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Feb 13, 2012 09:32 AM

what to serve with pulled pork?

I'm cooking for my BFF's baby shower this weekend & am second guessing my menu. It's co-ed, child-friendly, with about 60 invitees & happening at 1 pm so the main dish will be a smoked pork shoulder pulled to make make sliders with. It will be sans sauce because mama-to-be hates sauce but I will have some off to the side to those who like it.

I planned on having these sides:
potato salad
fruit salsa with cinnamon sugar pita chips (said mama-to-be loves this recipe so it stays no matter what!)
garden salad (lettuce, tomato, black olives, carrots, red peppers, etc...)
baked beans
macaroni salad

along with water and soda, I'll be providing sweet tea & lemonade for refreshments. there won't be any alcohol/beer/wine available per MTB's request. and grandma-to-be is providing a cake.

I'm realizing this all sounds just a bit heavy and boringly predictable &, frankly, like a lot of work. I happen to be moving the night before the baby shower so I'm trying to streamline my workload along with freshening up the menu.

I'm open to any/all suggestions y'all might have. I've been a long time board lurker & trust that there will be some great ideas I haven't thought of!

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  1. Get 3 pork shoulders.

    Ice cream in a cooler with dry ice. The kids will love the "smoke".

    Get the potato salad, coleslaw, and macaroni salad from the supermarket. Serve in beautiful bowls with some fresh lemon juice stirred in at the last minute to pep it up. Do the bake beans a day or two ahead. They improve with age. I use the insert from my crockpot. Premake a relish tray for guests to adorn their own salads. Use the premixed bags of salads and present in your salad bowl.

    I also have thrown farewell parties the night before a move. ( Packers won't pack booze.) I have learned the hard way not to do everything from scratch.

    Besides, who should be the center of attention? The MTB or what is on the plate?

    Don't forget to enjoy your own party and congrats to the Mother-To-Be!

    1. I don't think you need potato salad AND macaroni salad. I think if you just choose one and make a larger helping, you'll be saving yourself a LOT of grief.

      And then if you want to add something a bit new and different, perhaps replace the coleslaw with a broccoli slaw. It's really delicious but a bit less expected, plus it would be more different from the salad than cole slaw would be. I've seen some versions that are bacon-based, but my favorite has shallots, almonds and raisins and a sweetened mayo-based dressing.

      2 Replies
      1. re: katecm

        Don't people sometimes put the slaw on their sandwiches though? Would that screw it up if you changed from traditional? However, I think a broccoli salad would be a great idea as a sub to the mac salad.

        1. re: katecm

          I have really become a convert to broccoli slaw too. If you want it fresh and do not want to whip up ingredients for the sauce, I find that Marzetti's makes a pretty decent slaw sauce.

        2. I agree that is a very heavy menu.

          It looks like you have three mayo based salads. I would keep the coleslaw ( so traditional with pulled pork!) and *maybe* keep the potato salad- but ditch the macaroni salad in favor of a big (easy) raw veggie/seedy cracker plate with a few creative and healthy dips/spreads.

          Dips/spreads are so easy and quick in the food processor- with a million recipes for healthy, lighter ones over the net. You could do two or three unique ones in a flash. I love black soy bean or regular black bean with tahini and spices...or a Tuscan white bean one....or an artichoke walnut ricotta one, etc. These are also really good with blanched asparagus or green beans(also quick and easy to prepare).

          If you really feel like you need baked beans, I would save some time by purchasing the beans and doctoring them up. Or maybe choose between the beans and the potato salad (just pick one starchy dish) to lighten it up.

          1. Wow, 60 people. Is it sit down or buffet style? Seems like alot of people to serve pulled pork sliders. How many sliders are you figuring per person? How many rolls? I would not have the capability to have that many pork butts going at one time, how are you cooking them?

            If you are set on serving a single main, then I would keep all the sides as filler. I have no problem with cole slaw, beans, potato, mac and garden salad. We do it all the time for bbqs in our family. If it were me, I would add another main, maybe something kid friendly?

            1. An idea due to your mentioning children would be something like applesauce or sliced apples with caramel dipping sauce. From my experience with a picky three year old, the only thing I could feed her on your menu unfortunately would be the slider buns and the cinnamon pita chips.