Remember when the Food Network was not a reality TV channel, but one that actually featured cooking shows? Yeah, me too. Since the Food Network seems to not really be about cooking anymore, the big guns over there decided to make a new network called the Cooking Channel. However, my crappy cable company that shall remain nameless (it rhymes with schmomschmast) does not include it. So, naturally, anytime I’m somewhere that does have it, I watch it.
The other day I caught this show called Kelsey’s kitchen, and kind of loved it. This Kelsey is a little bubbly for my taste, but I really liked the food she made. She also talks about a lot of the technical sides of her cooking methods, which I love (if you haven’t figured that out already). The day I watched she made this lemon orzotto, which is like risotto but made with orzo, and is easier to make. I’ll let you know when I try it. After the show I headed to the website (yeah, I’m a nerd) and I looked at some of her recipes and came across one for a sweet and spicy shredded pork. I immediately knew I had to try it.
I love pork in all forms, especially the slow cooked and shredded variety. Often shredded pork is mixed with a bbq sauce of your choice, which I do enjoy, but sometimes it covers up the flavor of the pork. If you’re looking for a good porky flavored shredded pork, this is the recipe for you. It was incredibly moist with just a hint of sweetness and spice. It was delicious, and easy, and I will be making it at least once a week for the rest of my life (or until my boyfriend gets tired of eating it).
Sweet and Spicy Pulled Pork- modified from The Cooking Channel
1 (5-7 lb) pork shoulder
½ cup light brown sugar
4 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs salt
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 onions coarsely chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cola
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Mix together brown sugar, garlic, cumin, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg. Rub the mixture generously and evenly over the pork shoulder.
In a large roasting pan or Dutch oven, add the chopped onions, broth and cola. Place the seasoned pork in the Dutch oven. I had a little bit of excess seasoning that I just patted on to the top of the pork once it was in the cooking liquid.
Roast for 6 hours, checking the pork every couple hours for tenderness and liquid level.
When the pork is tender enough that it is falling apart, shred it with a fork. I did this directly in the Dutch oven, it shredded with very little effort. Stir to combine with the remaining juices.
I topped the sandwiches with a Jicama Apple Slaw.
1 green apple, cored and julienned
½ of a medium sized jicama, peeled and julienned
½ of a medium sized green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (or use a mandolin like I did)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs olive oil
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ of 1 jalapeno seeded and julienned (optional)
Combine all the ingredients. Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
A few notes:
The “modification” I made was the nutmeg. I love nutmeg in savory dishes, it adds just another level of spice and helps bring out an earthy almost smoky flavor in the meat.
I left the house for 5 out of the 6 hours this was cooking. While I can’t “recommend” this, my pork was juicy delicious and not at all dry.
I served this on those cute little slider buns. I prefer a smaller bun for the meat to bread ratio. We each had two.
You could top this with any type of slaw, or even bbq sauce. I liked the jicama apple slaw because it adds a bit of crunchiness and sweetness to the pork.