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I’m still getting my bearings about how to manage school day afternoons. My oldest now has nightly homework, and I’ve found that she gets too stressed out if she has to do all of it at once. So between 3-5, I find myself doing a bit of a dance back and forth between overseeing homework and preparing dinner and doing daily light housekeeping. Most days, I find myself to be totally wiped out by the time I sit down to eat the dinner I have prepared. The days when I am not wiped out are the days when dinner prep was easy. So I’m very determined to stick to easy dinners now that I realize what a difference it makes!
Today I have a really fun recipe to share with you. I first made it about a month ago just on a whim when we had some leftover barbecue pork in the fridge and some potatoes in the pantry that needed to be used. The positive reaction my family had to this foil packet dinner was so positive that I decided to make it again!
This is a cheesy barbecue potato foil packet, and it’s the perfect recipe for the work-at-home parent because it involves a bit of slow cooking first (but aren’t slow cookers great? They do all the work for you!).
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to put this recipe together:
- One 3-4 lb pork shoulder or pork butt, strings removed
- 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
- 6-8 small/medium red potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 small or 1/2 large green bell pepper, sliced
- 16 oz. Kraft Natural Shreds mild cheddar (can substitute Kraft Natural Chunk cheese if you prefer)
- aluminum foil
In the morning, place your pork shoulder in your slow cooker, along with 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce spread on top of the pork. Place the lid on and cook on low for 6 1/2 hours (go longer if your pork cut is larger).
Once the pork has cooked through, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. It should shred easily for you! Add the other 1/2 cup of barbeque sauce to the pork, or until it has the amount of sauce you desire it to have.
Now it’s time to slice your potatoes. You could have sliced them at any point while the pork was cooking just to make more progress on the recipe, but if you do that, you’ll want to soak your potato slices in some water after you are done because potato slices will turn an unfortunate color when they are oxidized for a while. So I just opt to slice my potatoes after the pork is done and once I’m ready to move on to the next step! I have an awesome slicing feature on my food processor, but you can also slice them by hand. I’d make them thicker than a potato chip slice, but still rather thin.
Now it’s time to build your foil packets! It’s fun to make food in a foil packet because kids love it! You can have your own little backyard camp out dinner this way, or you can use your grill to cook these, or you can just keep it simple (which is obviously my preference) and use your oven. If you go the oven route, preheat it to 400 degrees.
Take your aluminum foil and cut a sheet a little over a foot long. Be sure to spritz a little cooking spray on the surface.
Now add a layer of potatoes and a small amount of green bell peppers on top. Now add 1 small pat of butter on top and 1 tsp of water.
Foil packets will do all the cooking work for you, which is awesome! By creating these little packets, you make a great environment for those potatoes and bell peppers to cook, and the butter and water helps them stay nice and moist. Fold up your packet so that the food is not exposed, first by bringing together to the longer sides and folding over, and then by folding over the ends.
I created 6 packets with the food I had on hand. You will place these packets in the oven for 20 minutes. I put them on two baking trays so that they would be easier to get out.
Once the potatoes and bell peppers have cooked for 25 minutes, it’s time to add the stars of the show: the meat and cheese! VERY CAREFULLY unwrap your foil packets (steam is going to come out, so please be careful!). Now add the amount of barbecue you desire, followed by the amount of Kraft Natural Shreds you desire.
Now you simply re-fold your packets and pop them back in the oven for 10 minutes. You can serve these immediately after taking them out of the oven. And the beautiful thing about the foil packets is that they will hold their heat quite well, so if you finish the food but still need some time to set the table or finish up that last homework problem, it’s no big deal at all. The foil packet will wait for you!
Serve the meal right in the packet, which means that clean up is a total cinch! I love this meal because I’m pretty much always too tired to deal with the dishes after cooking, and by having a foil packet meal, there aren’t nearly as many dishes to deal with! Love it!
Ready to give this recipe a try? Before you head out the door to your nearest Walmart to pick up your ingredients, be sure to print a coupon for $.75 off Kraft Natural Shreds. Saving time AND saving money? Friend you are on fire! Here’s where you can find the Kraft products in the store (and don’t forget to pick up the Kraft Naturals Chunk cheese, too, as it is just the right thing for an after school snack!).
I hope this helps you get through the after school sprint to dinner, and maybe even leave you a little energy at the end of the day! Imagine that! 😉