I love vegetables and it's hard to believe that there are some people who don't. So, in some kitchens, deception is the only answer to getting vegetables into the family diet for all their good vitamins and nutrients. Enter [ta-da da-dah dah daaaah!] - dehydrated vegetables! Yes, my pulled pork sauce has been created from a powdered blend of dehydrated garden produce harvested from last year's garden. If you didn't dehydrate your vegetables, you can still prepare this absolutely delicious sauce with canned items and your blender. It just won't have a garden-fresh taste because dehydrated is as close to fresh as you can get, short of pulling the vegetables off the plant!
With my cabinet door spice pallette making everything so visible, I just let the old imagination go, and this incredible sauce was the result. In fact, it was so good that I totally forgot to add the kernel corn side dish to the plate until after all the photos had been taken and we were halfway through dinner! Thank the Lord I was given a neck to hold my head when my thinking is on hiatus or I'd still be looking for it!
Pulled Pork and Hidden Vegetables
2 Large Tomatoes or 8oz tomato sauce (16 slices dehydrated tomatoes)
1 medium onion (1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes)
1 hot pepper or 1/8 tsp chipotle (1 dehydrated large hot pepper)
1 zucchini (14 slices dehydrated zucchini)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp marjoram leaves
1 tsp stevia/sugar
1 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
7 crushed juniper berries
1 tsp orange Tang
1/2 tsp ground anise
1 T corn starch
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1 lb pork ribs, country style
1 T olive oil
2 T butter
Preheat solar oven to 225F Use a covered roasting pan
1. Place all ingredients in blender and puree. End result should be at least two cups of sauce. Add more broth, if necessary. (If using dehydrated vegetables, powder with all dry ingredients, first, before adding broth.) This is the color of the dehydrated blend; canned sauce will be redder.
2. In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, Sear pork ribs in 1 tablespoon olive oil; place in roasting pan.
3. Add pureed sauce to skillet, bring to bubbling. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, stir to blend while sauce thickens and bubbles start to burst.
4. Pour over ribs in roasting pan, raising ribs to let sauce cover bottom, too.
5. Cover and bake in solar oven for approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Check after first hour and turn ribs over in sauce (optional). The longer the cooking time, the more tender the ribs. This is a great solar slow-cooking recipe.
Serve with your favorite sides. I used rice to sop up all that delicious sauce and a cold slaw on thin (barely an 1/8 of an inch) apple slices to offset the heat from the peppers.
Oh, yeah -- some kernel corn, too!