Sunday, September 19, 2010
This is the best recipe I've come up with in awhile and it's all mine. It came together with ingredients I had on hand either stuff I bought because I knew I'd use it or just general pantry items I've amassed, with the exception of the pomegranate molasses. But the molasses are something I've been wanting to make and use and the boy loves pulled pork. It's my favorite kind of meal, one that serves my purposes and his, as well as I meal where I don't have to spend an hour at the grocery store.
I added in the ancho chili because I like a little heat in my pulled pork, and happened to have picked up some chile's that I hadn't yet used. The chile's where the real wild card here because I was completely guessing about how much to use to get that perfect balance of sweet, tart and heat and having never worked with them before this could go quite badly. I went with it though, picked a number I thought would be tasty and prayed that we wouldn't be ordering in pizza.
Pomegranate Ancho Pulled Pork
1 3lb boneless pork shoulder - trimmed of any excess fat
2 small onions - chopped
3 cloves garlic - minced
1/3 cup pomegranate molasses (see recipe below)
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup pomegranate balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsps liquid smoke
2 tsp Mexican chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground Mexican chili
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1. Place the dried Ancho chiles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 20 minutes to reconstitute.
2. Mix together all rub ingredients and then rub on all sides of boneless pork shoulder. Heat a dutch in a oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Brown all sides of the shoulder and set it aside.
3. After the chiles have sat in the boiling water, drain the water, seed and chop the chiles. Add them to the slow cooker with the shopped onions and garlic. Add the browned pork shoulder and top with the remaining 10 ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours.
4. At the end of the cook time, place the pork should in a bowl or on a cutting board and shred the meat. Place back into slow cooker, mix the meat with the sauce and serve on a home made wheat bun with red cabbage jalapeno slaw.
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 lemon - juiced
2 tsp sugar
1. Place pomegranate juice, lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and boil down to a syrupy consistency. This will boil down to the 1./3 cup needed for the pulled pork.
I LOVED this pulled pork. It wasn't too saucy, but the sauce that was there was packed with amazingly sweet and tart pomegranate flavor with the perfect amount of spice. Upon first taste I was nervous that there wasn't enough heat, but a few bites in I realized I had achieved that perfect slight burn that is what I was hoping for. Just enough heat to keep it interesting and to balance out the pomegranate flavor. This is not your traditional Southern Pulled Pork, but I highly recommend it.
The boy really liked it and liked even that he didn't have to deal with a grumpy wife and take out pizza. He wolfed down two before I finished my one, which is always the best sign. Stay tuned for the homemade buns and red cabbage slaw later this week, because they truly rounded the whole sandwich out and make it my ultimate sandwich.
I think food is fun and an ever-changing experiment. It doesn't need to be complicated, try what you think will go together. I had no clue how the pomegranate and chile would work, but I had to try. Sometimes it works, sometimes you end up with takeout pizza. But when it works there are few things that are more fun.