Rob and I celebrated our Valentine’s Day yesterday, since we both work weird hours during the week. He had gotten us a couple’s massage from the massage school next to our gym, and I have to say wow. That was the first time I had ever gotten a professional, hour-long massage and it was incredible. I was so relaxed I may have fallen asleep for a brief moment.
I also may or may not have fallen over when it was done. I really thought an hour would be too long, but in the end it went by in the blink of an eye. My massage therapist recommended getting a 90 minute one next time, which I may take her up on. Another thing I really liked was they used lotion instead of oil. We we’re going to go out to eat right afterward, so we didn’t have time to go home and shower. The lotion just melts into your skin whereas oil is messy and slippery. Ew.
After our absolutely wonderful massage, we went to an Oklahoma City establishment: Cattleman’s. The restaurant has been in the Stockyards for over 100 years, and is always on those Buzzfeed lists you see of the best restaurants in each state. It’s something people always recommend, because it is the quintessential Oklahoma restaurant. We showed up at about 5:15 and there was already and hour and 15 minute wait. The exterior is unobtrusive, and the interior reeks of a patchwork-quilt of different decades. As they expanded, the restaurant took on an oddly misshapen belly. I loved it. It was retro, old school.
We were completely overdressed, but had a drink in the waiting area they had upstairs. My Jack and Coke tasted more like a Jack and Jack (I was okay with that). Since we were there, I decided to go for the whole experience. When we were finally seated, I ordered the lamb fries for an appetizer.
What are lamb fries, you may ask? They’re not fries, that’s for sure. They’re testicles. I really was grossed out about the thought of putting that in my mouth, but YOLO. I had to try it. Props to Rob, he did try it after minutes of pleading from me. He tried the tiniest piece ever, but he tried it!
Verdict: Actually not bad. You may think they’d taste chewy, but they don’t. The deep-fried slivers melt in your mouth like butter. I ate a few of them, dipped in cocktail sauce, but the main sticking point was I was eating balls. Will I ever eat them again? Probably not. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
You get a salad with your meal and I had heard the house dressing was good, but to order it on the side. I did both, and was really intrigued by the dressing. It was a creamy white dressing that had small chunks of cheese in it, but not blue cheese. I dug it.
For dinner I went for the special: A whopper, 16 ounce ribeye. This steak was gorgeous, and cooked perfectly. I always order a temperature above because steakhouses usually under-cook, but this steak really did come out medium. It was the thickest steak I’d ever seen in my life. It was a delicious hunk of beef. I barely made it through half of the steak before having to ask for a to-go box. Sides were simple: a huge, fluffy roll and a baked potato with sour cream and butter. I like my ‘taters with cheese, but I digress.
For dessert, our waitress recommended the blackberry cobbler, a la mode. I’m not huge on berries like blackberries and raspberries. I hate the seeds. I’m not even that huge on strawberries, but like them best out of all the berries. They also had coconut cream pie on the menu, which would usually be my go-to dessert, but I decided to stick with the experience. Blackberry cobbler it was.
Thankfully, my portion came with a lot of the blackberry juice and not many berries. Next to the steak, it was my favorite part of the meal. Rob got a massive cinnamon roll for dessert and devoured it.
The decor was very retro. We were seated in a cramped area next to a diner-style bar. Wood panelling covered the walls, and there were two rooms separated by old, cigarette-stained dividers. The stools at the bar looked like they were from the 50’s. The floor was a weird green tile that had seen better days. The flourescent lights flickered above, not making for the best light to take pictures.
But again, that’s the beauty of this place. It doesn’t need to be chic and have subway tile in the inside. It’s been around for more than 100 years, and it’ll probably be around for 100 more. If you’re ever in Oklahoma City, you might as well go here. Sit with the cowboys, eat a gigantic steak, and be an Oklahoman for a day.
Now for my food. From steak and potatoes, to pork and potatoes. I had a hunk of pork sitting in my freezer that I needed to do something with, so I made some pulled pork. Not one to just stop there, I made it into a shepherd’s pie. I love barbecue sauce with potatoes, so I knew this would taste good. And barbecue and ranch potatoes are even better.
This meal takes a lot of effort and a lot of pots, but it’s worth it in the end. I made my barbecue pork Texas-style: slightly sweet, slightly spicy, with a chipotle chili kick. It went so well with the corn and potatoes. This is one hearty, delicious shepherd’s pie.
BBQ Pulled Pork Shepherd's Pie
Ranch-flavored smashed red potatoes covering Texas-style barbecue pulled pork.
For the Texas-style pulled pork:
- 1 (3 lb.) pork shoulder
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 TBS. brown sugar
- 1 TBS. dijon mustard
- 1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 TBS. chipotle chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt & pepper
For the Shepherd’s Pie:
- 2 lbs. red potatoes, slightly peeled, leaving some red skins in tact, and cut into chunks
- 1 (1 oz) package ranch dressing mix
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 (15 oz) can regular corn, drained
- Place oil in a slow cooker and top with pork shoulder. Sprinkle chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper on top. Pour in 1 cup barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Brush on pork. Add brown sugar, garlic, mustard and Worcestershire. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or until pork is tender and separates from bone. Discard bones and fat strip and strain pork into a bowl. Shred with two forks. Add remaining barbecue sauce and toss to coat.
- Make the potatoes: Boil red potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Add ranch seasoning and sour cream and mash until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large, 13×9″ baking dish. Place shredded pork in one layer in dish. Top with corn. Using a spatula, spread mashed potatoes over the top like icing on a cake. Top with cheese. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Place oil in a slow cooker and top with pork shoulder. Sprinkle chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper on top.
Pour in 1 cup barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Brush on pork. Add brown sugar, garlic, mustard and Worcestershire. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or until pork is tender and separates from bone.
Discard bones and fat strip and strain pork into a bowl. Shred with two forks. Add remaining barbecue sauce and toss to coat.
Make the potatoes: Boil red potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Add ranch seasoning and sour cream and mash until smooth.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large, 13×9″ baking dish. Place shredded pork in one layer in dish. Top with corn.
Using a spatula, spread mashed potatoes over the top like icing on a cake. Top with cheese. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Devour at once. That is a must with this recipe!