Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Yes, it's another pulled pork recipe. Only supersized. And on uber-cheesy bread. So, in case you didn't get enough with this Latin / Asian take or my Char Sui Bao, here's a more traditional, All-American version.
I'm sure I've told you all about MOLDOW (Munchies On the Last Day Of the Week), but just in case I'll give a refresher course. MOLDOW is a lovely tradition at the high school where I teach, where everyone in the math and science departments take turns to bring in some home cooked food on Fridays (or sometimes wednesdays or thursdays) for breakfast and lunch. A former department chair started up this tradition over ten years ago, when he won a free turkey and made everyone turkey sandwiches for lunch. It's been gaining in popularity ever since and is a weekly ritual that has, quote " gotten way outta hand." [Sidenote: I may be the reason it's gotten way out of hand. I'm not sure I'm upset about that.]
Pulled Pork is perfect for MOLDOW. It's easy to make ahead, actually tastes better after a couple days, and reheats quickly in a crockpot. Not to mention it feeds a huge number of people for relatively little cash. Please feel free to scale down this recipe. It is sized to feed 30+ people. This is fantastic on the cheesy bread recipe below, but also awesome with some sour cream, scallions and tortilla chips.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
15 lbs. pork shoulder (about 20 lbs if bone-in)
hickory smoked salt
1 tsp butter
1 large sweet onion, grated
1 1/2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped fine
2/3 cup dry vermouth
1/3 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp dark molasses
1 Tbsp orange blossom honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup worchestershire sauce
1 Tbsp liquid smoke
2/3 cup orange pinapple concentrate
1 Tbsp dijion mustard
1 tsp chile powder
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon chipotle rub
1 Tbsp pork rub (McCormick)
1 tsp crushed oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup water
Rub pork with brown sugar, chile powder and hickory smoked salt. Grill over high heat until caramelized and lightly charred on the outside. Let rest while you make the sauce. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Saute onion and chipotle until soft. Add remaining sauce ingredients (I know - it's a lot, but it's good!). Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
Pour sauce down over pork. At this point you can cook or refrigerate overnight. Braise in a slow cooker set to low for 10 whopping hours (low and slow, baby!).
Remove pork to a bowl and shred with a fork, discarding pieces of fat. This should be super easy, as the pork has a tendency to almost melt by this point. Bring liquid to a boil, and reduce by at least half, or until slightly thickened. Blend with a boat motor (stick blender) until emulsified. Toss pork back into sauce.
Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight. Reheat in a crockpot on high heat for one and a half hours. Keep warm until serving (mine has a lovely setting for this too).
Cheesy Bread for Pulled Pork Sammies
Makes 4 loaves - perfect for the full recipe of pork above. Halves easily.
Leave out the chiles if you're not a fan of the heat (or cooking for people who aren't). You can use white cheddar, but the yellow lends beautiful color to this loaf.
2 2/3 cup warm water
2 packets active dry yeast
4 Tbsp rendered bacon fat (yeah, I know - but it's for 4 loaves of bread people!)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 tsp hickory smoked sea salt
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp chile powder
1 chipotle in adobo, minced (optional)
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
11 - 12 cups flour
4 cups crumbled sharp cheddar
freshly ground black pepper
hickory smoked salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Combine water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let sit 5 minutes, or until foamy. Whisk in eggs, bacon fat, butter, salt, sugar, spices and cheddar. With the mixer's dough hook, slowly knead in flour in small additions until a soft, not sticky dough forms. Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 4 minutes, then place in an extra large oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let rise one hour, or until doubled.
Spray four 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with nonstick spray. Separate dough into 4 pieces. Roll each out into an oval on a floured surface. Top each with cheese crumbles and sprinkle with spices. Roll each up like a jellyroll, tuck ends under and place seam side down in a prepared pan. Spray with nonstick spray and let rise one hour.
Preheat oven to 375. Place pans on a large baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. They should be golden. Top with shredded cheese. Bake another 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Cool in pans 15 minutes, then unmold onto wire racks to cool.