Friday, March 13, 2009

Shredded Pork Two Ways

Pork butt, pork shoulder, boston butt. It's all pretty much the same and is the upper part of the shoulder from the front legs of the pig. This is the essential cut for pulled pork. A lot of recipes call for slow roasting for 6 to 8 hours but I take a little short cut by cutting the pork into smaller pieces and slow roast at 300 degrees for about 2 to 3 hours. The smaller the pieces, the shorter the time but don't cut it too small or you'll loose the "pulled" pork effect. You'll know it's done when it starts to fall apart slightly and tender when squeezed.

I took a piece a little over 5 pounds and cut it into about 6 pieces (about the size of a fist), marinated in my mango hoisin bbq sauce (about 1 1/2 cups) overnight and roasted it for about 90 minutes covered and 30 more minutes uncovered at 375 degrees. Once removed from the oven and cooled slightly, "pull" the meat apart with your hands to make shreds, removing any big pieces of fat. You don't want the shreds too small as they will break further down with the second cooking.

Once the meat is pulled, place in a pot with another cup of fresh mango hoisin bbq sauce just to heat through and presto, you have pulled pork!

The sliders are a great lunch item, small little sandwiches of pulled pork on toasted buns with a red cabbage slaw. Or go south of the border by wrapping it all in a toasted corn tortilla and adding roasted poblano chilies.

Mango Hoisin BBQ Sauce Recipe (5 cups):
2 ripe mangos peeled and large diced
1/4 cup fresh ginger
8 - 12 cloves of fresh garlic
1 each serrano or jalapeno chilies (or more)
3 cups of hoisin sauce

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree till smooth. Add 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro into the blender to combine.

Red Cabbage Slaw:
5 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
olive oil
fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

Shred the cabbage using a mandoline or with a knife and soak in ice cold water for about 2 minutes. This will shock the vegetable and make it crisp up.
Drain well so that it is very dry and mix in the rest of the ingredients.

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