Friday, September 17, 2010

Pulled Pork Done 2 Ways

Feeling like I hadn't seen my friends in awhile, and having not been allowed to go into placement this week, I invited my neighbours over for dinner on Wednesday night.
And I was craving pulled pork.
John picked up a pork tenderloin. Then on Wednesday I went for a walk to run a few errands and stopped into the grocery store. Thinking it wouldn't hurt to grab another tenderloin to make sure we had enough and maybe some extra for lunches, I wandered into the meat section. Lo and behold, I found the elusive shoulder/picnic cut of pork that is recommended for making pulled pork! And it was only $7!
So I snatched it up quickly and headed home with my treasured find.
I've made pulled pork before with tenderloin but I'd never done it with pork shoulder.
Martha, as always, led me down the right path. The right and very delicious path. I did add more ingredients than her recipe called for (taking my cues from Mike & Andrea who made it 2 summers ago at the Cottage Cook-0ff).
So whether you're using a leaner (therefore healthier) tenderloin or a slightly more fatty shoulder, I've got you covered. Here's what you'll need to do to make delicious pulled pork!
Pulled Pork: Tenderloin
[click here if you want to compare Martha's recipe to my version]

(Appologies because I didn't have time to take a nice picture that would do it justice - the guests had arrived and I didn't want to taunt them by artfully arranging the serving bowl and taking multiple photos of it while their stomachs were rumbling)

1. In a large pot, add 1 container of halved cherry tomatoes (probably about 30 of them), 1 diced red onion, 3 cloves of garlic (finely diced or if you're like me just thinly slice it so you can still see the peices of garlic), 2 tbsp spicy mustard, 1/4 cup barbeque sauce, 1/4 cup ketchup, 3 tbsp worcestshire sauce, 3 tbsp brown sugar, and 1/4 cup molasses. Add tenderloin. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 20 minutes until the pork is cooked.
2. Once pork is cooked, remove from the pot and allow to cool for several minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the tenderloin (see photo below)

3. Return the shredded pork to the pot and mix back into the sauce. Heat and serve!
Pulled Pork: Shoulder
*This method requires significantly more time than the tenderloin but if you've got the time it's SO worth it.

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Make cuts in the fat (on the top) of the shoulder, scoring to make diamonds. Season the meat with salt and black pepper. Put the shoulder into a roasting pan with 1/2 cup water. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes until browned.
2. Remove pan from oven and turn heat down to 350 degrees. Tightly cover the roasting pan with tin foil and return to the oven. Allow the shoulder to cook at 350 degrees for 4 hours.
3. Remove pan from oven, remove tin foil, and allow meat to cool slightly. Using two forks, shred the meat. The meat should literally fall off the bone - you almost don't even need to shred it yourself.

4. Add the shredded pork to a pot filled with the ingredients for the sauce described in the first recipe and mix to coat all of the pork.

The combination of the tenderloin and the shoulder made for pulled pork that was a bit healthier but with forkfuls of melt-in-your-mouth tender meat. I served it with ciabatta bread that I baked about 10 minutes before the guests arrived and with green and yellow zucchini that I roasted with about 2 tbsp of butter. We made open-faced sandwiches and ohhhhh man they were good.

If you've got a lazy weekend coming up and want to try something new for dinner, go find a pork shoulder and cook that bad boy for 5 hours. If you've got a busier weekend planned, grab a tenderloin and enjoy healthier pulled pork!

P.S. I made the pumpkin fudge - to rave reviews - so I will post some pictures tomorrow.

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