09 May 2010

The Contraption: Pulled Pork Sandwiches - Redux

Last month's slow cooker cooking adventure was less than spectacular. It was also too good to be true.

A minimal amount of prep time, combined with soft drinks and a bit of this and that amounted to a sickly sweet and totally underwhelming mound of sandwiches.

My call for alternative recipes were heard. Between emails, conversations and comments, I had a number of options from which to seek vindication. Can the slow cooker redeem itself or will paperweight-dustcatcher take an early lead in search of optimal uses?

After some study I opted for Deb's recommendation of Epicurious' Barbecue Pork Shoulder. In as much as I'd have liked to try a fellow foodblogger's recipe, pantry staples, time and my inability to get organised won out the day.

I tweaked the recipe in minor ways (prepared mustard for dijon, totally left out the Tabasco, increased the cider vinegar) as well as strained out the sauce and reduced it down, adding a couple of good glugs of barbecue sauce. The result was so much more palatable than before.


Simple: Much more complex flavours brough about by actual (gasp!) cooking.

Even though I prepared this in a slow cooker, I don't see why this couldn't have been set in a slow oven for a few hours, encased by a Dutch Oven. Perhaps I'll try it that way next time and see what the difference is...

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches
adapted from Epicurious' Barbecued Pork Shoulder
Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Yield approx 10 sandwiches.

20g (2 Tbsp) brown sugar
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
2dspn (4tsp) powdered chilli pepper
1 tsp salt
olive oil for frying
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (with seeds)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5kg (approx 3lbs) pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
90g (approx 3oz) streaky bacon (3 rashers), chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped (approx 500ml/2c)
1 bay leaf
60ml (0.25c) barbecue sauce

Whisk together sugar, tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, chilli pepper and salt. Pour over cubed pork and set aside.

Sautée onions, chopped bell pepper, garlic and jalepeno until veggies are tender.

Tip onion mixture, pork, marinade, tomatoes and bay leaf into slow cooker.

Set cooker to low and cook for seven hours.

When done, remove pork cubes and shred with two forks. Strain out the veggies and bacon from the liquid and reduce to about 1/3 volume. Stir in barbecue sauce. Reserve about 0.25c.

Return the meat and the balance of the sauce to the slow cooker, and cook on low for about an hour.

Serve with reserved sauce.



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1 comment:

Jannett said...

This recipe sounds pretty good...I have to say the only thing I have used my slow cooker for is stew. A beef stew..and a chicken stew. Have put this on my to try list...:)