Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Pulled Pork

I've been pretty much sticking to chicken and, lately, ground turkey for my dishes. I saw another great recipe on Jourdan's blog, this time for pulled pork. I've never made pulled pork before but this recipe looked so easy I was pretty confident in my abilities to make it.

This was a super tasty dish, and it definitely came with a kick! (I took two of my heartburn medication after the first bite!) If you wanted this to be a little less spicy, I'd add a little more brown sugar (which I did once it was done) and maybe half the chipotle peppers. However, John and I really loved it how it is once I added some extra brown sugar (about 2 more tablespoons) and honey barbeque sauce (Sweet Baby Rays!). 

Funny story, I sent John to the store for the meat. Well, my husband is always on the lookout for a deal. He called to ask me if pork loin was the same as pork shoulder/butt (which is what I put on his grocery list). I told him I didn't think so but to ask the butcher.  John did ask the butcher, but not until he had googled it on his phone first. The butcher told him the same thing Google did, and he decided to get me the shoulder, which, apparently, is what they use in the south. Butt is, apparently, usually used on the east coast. Just a little random fact for you. Enjoy! :)

*pork shoulder/butt (mine was about 4.5 pounds)
*2 cans Dr. Pepper (24 oz total)
*1 7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I found this with the Mexican food - tortillas, taco seasoning, etc.)
*2 tablespoons brown sugar
*1/2 large onion, largely chopped
*whole wheat buns
*parsley (original recipe calls for cilantro, but I have a serious aversion to it so I decided to use parsley - Google told me it was a substitution)
*1/4 cup almonds
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1 or 1/2 jalapeno (depending on size and how spicy you would like it - I skipped this altogether!)
*Honey BBQ sauce (optional, but highly recommended)


Pulled Pork:
*Roughly chop 1/2 a large onion (or the whole thing, depending on how much onion you like) and place it in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the pork on top of the onion, with the fatty side facing up.

*Spread the chipotle peppers on top of the pork. Add the Dr. Pepper, followed by the brown sugar (I just sprinkled mine all around). Set it on low for 7 hours (I like to start with 7 hours so I don't overcook the meat. If it's not ready after 7 hours, set it on low for another hour. I ended up cooking it for 7.5 hours total).

*When the pork is done pull it out of the slow cooker and place it into a bowl where you can add more brown sugar and barbeque sauce as you'd like. If you can, sift the onions out into a separate bowl as well. Serve with your desired components and enjoy!

Parsley Pesto:
*Chop up the parsley (or cilantro), jalapeno (if you choose to include it) and almonds. Place in a food processor with olive oil and mix well or until your desired consistency.

*Spoon the sauce over your pulled pork or on the bun. (Note: While I enjoyed this sauce, John loved it so much without the sauce that he didn't even bother putting it on! Use your discretion and personal palette to decide what to do. This definitely wasn't a make it or break it addition for us.)

What everything looked like as I turned on the slow cooker.

The onions pulled out from the slow cooker. Carmelized and delicious!

Parsley Pesto!

A look at how much pork we got from the pulled pork.

View from the top.

Pulled pork, plus BBQ sauce, plus more pulled pork, plus onions, plus a little extra BBQ sauce on the bun. YUM!

I served our sandwiches with green beans so that we'd get our greens in :)
With the parsley pesto. Love how the green adds to the dish.

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