I really never thought I’d say it, but I’m beginning to think I might love BBQ. After a weird, off-putting, childhood BBQ experience (which also turned me off Sprite), I never really got into BBQ. People would talk about how much they loved it, but I just thought that it wasn’t for me. But in the past few years, I’ve become more open to trying it (due in part to living in Texas, trying bites of it when my hubby ordered it at a restaurant, and having some for dinner at friends’ houses.). I don’t order it all the time, but I’m not afraid of it, and I’m willing to try making it if a recipe appeals to me (like today’s or the ribs I recently posted about).
A couple of years ago, I helped my best friend throw a surprise party for her husband when he finished his degree. One of the things I helped with was letting her cook the pulled pork at my apartment. That’s when I discovered that pulled pork is both easy and tasty (though the taste is largely dependent on the sauce used). I’ve also been trying lately to expand my repertoire of what cuts of meat I cook, so this was an opportunity to work on that too.
Of course, the first recipe that caught my eye was another from one of my favorite chefs, Aartie Sequeira. Once again, her lovely accent and simple recipes inspire me to try new foods. This recipe was amazingly easy, but SOOO tasty. While the pork sits with a rub on it, you whip together an easy mango BBQ sauce (Don’t worry, the sauce doesn’t taste fruity, it just gives it some sweetness.), then you cook the pork in the sauce! This is such a versatile recipe, and we really got our mileage from it. We had pulled pork sandwiches a few times, pulled pork quesadillas, and even some pulled pork tacos. (We’ve also got just a little bit of it stashed in the freezer for a quick meal one night.) After all that, I think you deserve to see the recipe for this delicious dish.
Pulled Pork with Mango BBQ Sauce (from Food Network)
For the pork:
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 3 lb. trimmed, boneless pork shoulder
For the sauce:
1/4 c. veggie oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tbsp. minced ginger
1 minced onion
1 thinly sliced serrano
2 c. mango puree (When I went to make this, I couldn’t find the Goya mango puree in the store, so I had to buy some mango chunks. They only gave me about 1 c. of puree, but I didn’t have any more mango. I ended up supplementing with some pineapple that I had on hand. It worked well, but I did buy the mango puree for the next week for the next time I get the itch to make this.)
1/2 c. lime juice
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. molasses
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, and salt. Massage the rub into the shoulder til coated; set aside.
- In a large pot, warm the oil over low heat til hot and shimmering. Add in the cumin and fennel seeds (which will sputter). Once the sputtering stops, add the ginger, onion, serrano, and a pinch of salt. Saute these til soft, but don’t let them brown. Add the mango puree, lime juice, vinegar, worcestershire, and molasses and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season as necessary. (I thought it was a bit too tangy, so I added a small squeeze of honey.)
- Add in the pork and turn to coat it in the sauce. Cover and gently simmer, stirring and turning often, til the pork falls apart, about 3 hours.
- Once the pork is cooked, shred it with two forks and serve via your desired method.
Is there anything that you disliked as a kid that you’ve begun to come around to liking? If so, what changed it for you?