Monday, March 29, 2010

Maple Monday-Carmalized Apple Pulled Pork

Pulled pork makes an excellent substitute for the traditional Easter dinner of a baked ham. It's also good anytime you just want a really delicious meal! This recipe uses apples, shallots, cider vinegar and maple syrup to create a glorious reduction with the pork. The apples and shallots almost melt away to form a carmelized sauce that is anything but boring. When served with Maple-Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce, this dish gets even better!

Tips:
  • Any type of apple will do here, I use a Jonagold because of it's large size and it's nice blend of sweet and tart flavors.
  • If you've never cooked with shallots...here's your chance! Taste wise they are sort of a blend of a sweet red onion and garlic. They work well when garlic would be too overpowering in a dish but an onion alone doesn't offer enough of the flavor you are looking for. If you don't have or can't find any shallots (though most supermarkets do carry them), 1 small red onion, and 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic will offer similar flavor results.
  • Before I add the shallots, I like to seperate the "petals" for more even cooking.
  • When the pork is done, you will notice the liquid has mostly evaporated and the apples and shallots have carmelized to create a thick brown sauce. If you've never used this method of cooking you think you burned it but don't worry, it's supposed to look that way.
  • Be careful when removing the lid, this dish produces a lot of steam that can burn you. Since there is vingegar in this dish, the steam may also irritate your eyes if you take it face on.
  • You can use a slow cooker to do this dish as well. About 8 hours on the low setting. Pull the pork with 2 forks at the end.

Carmalized Apple Pulled Pork

3-4lb pork butt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice or water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
2 shallots, roughly chopped
1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup maple syrup

Place pork in a stock pot or dutch oven. Pour in vinegar and apple juice (or water). Add cayenne, sage, thyme, paprika, mustard, shallots and apples (add apples last). Drizzle in maple syrup. Cover the pot and bake at 375 degrees for 3 hours and 15 minutes. After 2 hours, use a large carving fork and start to pull apart the pork (you will only be able to do some of it at this point). Replace lid and place back in the oven. After 3 hours (or 1 additional hour since you last took it out), finish pulling the pork completly and stir all ingredients together. Replace lid and return to oven for 15 more minutes. Serve warm, with barbecue sauce if desired.

1 comments:

Holly said...

I just copied this recipe...I said to hubby listen to this and he started drooling.

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