Southern Pig Taters
Everything we eat probably isn’t going to be healthy. Sometimes we need something indulgent, something decadent, something comforting, or something that just says “stuff your face.” That’s where Southern Pig Taters come in!
What are Southern Pig Taters, you might ask? Well, let me just tell you! This cheese-y, saucy, yummy goodness is our twist on an appetizer that we’ve had at multiple restaurants. I’ve seen them called pork totchos, BBQ tater tots, and a couple of menus do actually use the term “pig taters.”
The ingredients are always slightly different though and the ones I’ve eaten at restaurants either didn’t have cheese or they had shredded cheese. We decided to improve on the idea by topping them with beer cheese. That, along with my recipe for pulled pork BBQ, gives them a flavor we’ve yet to experience at any restaurant!
Here’s What You Need:
- Two 32 oz. bags of Tater Tots (any brand will do), cook as directed on bag
- Pulled Pork, follow directions below or in this Pulled Pork BBQ post, minus the sauce
- Bacon, 1 lb, fried and crumbled into pieces
- BBQ Sauce, 1/2 cup plus extra to serve (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s most of the time.)
- Ranch Dressing, 1/2 cup plus extra to serve
- Beer Cheese, about 16 oz., plus 3-4 Tablespoons milk
- 5 Green Onions, sliced
Pulled Pork BBQ Recipe:
2 Pork Butt Roasts — 2 to 3 lbs each
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Cumin
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/4 cup of apple juice
Place pork butts in the crockpot. Sprinkle spices and brown sugar on top. Pour apple juice over it all. Cook on 6-8 hours on low (I generally do 8) or 4 hours on high.
Here’s How To Make Them:
First, cook the pork. The slow cooker or the smoker both work equally well, so do what makes sense to you. We do prefer using my Pulled Pork BBQ recipe, but don’t mix the sauce into the pork this time.
While the pork is cooking, mix up your ranch dressing and beer cheese. I just use Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix most of the time, but I replace the plain milk with buttermilk in the recipe. The flavor is just so much better!! Sometimes, I make my own ranch dressing, but it depends on how much work I want to do. Granted, it wouldn’t be that much work if I’d organize my spice cabinet.
As for the beer cheese, I’ve got a confession…I buy it at the local IGA. The have their own deli and it’s delicious. Beer cheese isn’t all that hard to make though and I recommend this Kentucky Beer Cheese recipe for something authentic. Make a double-batch of the recipe the day before. Heat it in a pot with a small amount of milk to thin it out (usually just a few tablespoons). You want to make a sauce, but it doesn’t have to be super thin.
After the pork is finished cooking, prepare the tater tots and fry the bacon. We generally do the tater tots in the air fryer, but if you don’t have one, prepare them how it works best for you.
Sometimes we bake the bacon in the oven, but I tend to like to fry it so that I can save the bacon grease. Does anybody else keep their bacon grease?? It’s great when you need to fry something small or want to make some gravy. I also put bacon grease in my cornbread. It gives it the absolute best flavor!
Now Here Comes the Best Part…
Put it all together!
Place the tater tots on the bottom of a pan or platter. Layer the pulled pork across the top of the tater tots. Pour beer cheese over the pork. Sprinkle crumbled up bacon on top. Drizzle BBQ Sauce and Ranch Dressing over top of everything (leave extra BBQ Sauce and Ranch on the side for anyone who wants more) and then sprinkle sliced green onions over it all.
All that’s left to do after that is eat!!
This recipe makes a huge pan and it will feed 6-8 people rather large portions. It’s a great dish to take to a potluck/party or to serve when you have guests for dinner.