Father’s Day is on Sunday. It doesn’t get as much fuss as Mother’s Day. There’s no marketing blitz to nudge you into buying roses, and brunch is not usually on the agenda.
So, how best to celebrate this occasion? How best to celebrate dads?
Well, why not do it by celebrating with Dad’s ... Dad’s old-fashioned root beer, that is. (Or any brand of root beer you prefer. The play off Dad’s is, of course, just a cute schtick to justify offering something other than standard grilling recipes today.)
Letting fathers cook for themselves, since they often receive new barbecue toys to play with on their big day, seems to be the norm. But there’s no reason not to supplement the meal with a few root beer-infused dishes prepared with love by Mom and the kids. While Dad is flipping burgers or grilling corn, you can put the soda to use in the kitchen.
You can’t go wrong by offering some tender, tempting, tantalizing shredded pork that has simmered in the crockpot. With only three ingredients and just a bit of advance planning, everyone can enjoy some root beer-infused pork sliders. A couple of pickle slices are all you need to finish off these mini sandwiches. Add a schmear of mustard, if you’d like. It’s up to you.
Root beer baked beans are a great side dish that can complement almost anything Dad might be cooking: ribs, chicken, kebabs, you name it. Starting with canned beans means there’s no need for the long period of cooking that this dish usually requires; just saute some bacon and some onions, mix them with the rest of the ingredients, and bake it all together for 30 minutes — just long enough to thicken the sauce.
Finally, there’s dessert. Why only serve a traditional root beer float when you can complement it with those beloved root beer and vanilla flavors in cookie form, too? Here are some easy treats that even young kids can help with. Little ones can pick up wafers, dip them into a root beer-flavored glaze, and sprinkle them with crushed root beer barrel candies. Serve the cookies as a garnish, or as an accompaniment, to the classic float.
Whether you serve only one of these dishes or all three of them, you’ll create a feast for a king — Dad, the king of his castle, this Fathers’ Day.
- 1 2-pound pork tenderloin
- 1-1/2 cups + 1/4 cup root beer
- 1 18-ounce bottle barbecue sauce (your favorite)
- 16 slider buns
- 32 dill pickle chips
Root Beer Pulled Pork
Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker and pour 1-1/2 cups root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until pork shreds easily with a fork.
After pork has cooked, drain and discard the root beer. Shred the pork and place it back in the slow cooker. Combine the barbecue sauce with the remaining 1/4 cup root beer, pour over pork, and stir to combine. Serve immediately or keep warm in slow cooker until ready to serve.
To serve, place some of the shredded pork and 2 pickle chips onto a bun.
Makes 16 sliders.
Source: Girl Who Ate Everything for tablespoon.com (adapted)
Root Beer Baked Beans
- 4 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
- 4 strips bacon, cut into 1” pieces
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-1/2 cups root beer
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place the beans into a 9”x13” baking dish.
Cook bacon over medium-high heat in a large skillet until browned; add the onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
Stir together the root beer, vinegar, molasses, tomato paste, mustard, chili powder, salt, and pepper; pour into the skillet and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the beans. Stir to combine well.
Place the dish into the oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the liquid thickens somewhat.
Makes 12 servings.
Source: Rick Rodgers for bonappetit.com (adapted)
Root Beer-Glazed Cookies
- 2/3 cup + 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 scant tablespoons root beer
- 36 Nilla wafers
- 4 root beer barrel-shaped candies, finely crushed
Lay out sheets of waxed paper or silicone liners. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners‘ sugar and root beer until smooth.
One by one, dip Nilla wafers two-thirds of the way into the glaze; drain excess glaze. Place onto the waxed paper or silicone liners. (Glaze will slide off a bit, but don’t worry about it; plenty stays on.) After dipping a half-dozen or so, while the glaze is still wet, sprinkle the cookies with a bit of the crushed candies. Repeat until the supplies are gone.
When the glaze is fully set, remove cookies from the waxed paper or silicone liner, leaving behind the excess glaze that dripped off. Place onto a serving plate.
Makes 36 cookies.
Source: Mary Bilyeu