Currently viewing the tag: "BBQ Pork & Mashed Potato Fries"

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Finally, May brings the warm weather we’ve all been waiting on! This winter was incredibly long. It was a great time to experiment with hearty dishes like chilis, soups, and stews. But with warmer temperatures, comes more fresh dishes that utilize the grill and other outdoor cooking techniques (like roasting over the fire). And, let’s not forget Memorial Day! A time to honor those in the military who died in combat and to celebrate our personal freedoms given to us from their sacrifices. Memorial Day offers the opportunity to exercise our personal freedoms as Americans, as we get to talk to friends and family about whatever we want, dress however we want (let’s hear it for shorts season), and grill whatever we want from the resources readily available from our grocery stores (you want 50 pounds of squid? Go ahead! Your personal freedoms allow you to do that!). Speaking of the famous Memorial Day BBQ, today’s dishes are great main and side dishes that compliment each other nicely: BBQ Pork and Mashed potato fries!

Sweet and tangy, complimented with crunchy and salty, these dishes are easy to make and delicious.

The mashed potato fries may seem confusing. Why go the extra length to make mashed potatoes and then fry them? Boiling the potatoes first ensures that the potatoes will be tender and not undercooked when in fry form. By adding cornstarch to the mashed potatoes, the fries can be more easily shaped (and customized into whatever shape you want) and handled.

Another ingredient that may be questionable is using Cola for the pork. Cola (surprisingly) makes a great marinade for pork. The acidity of the soda helps break down the meat, while the sugars in the soda enhance the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. Cooking the meat in cola also ensures that the meat doesn’t dry out and that it remains both tender and juicy. Enjoy your Memorial Day, flavorfully!

BBQ Pork & Mashed Potato Fries


For the Pork

1 pork shoulder

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 cup BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

1 liter Cola (any brand)

¼ tsp. black pepper (more or less, depending on preference)

2 tsp. garlic powder (more or less, depending on preference)

2 tsp. onion powder (more or less, depending on preference)

1 tsp. salt (more or less, depending on preference)

For the Fries

2 potatoes

3 tbsp. cornstarch

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup oil (canola or vegetable) for frying

Salt (for after the fries are finished frying)

Optional: cheese, other seasonings (such as onion powder, garlic powder, or chives)

Tools Needed

Crock pot or dutch oven, liquid and dry measuring utensils, pan, bowl, spoon, knife, cutting board, peeler, medium pot (for boiling potatoes), strainer, bowl, mixer or masher, medium pot or fryer, large sheet pan (or clean surface), knife, rolling pin, pan/plate layered with a bed of paper towels.


1.   Make the pork:

a. In the oven: Preheat oven 325o. Place pork shoulder in the dutch oven. Rub top and sides with dry seasonings; then pour half of BBQ sauce and cola on the pork (it should be covered in liquid; this will ensure the pork doesn’t dry out). Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for 2 hours.

b. In the crock pot: Place meat in a medium-heat crock pot. Rub top and sides with dry seasonings; pour half of BBQ sauce and cola on the pork (should be covered in liquid). Cover and let cook 4 hours.

2.   Once finished cooking (the meat should be easy to pull off with a fork), take out of the oven/crock pot and place on a pan. Take as much of the fat off as possible. Place meat in the bowl.

3.   Shred the meat, pulling against the grain. Once shredded, add the rest of the sauce and mix with a spoon. Serve on a bun or alone.

4.   Make the fries: Set water to boil in a medium pot. Peel and cut out the eyes of the potatoes. Dice the potatoes into small cubes.

5.   Place diced potatoes in boiling water and cook until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Strain once cooked and place in a bowl.

6.   Add salt and pepper (and desired other seasonings/ingredients) and mix/mash until potatoes have a smooth consistency.

7.   Add cornstarch and mix until cornstarch is well incorporated.

8.   Take the mixture out of the bowl (it should be the consistency of play-doh) and turn onto a clean work surface floured with cornstarch. Roll out to medium thickness; cut into long strips (you can shape the dough into shapes if preferred).

9.   Start a medium pot full of oil or a fryer on medium heat. Once hot, gently place fries into oil. Cook, flipping the fries after 1-2 minutes (or until golden brown).

10. Place finished fries on a bed of paper towels and salt immediately. Repeat with remaining uncooked fries.

11. Place finished fries on a plate/bowl and serve.

*With credit to With credit to Chef Liddick of CTC and user Kim’s Coca Cola Pulled Pork recipe on for ingredient proportions; information on how cola affects meat gleaned from How Soda Affects Meat, by Kim Grundy, PT on