appetizers & snacks, main courses, pork

Pulled Pork BBQ Biscuit Sliders

Pulled Pork BBQ Biscuit Sliders

Yesterday was a very cold day, and I wanted some comfort food. I didn’t feel like chili, and I wanted another excuse to use my Le Creuset braiser. This is another recipe you could adapt to a dutch oven or slow cooker. Fair warning – remember that I grew up in Charleston, SC, so this barbecue sauce is mustardy! (If you’re not familiar with regional barbecue sauces, Eater has a good post about it. It drives me crazy when I’m at a restaurant and they have Carolina barbecue on their menu. Seriously? Which one? Ok, off the soapbox now…) This recipe also uses frozen Pilsbury biscuits. I didn’t have time to make biscuits from scratch, and the Pilsbury frozen ones are pretty tasty.

Ingredients

2 lb boneless pork shoulder
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or grated using a zester)
1 apple, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
½ cup beer or white wine (I used leftover Pinot Grigio from Christmas that I wasn’t going to drink, but I would’ve preferred to use beer)
5½ cups chicken stock
4 bay leaves
Olive oil

Biscuits (I used frozen Pilsbury)
Pickles (optional)

Dry Rub
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp mustard powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp celery seed
¼ tsp cayenne

BBQ Sauce

This makes enough for the pulled pork, and there will be some left over to use later.

1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin
2 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire
¼ cup pan juices from braised pork
¼ cup vinegar
½ cup ⅓ cup brown sugar (I used ½ cup initially, and it was too sweet. It took a lot of effort to get the “too much sweetness” out)
¾ cup yellow mustard
Olive oil

Instructions

Pork

Combine all ingredients for the dry rub and set aside. Preheat oven to 325°. Preheat  braiser or dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat. Rub the dry rub on all sides of the pork.

Coat the pan with olive oil. Begin to saute the onions, garlic, celery, and apples. Cook for about a minute, then make a space in the middle for the pork. Sear the pork on each side for 3 minutes. Stir the onions/apples/garlic/celery occasionally while the pork is searing.

Deglaze the pan with the beer or wine. Let it cook and reduce by half. Return the pork to the pan, and add the chicken stock and bay leaves. It should cover the pork by half (add more stock or some water if it doesn’t. Stop adding stock once it is covered by half.) Bring the liquid to a boil, then transfer the pork to the oven and cover with the lid. (Tip: I’m always afraid of spilling the liquid during the transfer, so I always move it into the oven with the lid off and put the lid on once it’s in the oven).

Check the pork after 1 hour, then flip it to the other side. Return it to the oven and cook it for another hour with the lid on. The pork should be tender enough to shred with a fork. If it isn’t, keep cooking and checking in 15 minute increments until it’s ready. Once it’s done, remove from the oven and set aside.

Sauce

Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add olive oil. Saute onions and garlic until caramelized. Add pan juices, vinegar, tomato paste, mustard,  Worcestershire, and brown sugar. Stir often until the sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the onions and garlic into the sauce. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender – just be careful with hot stuff in a blender. Vent the lid so the steam can escape, and cover it with a kitchen towel to avoid hot splatter.) Keep the sauce warm on low, stirring occasionally while the biscuits are baking or warming.

Put it Together

Shred the pork with a fork. Place the pork in a bowl, add some sauce, and stir to coat. You won’t need all of the sauce the recipe makes. Depending on how long the pork has been sitting, it may need to be reheated, which is fine. Just microwave for about a minute if that’s the case. Serve on biscuits with pickles.

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