I am a huge fan of Cochon de Lait. HUGE. If you ask my husband about my love for it, he will tell you that a Cochon de Lait po-boy is the only reason I go to Jazz Fest each year. I swear.
Cochon de Lait is a marinated, roasted young pig, sliced thin with gravy on a plate or on a po-boy (sandwich). The aroma of the rub seasonings themselves will get your stomach grumbling long before the pork is done cooking. The only problem with the traditional way of cooking Cochon de Lait -outside and over a fire pit- is that getting a hold of a full sized baby pig… can be difficult.
I’m not sure about your butcher… but where I live I can’t go into my grocery store and ask for a full pig. Ok, back to the recipe. Last year, at Jazz Fest, I ate two Cochon de Lait po-boys at the festival and brought a third one home for “later”.
Over the past year, I’ve barbecued pork, slow roasted in the oven, in a cast iron pot… and in the crockpot. In the end, I settled for a shoulder roast in the crockpot and edited John Besh’s Cochon de Lait Rub recipe from his My Family Table Cookbook. The creole slaw dressing is of my own making; a fantastic combination of my two favorite Zatarain’s items: Creole Mustard and Big & Zesty Creole Seasoning.
While I enjoy fancy food, you should know by now that I try to keep things simple. A succulent dish you can “set-and-forget” in the crockpot? Even better. You can serve it on a plate, with rice or in a hoagie like I did here.
Now, if you are going to eat this Cochon de Lait the traditional New Orleans way… you need some slaw in your po-boy! My husband doesn’t eat slaw-at all- so my final recipe I tested at Gabriel’s birthday party this past weekend. Hands down, my creole slaw dressing rocked and I had to whip up a second batch mid party. That’s how I knew I nailed the dressing!
What I love about this recipe is that anyone can make it at home regardless of where you live in the world. It makes me happy to be able to share a little bit of my passion for good family food with you. The rub recipe will yield extra seasoning. Store it in an airtight container (or small zip bag) and use it on pork chops, pork loin…anything pork.
It’s the perfect party food too. Your guests will go back to the crockpot for seconds and ask you for the recipe.
And this my friends… makes it all worth it. Cooking food my family enjoys without slaving in the kitchen. This way, I have more time to spend with Baby G and celebrate his birthday… New Orleans Style. Yes, he had a king cake as a birthday cake. The kid is special.
- 3lb pork shoulder roast
- ¼ cup cochon de lait dry rub
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons pimenton (paprika)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a large bowl, mix the rub ingredients together and transfer to a Mason jar.
- Rub 2-3 Tablespoons dry rub on clean pork shoulder roast.
- Set rubbed roast inside crockpot. Add ½ cup water inside crockpot. Close lid.
- Cook on High heat 1-2 hours and turn crockpot to Low heat another 8 hours (depending on your roast size).
- I like to “turn” my roast mid cooking. In the last hour, with two forks, shred pork roast.
- Mix evenly with the pork “juices” and continue to cook final hour.
- Serve in hoagie buns or over rice with creole coleslaw.
- 2 bags coleslaw salad mix or
- 1 head cabbage, halved, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup shredded carrots (about 3-4 carrots)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 2-3 Tablespoons Zatarain’s creole mustard
- ½ teaspoon Zatarain’s Big & Zesty creole seasoning
- In a large serving bowl, mix together all vegetables (or empty your salad mixes).
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, water, creole mustard and seasoning.
- Slowly* add dressing to your cabbage mixture and toss to coat well.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour before serving.