It’s almost May, and finally, the weather is starting to warm up here in Chicago, which means I’m starting to get very eager for all the amazing food festivals headed our way! Greek Fest in Lincoln Park, Windy City Ribfest & Smokeout (Smokeout is better in my opinion), Taste of Chicago, Roscoe Village Burger Fest (definitely a favorite), and my absolute favorite festival, which I have never not gone to since I moved to Chicago: Lincoln Square Ribfest! And besides, who doesn’t like spending a weekend exploring great neighborhoods, eating really amazing food with a cold brew, listening to music, and smelling like smoked meat hours after you’ve gone home? (Not I!)
In my eagerness for summer and warm weather to arrive, I thought I’d at least satiate my craving with a little homemade BBQ Pulled Pork! Normally, I try not to make BBQ at home because it’ll never be as good as what I would get from a full-time BBQ joint, but this recipe got me about as close to the real thing as I will likely ever get (unless I get a smoker, then maybe I might be able to get just a little closer, but that will have to wait for another day). The one thing I will note here is that, I don’t have a favorite or preferred barbeque sauce that I like to always have on hand, and haven’t gotten around to trying to make my own. So what I did was make a combination of barbeque sauces using Lillie Q’s Carolina Sauce & Smoky Sauce, which turned out quite well! And for the root beer, I stuck with my usual go-to, A&W, but next time might try a different brand (perhaps even an off the grid root beer that’s made in house somewhere, though Frankie is my root beer expert, so I will be deferring to him for that).
And in addition to the pulled pork, I decided to take the extra step and try my hand at corn spoonbread, inspired by the spoonbread we ate at Revolution Brewery a couple months ago. Overall, not too sweet, with the perfect bite of corn to contrast the smoothness of the actual bread, though the texture was not Frankie’s favorite. But it was incredibly easy to make, so it wasn’t a total loss! But for anyone wanting to give pulled pork at home a try, or wants to try a different take on cornbread, these are great places to start! Hoping there’s warm weather where you are too! – Cooking Maggie
Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork from Mom on Time Out
Sweet Corn Spoonbread from Southern Bite