It bears repeating: pork is goooood. That’s why I can smoke a pork shoulder on a Saturday afternoon — knowing that I won’t finish it until midnight — and savor it for the rest of the week. Anyone who has been lucky enough to stop by on a day I’m smoking knows, this is labor of love. I’ve been learning a ton about cooking through my barbecue since about May last year. Much of that knowledge has transferred into some daring-do in the Kitchen as well. But this weekend, I went back to the old standby, pulled pork which resulted in four pounds of gorgeous meat that will “save for later” really nicely. Pulled pork is great for a number of reasons. 1 – it’s cheap. 2 – it’s tasty as all get-out. 3 – it’s so easy to do right if you’re willing to put in the time. I highly recommend popping over to Meathead’s site and reading all about how to get your pulled pork perfect. What follows is a recipe for a Bristro Salad. I had my first Bistro Salad at a local restaurant “Cafe Chloe” which is a close replica for what you’ll see below. The big differences being that they use arugula which I use romaine. They also use pancetta – large, whole chunks of the gorgeous stuff – instead of fried pulled pork in my recipe.

Bistro Salad – AKA “The Eggs and Bacon Salad” or “The Salad Substitute for a Country Breakfast”

After reading Born to Run a few years ago, I’ve always wanted to start my day with a salad. Though until I discovered this Bistro Salad from Cafe Chloe, I never had the nerve. Why eat a salad for breakfast? 1 – it’s good for you. 2 – it’s actually really tasty. Especially if you make a Bistro Salad. Here’s how.

Recipe serves 2 hungry adults

Ingredients

  • One whole Romain head. Washed. Chopped into bite-sized chunks.
  • Two or three or four eggs. Depends how many eggs you usually eat with your breakfast. I like two. My wife likes one.
  • 1/8 cup Champaign or white wine based dressing.
  • Couple of handfuls of croutons.
  • 2 cups sautéed previously smoked pulled pork

Instructions for Smoking the Pulled Pork

Do it low and slow. Follow the smoking instructions from Meathead. Then proceed.

Instructions for Sautéing the Pulled Pork

When I have leftover pulled pork, I like to fry it for Carnitas. Which is a wonderful concoction. For this recipe, I’ve used bacon and bacon tips and pancetta — all of which have a salted pork flavor to them which is good. But when I fry pulled pork, the results are much mellower and don’t make your lips pucker as much. I grab about two handfuls of leftover pulled pork which should be just the pulled pork naked off the grill (i.e. no sauces or seasoning added in the post-production of pulling your pork) and fry it in a pan. I’ve added oil before the frying. Don’t over heat. Just get the oil popping and then reduce the heat to a medium to medium-high temperature. What you’re hoping to acheive is to give your pork a slight crispyness and browning of the outside. Once that’s done, remove from heat and strain the excess fat. Set aside. You’ll want these bad boys to cool down before adding them to the salad.

Instructions for Poaching the Eggs

Next poach your eggs. Poaching eggs is a great alternative to fried eggs. I have come to prefer my eggs this way. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy to do. Get your water boiling. DON’T ADD SALT. I’ve been told you can add vinegar, but I find that uneccessary. Just get some water boiling and then reduce to just below a simmer. Eggs will cook below boiling temperature of 212 degrees. So what poaching does is cook your eggs in non-violent water. If you let it go just below a simmer, the water moves slightly around the egg without causing so much movement it tears it appart. So, how to poach an egg? Crack it and gently pour the contents into the hot water. Swirl it gently once or twice to bathe it fully. It may sink to the bottom. No worries. Just let her alone for a bit. You can swirl with a slotted spoon a couple of times. After a couple of minutes you’ll lift the egg out of the water with the slotted soon. You should see no translucent bits to your egg whites. The soonest you accomplish that, take the egg out. Let the excess water drip back in the pan. Place the egg on top of your salad. If you cut into it, it should be runny and the egg whites should be fluffy, not snotty.

Instructions for Assembling the Salad

  • Get the chopped romain tossed in the dressing first. Split it into two large bowls.
  • Add the croutons.
  • Add the pork.
  • Add the eggs on top.

Instructions for Eating the Salad

The poached eggs should be pierced and then swirled in with your bites. It’s like an extra dressing. To get the perfect bite, stab some lettuce, then stab some pork, then stab a crouton and then swirl it all with some egg yolk. Mmmm baby. That’s the stuff.

Pictures

Frying pulled pork in a pan

Frying pulled pork in a pan

Fresh chopped romain lettuce

Fresh chopped romaine lettuce

Croutons

Croutons

Girard's Champagne Dressing

Girard’s Champagne Dressing

Eggs for poaching

Eggs for poaching

Poaching an egg

Poaching an egg

Bistro Salad - the Finished Product

Bistro Salad – the Finished Product