There are a few things I’m terribly traditional about. A birthday dinner of choice on one’s actual birthday, ghost shaped pancakes on Halloween morning, pan seared beef tenderloin medallions with a Madeira wine sauce on Valentine’s Day and a Southern style barbecue around the holidays.
Barbecue might seem a little out of place during the holidays, but at my house it’s a yearly tradition. Mostly because my family loves barbecue and could dine on it year round. The cooler holiday months also seem like the perfect time to capture a bit of summer whimsy within these festive dishes.
Succulent and bursting with flavor, I pair a Southern style pulled pork with my DaVinci Chianti BBQ Sauce. A slightly sweet and tangy sauce laced with my favorite Chianti wine. With aromas of ripe plum and cherry accented by peppery notes, DaVinci Chianti is a medium bodied and well balanced wine; blending beautifully into a most lush and silky sauce. It’s so delicious, my family will wrangle for the last drop of sauce. You just might be tempted to lick your plate!
Although I like a traditional coleslaw, for this meal I serve an elevated slaw of Apple, Fennel and Napa Cabbage, which is lightly tossed in a sweet dressing. Along with the Southern style pulled pork, lush Chianti barbecue sauce and Apple Fennel Slaw, I also serve a delicious dish of homemade Baked Beans to round out the meal. After all, it’s not a barbecue without the beans.
To celebrate our holiday barbecue, the table is set with holiday china while the music of the season fills the room. Our guests are seated, the Chianti is poured and our Southern style barbecue is served.
It’s a festive occasion that feels special, and yet, warm and inviting with the enticing scent of earthy and rich flavors filling the house. I love to hear the clink of glasses filled with the deep ruby colored DaVinci Chianti which pairs so perfectly with this holiday meal.
When the dishes are empty and the last of the Chianti has been poured, it’s almost difficult to leave the table, lingering over conversation and a celebration of all that is most precious to us.
This is a festive meal to serve for any holiday celebration. The recipes can be doubled to accommodate a large crowd and are fairly fuss free to prepare. The baked beans can be prepped a day or two in advance and slider rolls or large barbecue buns can be served with the pulled pork, making for a lovely casual dining atmosphere or a sit down dinner.
Cheers! to a most delicious and happy holiday season.
Southern Style Pulled Pork with Chianti Barbecue Sauce
4-5lbs boneless pork shoulder, halved
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Pre-heat a slow cooker on high.
Mix together the brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and allspice.
Season the two pork shoulder pieces with salt and then brown on all sides. Transfer the pork pieces to the slow cooker and season with the brown sugar mixture. Making sure to cover both pieces of pork. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the pork pieces, cover with the lid and turn the heat to low. Cook on low for about 7-8 hours or until the pork pieces are fork tender.
Tip: When using a slow cooker to prepare a pork shoulder or beef chuck, it isn’t necessary to have a lot of liquid as the slow cooker allows these cuts of meat to cook in their own juices.
Once the pork shoulder is done, shred with two forks and keep moist with juices from the slow cooker.
Option: If you’d like, add a ¼ – ½ cup of the Chianti BBQ sauce to the pulled pork and serve with additional sauce on the side.
Serve with barbecue buns or slider buns, Apple Fennel Slaw and Homemade Baked Beans. And don’t forget the Chianti!
Chianti Barbecue Sauce
2 cups organic ketchup
1 cup DaVinci Chianti wine
3 teaspoons dry English mustard
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup unsulphured molasses
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat stir together the ketchup, wine, mustard, brown sugar, molasses and Worcestershire. Bring it to a simmer, turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar.
Because I like to use this sauce in my Homemade Baked Beans recipe, I usually double the recipe. It’s a travesty when I run out of sauce! However, feel free to use a barbecue sauce of your choice in the Homemade Baked Beans recipe.
Serve the Chianti Barbecue Sauce with Southern Style Pulled Pork, Apple Fennel Slaw and Homemade Baked Beans. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
Apple Fennel Slaw
Serves 6 -8
One medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shredded and fronds saved
1 head of Napa cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
2 cups shredded apples, or thinly sliced apples and spritzed with a little lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
Dash of hot sauce, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and sugar until well combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.
Gently toss together the fennel, cabbage and apples. Chop the fennel fronds and toss them on top of the slaw.
Dress the slaw with half the dressing, using more if needed, just before serving.
Serve with Southern style pulled pork and baked beans.
Homemade Baked Beans
4 ounces bacon, diced
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 15ounce cans navy beans, drained
1/2 cup Chianti Barbecue Sauce, or a barbecue sauce of your choice
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Medium to large baking dish
Heat the oven to 350F.
Heat a large skillet and cook the diced bacon. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a dish and set aside. Add a little olive oil if needed and sauté the onion. When the onion is golden and soft, add the garlic and sauté another minute longer. Add the bacon back into the skillet and stir in the beans.
Stir in the one cup of barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, molasses, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
Pour the beans into a baking dish and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until the beans are hot and bubbly.