Saturday, May 31, 2008
Yes, so maybe I've been on a pulled pork kick. But can you blame me? It's inexpensive. It's tender. It's moist. It lends itself too so many international flavors. And best of all, I can prep it the night before and it cooks while I'm at work. I got a gorgeous All-Clad deluxe slow cooker as a Christmas gift. It is especially neat because of it's nonstick cast iron insert, which can be used on the stovetop for searing and then put in the dishwasher for easy cleanup. Another favorite feature is its programmable settings, so I can ask it to cook on high for one hour, low for 8 hours, then it automatically keeps my food warm until I'm ready. It makes weeknights so much easier.
I've been playing with different pulled pork flavors. Of course, traditional smoky Carolina BBQ is satisfying and Latin flavors dance on the tongue. But this may be my favorite. The asian flavors mingle with the pork's buttery undertones.
Now, I know I already paid tribute to Coconut & Lime with an original recipe. I did not intend to also make one of Rachel's recipes, but I was curious to compare her hamburger buns to mine. They're also so good that the verdict's still out. I have no idea which one I prefer. Hers are slightly softer, which I love for pulled pork, but isn't as important to me for burgers. In any case, I never want to buy buns again.
Asian BBQ Pulled Pork
5- 6 pounds boneless pork shoulder (2 smaller pieces work best)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Chinese black vinegar
2/3 cup kansas city style BBQ sauce
2/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cups water
Grill pork over high heat, searing each side until golden. Pork should not be cooked on the inside. Put aside to rest. (You can also sear this in a cast iron pan on the stovetop if needed.)
Combine all other ingredients in the insert of a slow cooker. Add pork. Liquid should come at least halfway up sides of pork pieces. Refrigerate overnight.
Bring to room temperature. Cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Remove pork and shred (You can shred it with a spoon if you like - it's that tender). Reduce sauce until syrupy. Toss pork in sauce. Serve on whole wheat hamburger buns with crisp steamed green beans in garlic sauce.
Whole Wheat Soft Hamburger Buns
For the buns, follow Rachel's recipe, but substitute whole wheat pastry flour for 1 3/4 cups of the all purpose flour. This gives them a nutty flavor and makes them more nutritious too.