Special equipment: a 6-quart slow cooker
For the pulled pork: In a large bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, ancho chili powder, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, 2 tablespoons salt and 1 tablespoon pepper with a fork. Add the pork and turn to completely coat all 4 pieces.
In the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, add the onions and cover them with the pork. In a small bowl, combine the sorghum, coconut oil, vinegar and 1 teaspoon liquid smoke. Pour the mixture over the pork.
Cover and cook on low until the pork is tender and falls apart when pulled with a fork, 6 to 8 hours, depending on your slow cooker. Remove the pork from the liquid and shred. Skim and discard the fat from the liquid in the slow cooker. Return the pork to the skimmed liquid. Add the remaining teaspoon liquid smoke and stir gently to combine. Season with additional salt if needed. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the queso sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the creamy black pepper cheese until thoroughly combined, and then add the Cheddar. Once the cheeses are combined, stir in the pickled jalapenos and taste for seasoning. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the avocado sour cream: When the pork is almost finished, mash the avocados in a bowl with a whisk until broken down. Whisk in the sour cream, lime juice and a pinch of salt until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface to create a barrier from the air. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the nachos: Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the refried beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Serve the nachos in individual bowls. Evenly distribute the refried beans, chips, pulled pork and queso sauce. Top each bowl with the avocado cream, tomatoes and cilantro.
Sorghum syrup is made from the sweet juice of the sorghum plant, a variety of cereal grass. It's popular in the south as a sweetener for baked goods. You can find it at natural food stores or specialty online retailers.
Recipe courtesy of Damaris Phillips