Today I wanted to share my favorite go-to, no fail, entertaining menu. This easy dinner works well at any time of the year but I particularly like to serve it in the early fall. It’s a nice change from the grill and because it can be made ahead, it makes life so much easier. It is also a very economical way to feed a group without anyone feeling like you are cutting corners.
I have shared this before but it is so good, I thought it was worth bringing back again for those of you who missed it or just if you are looking for something new to add to your menu this week.
Not only is it fairly easy, cost-efficient, and you can make most of it ahead, it is also gluten-free and (reasonably) healthy.
The Spiced Pork is the centerpiece of the meal, I use the recipe from Ina Garten and it is so good. The only thing I have found that matters is that you must start making it early the same day and allow plenty of time for it to cook because if it’s undercooked it won’t shred properly. It has so much flavor and after a small amount of preparation, it basically cooks until just before you serve when you shred or slice it.
You can find Ina’s Recipe HERE. I got it from this cookbook HERE which is one of my favorites, make-ahead recipes are really the key to easy entertaining. You can see above the meat is prepped with the mixture of oregano, garlic and jalapenos then you just cook it at 300 degrees for 6 to 7 hours (or until done!) in a large slow cooker (I have this one, it works perfectly). So easy, then you just shred or slice and serve. It’s delicious!
On the side, I serve Lime-Cilantro Coleslaw. You might not think that coleslaw is something to get excited about, but I can promise you that I have never made this and not had someone ask me for the recipe! Again, this is really easy and pairs perfectly with the pork with its lime/cilantro/jalapeno kick. If you are imagining a creamy picnic-style coleslaw this is far from it, it will surprise you with how much fresh flavor it has. It is the perfect balance for the spicy pork.
Lime Cilantro Cole Slaw
A fresh coleslaw with a kick–the perfect side dish.
- 4 cups shredded cabbage approx 1 bag coleslaw
- 1 bunch cilantro (fresh)
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes (or kind you prefer) chopped
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp jalapeños or diced green chilis
Mix first four ingredients in a bowl, keep covered in the refrigerator. Mix dressing ingredients, let sit until just before serving and combine with coleslaw/veggie mix.
To go alongside both of those we typically make a dolled up version of Bob’s Gluten-Free Cornbread. My husband has it down to a science. He adds a little bit of sugar to the mix then sprinkles both sugar and kosher salt on the top before he cooks it. Once it comes out of the oven he spreads butter over the top of it so it melts into the bread. Again this is easy to make and works perfectly with the pork.
To wrap up with something sweet, in the early fall I like to serve my Caramel Apple Crisp, one of my all time favorite desserts. We make loads of it while apples are in season each fall.
I hope this is helpful–enjoy!
I’m starving now! Everything looks good and I’m sure it’s delicious. Would have to omit the sugar in the cornbread though and add extra jalapeños. 😂😂 I’d love to be Ina Garten when I grow up! Lol. Thanks for sharing these recipes!
I’d love to be Ina Garten too, actually I’d just like to be her real life friend so she could cook for me all the time. Great tip on the jalepenos, I will have to try that! XO, Amy
Looks like a perfect change-of-seasons meal and appreciate that it’s GF!!
I am so glad it is helpful, the GF tweaks in this case are easy too. Enjoy! XO, Amy