Cowboy Smokehouse Salad with Pulled Smoked Pork

Cowboy Smokehouse Salads with pulled smoked pork, roasted corn, red bell pepper, cilantro, black beans, carrots, Monterey Jack cheese and chipotle cream over mixed greens! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My Cowboy Smokehouse Salad with pulled smoked pork. Reminiscent of those long, hot, dusty days out West. Cowboys driving cattle from one place to another. Smoky fires each night while meat roasts on a spit. Beans simmering in a huge pot. And the clear night sky full of shining stars.

Cowboy Smokehouse Salad served at sunset.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Cowboy Smokehouse Salad served at sunset. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And by coincidence…well, sort of, my husband smoked a pork shoulder for our dinner on the Fourth of July. It’s a pretty big piece of meat and of course we had leftovers. I came up with this salad by using what I had on hand in my kitchen. There were no cattle in proximity and we chose not to cook beans…. We used a pan instead of a spit…. It was daylight…well, anyway….

Here’s the view of the whole smoked pork shoulder from Fourth of July’s dinner. First, I cut a large piece of smoked pork from the leftover smoked pork shoulder.

Smoked Pork Shoulder (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Smoked Pork Shoulder (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Using two forks, I “pulled” the meat into pieces. See how pink it is from the smoking process!

Pulled smoked pork -- tastes fantastic!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Pulled smoked pork — tastes fantastic! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Then, I divided some fresh salad greens into two dinner-sized bowls.

Mixed greens are the start to many great salads! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Mixed greens are the start to many great salads! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I shredded some Monterey Jack cheese.

Shredded creamy Monterey Jack cheese is one of my favorites! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Shredded creamy Monterey Jack cheese is one of my favorites! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

In another bowl, I tossed black beans, Trader Joe’s roasted corn (thawed), diced scallions, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro, diced red bell pepper, and sliced grape tomatoes with some canola oil and apple cider vinegar. I let that sit for a short while.

Most of the ingredients for the Cowboy Smokehouse Salad!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Most of the ingredients for the Cowboy Smokehouse Salad! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Then, I spooned the bean mixture onto the center of the salad greens. The pulled smoked pork pieces were placed around the edges of the salad. Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde and my Chipotle Cream dressing were drizzled onto the salads.

Trader Joe's Salsa Verde (Photo Credit: Healthnutfoodie.com)
Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde (Photo Credit: Healthnutfoodie.com)

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese was divided between the salads. And, finally, a garnish of crispy tortilla chips crowned the Cowboy Smokehouse Salads!

Cowboy Smokehouse Salads with pulled smoked pork, roasted corn, red bell pepper, cilantro, black beans, carrots, Monterey Jack cheese and chipotle cream over mixed greens! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Ring the bell, it’s time for dinner! Accompany this salad with my Patriotic Berry Parfait for dessert!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Cowboy Smokehouse Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 lb smoked pork shoulder
4 c mixed salad greens
1 c canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c Trader Joe’s roasted corn, thawed
1 carrot, shredded
2 scallions, sliced thinly, including greens (roots removed)
1/2 red bell pepper, cored and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
10 grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
2 T chopped cilantro
1 T canola oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 c Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde or your favorite green salsa
1/2 c Chipotle Cream dressing (recipe below)
1/2 c Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
20 tortilla chips

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Chipotle Cream dressing

1/2 c mayonnaise
1/2 c sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 T adobo sauce (from canned chipotles) or you can use chipotle puree
2 T lime juice
1 T packed brown sugar
1 t salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Chill until ready for use.

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Method:

1. Shred smoked pork with two forks. Set aside.
2. In a non-metallic bowl, combine black beans, corn, carrot, scallions, red bell pepper, tomatoes and cilantro. Drizzle with canola oil and apple cider vinegar and toss lightly. Set aside.
3. Divide salad greens between two serving plates/bowls.
4. Spoon bean mixture into center of salad greens.
5. Arrange pulled smoked pork around the edge of the salad greens.
6. Drizzle the salads with the Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde and my Chipotle Cream dressing.
7. Divide the shredded Monterey Jack cheese between the salads.
8. Garnish with the tortilla chips and serve.

Serves 2 as an entree salad. Serve with beer, sangria, or lemony iced tea. As an appetizer, try my Chile Con Queso dip or Fresh Tomato Salsa with tortilla chips.

Variations: If you can’t find smoked pork, use regular pulled pork that you can purchase from your grocer’s refrigerated meat department. Substitute pulled smoked chicken for the pulled smoked pork. Use red salsa if you prefer. Add some sliced avocado or a scoop of homemade guacamole. Use a mexican cheese blend or Pepper Jack cheese instead of the Monterey Jack. Omit the cheese and chipotle cream dressing if you are watching your fat intake. Even if you omit the pork, this salad is a very tasty salad on its own.

For a party buffet, set out all ingredients in their own serving bowls, and allow your guests to assemble their own salads.

Cowboy Smokehouse Salad with Pulled Pork (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Cowboy Smokehouse Salad with Pulled Pork (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Cowboy Smokehouse Salad served as the sun sets from a long day of cattle-rustling!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Cowboy Smokehouse Salad served as the sun sets from a long day of cattle-rustling! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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