Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pulled Pork

Or,  Chipotle at home without the burrito. Personally I am partial to pork, especially Mangalista pork a European heritage hog that is loaded with fat and marbled red meat, tasting almost like beef. It is difficult to get here in the midwest and is mostly a product of small scale farmers and breeders who have the space and wherewith all to care for the hog appropriately. I first had Mangalista pork In Budapest. I loved the pork so much in Budapest that I had it every single night for dinner!

This particular pulled pork was not from the great Mangalista but from a bone in shoulder cut I got at Whole Foods. I try to buy local, I try to be responsible about where I get my meat from but it isn't always easy.  Someday I am going to order some Mangalista pork, I am sure there are suppliers on the west coast (I know big carbon footprint!). When I go back to Budapest in January you can be sure I will eat my fair share of pork.  This pulled pork was the most simple meal ever. I covered the meat with a Latin Spice Rub (doubled) and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Then I put the meat in the crockpot and cooked it on low for 12 hours. It fell apart with ease and made for a succulent meal!

Latin Spice Rub

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2  teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a small bowl, combine everything well, use immediately, or transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Store away from heat and light for up to 6 months. Makes enough to rub 2 tenderloins, four chops or about a pound of flank like steak. For a shoulder cut double the recipe.

Once the meat was pulled, and after I ate about a fourth of the meat I made a traditional Minnesota church basement casserole, using about half the pork. I froze the rest for another meal. 

Cari's Pulled Pork Casserole

3 cups of cooked white rice
Pulled pork (about half of a shoulder)
1 pint of Cari's canned roasted plum tomatoes
1 pint of Cari's canned black beans
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cheddar Cheese, grated, at least a cup, more if you like

Cook rice and put it in the bottom of a 3 quart oven safe casserole. Put pork on top of rice. Saute onion and garlic in a small amount of oil, season with salt and pepper, add the black beans and cover the pork with the beans. Top with a can of roasted plum tomatoes and sprinkle grated cheddar on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling. ENJOY!

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