet root beer until it’s gone, which is even worse than drinking five fancy root beers.
I found my solution when I went to a party where a friend was drinking hard root beer. You see where I’m going with this. Huge epiphany. Root beer, pork, alcohol — there’s no going wrong here, and leftover hard root beer is not a problem because alcohol.
|photo by Phil Denton|
Serve with whole wheat hamburger buns and sweet potato fries to try to maintain some nutritional dignity.
Root Beer Pulled Pork
1 2-pound pork butt or pork shoulder roast
1 bottle hard root beer
Sea salt and and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Shredded cabbage if desired
Place roast in slow cooker. Pour root beer over roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Drain liquid from pan. Pull meat apart with two forks until all shredded. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir.
Serve on hamburger buns, topped with barbecue sauce and, if desired, shredded cabbage.
Here’s Laurie's website. It's subtitled "Good Food with a Side of Killer Fiction." Take note of her name because I think you’re going to see it on a book cover!
Laurie Wood Sterbens is a former newspaper food editor and graduate of the Seton Hill University Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program. She worked as a reporter, editor, columnist and designer before completing her first novel, Black, White and Dead All Over, a mystery featuring Chrissy Rooke, an overwhelmed food editor at The Daily News and single mom of a first-grader who thinks he's a ninja. Tensions are mounting at the newspaper as employees anticipate layoffs from the cost-slashing new owner and the new managing editor. When the new boss demands that Chrissy abandon her focus on healthier recipes and focus on desserts, Chrissy's attempts to reason with him end in a loud confrontation witnessed by the entire newsroom.
LUCY: You can imagine what happens next...Laurie will be stopping in today to chat about food, newspaper life, murder, and whatever else comes up!