Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Can you be naughty and still be nice?  This is the question I asked myself as I seared the pork this morning while prepping my slow cooker for pulled pork sandwiches.  I started with a Weight Watchers recipe so it should be nice.... however by the time we add the bun, coleslaw and some side dishes, I end up with a naughty dish.  The point of eating healthy is that we want balance.  But what happens when you want something really good and naughty?  How do we balance that out?  I'm trying to make the whole meal healthy by using whole grain buns, a coleslaw recipe from the Looneyspoons Collection and baked sweet potato and turnip fries.  Still by the time you add it all up it's a lot of calories (or points if you're into that sort of thing).  ps. the smell coming out of my slow cooker is rockin' this house and causing quite a bit of drool...

Balancing out the day, that's the answer!  (At this very moment I'm having an apple)  I started my day with a cup of whole grain, high fiber cereal with skim milk.  Soup or salad would be perfect (I did salad with avocado) for lunch.  Snacks are all about fruit and yogurt.  Tonight during the game I think I'll either have some shrimp cocktail with just a smidgen of cocktail sauce or air popped popcorn.  Yeah, I can feel nice about my day overall and I get to be naughty.  (I just pulled the pork apart and had a little taste - YUMMMMM)

I used pork sirloin for this dish.  It's one of my favorite cuts of pork, full of flavour and cheap!  Plus it's easy to trim the fat when using it as chunks in such dishes as souvlaki, kebabs or in this dish.  You can use any lean cheap cut in this dish.  Often you'll see shoulder used for pulled pork.  It's a fatty cut of pork.  I'm sure you've heard the saying "fat equals flavour".  I know you people...  Big fan of the philosophy but in this instance the meat simmers so long, the sauce is so flavourful, you just don't need all that fat.  Lean is mean baby!  I would not use tenderloin in this dish.  Too expensive and tender to waste on a dish that simmers like this one. 

Pulled Pork
Serves 6-8 (at least!)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 - 1 1/2lb pork sirloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 3inch chunks
  • 1 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup hickory or mesquite bbq sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp each chipotle and ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic chili pepper sauce
  • 2 onions, sliced
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat
  2. Brown the pork on all sides
  3. Toss all the ingredients from ketchup through to garlic chili pepper sauce in the slow cooker and mix well.
  4. Add the pork and toss to coat with the sauce
  5. Set your slow cooker to high
  6. In the frying pan saute the onions until soft.
  7. Add the onions on top of the pork mixture in the slow cooker.
  8. Cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low (It depends on whether I'm home or away - away I go slower and lower since I'm not on hand to turn things off)
  9. Take the pork out of the cooker and 'pull' it apart with 2 forks.
  10. Taste test the pork.  If you like a little more heat add more pf the chili powders and/or garlic chili pepper sauce.
  11. Add the pork back to the cooker and mix well with the sauce.
  12. Cook on low for another hour or so.  You can actually let it sit and keep warm until you're ready to eat.  The flavours will just keep simmering into the meat.... yummmm
Serve the pulled pork on whole grain buns, flat bread buns or even in a pita! Top with coleslaw ( I won't give you the recipe here - go buy The Looneyspoons Collection - seriously, what are you waiting for?  You won't be sorry.  It will be your go to cookbook for years to come!)

I'm going to freeze the leftovers to use in a pulled pork shepard's pie type dish with the pork on the bottom, veggies in the middle and a topping of cheesy polenta.  Drooling?  Yeah, I'll blog that one when I make it.  You can also toss the leftovers with whole wheat pasta and some veg for a quick meal.


No comments: