Noted cookbook authors Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein are back with their newest offering, "Vegetarian Dinner Parties" (Rodale Books, $32.50), a smart, approachable take on meatless meals worth serving to even omnivorous guests.
I had to do a double take when I saw this recipe in the book. Shredded carrots, potatoes and cabbage simmered in a homemade barbecue sauce look exactly like traditional pulled pork, and even though you might be steadfast in your love of pork barbecue, it’s nice to have another option in the recipe file.
The carrots and potatoes can be shredded through the large holes of a box grater or with the shredding blade of a food processor, and the cabbage can be shredded with a knife after coring. "Unfortunately, vegetables loose essential moisture in transport and on the shelf. Your vegetables may take longer to get tender than we suggest," they write. "You don’t want mush, but you do want them luxurious. If so, add a little more beer and keep the pan tightly covered."
Pulled Vegetable Sliders
You can make this slider filling up to 24 hours in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring often, before serving.
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. mustard powder
1 Tbsp. sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. hot red pepper sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 1/2 cups shredded yellow potatoes (no need to peel)
4 cups shredded Savoy cabbage
1 bottle (12 oz.) dark beer, preferably a porter, divided
8 small challah rolls
Combine the crushed tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, mustard powder, smoked paprika, oregano, celery seeds, cloves and hot sauce in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring until the brown sugar dissolves. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the cabbage and 1/4 cup of the beer. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes, adding more beer as necessary to keep the vegetables from scorching. If you end up adding too much beer, simply cook uncovered for a couple of minutes, stirring almost all the while, until the mixture is fairly dry, not soupy at all.
Mound the vegetable mixture onto the bottom of the challah roll set on each of 8 serving plates. Top each with the bun’s other half, and garnish with pickled jalapeño rings, pickle relish, chow-chow or even a dab of creamy coleslaw. Serves 6 to 8.
— From "Vegetarian Dinner Parties: 150 Meatless Meals Good Enough to Serve to Company" by Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein (Rodale Books, $32.50)