Brian's Photo Blog — Article 725
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Lovin’ That Pulled Pork!
Wednesday 31 October 2018   —   Category: Cooking & Food
Earlier this month I told you about my barbecue sauce journey, from hate to love, and how I brought my new love of barbecue sauce to my home kitchen. In my last two articles I showed you some hamburgers I have made using barbecue sauce, in particular one based upon the Carl’s Jr Baby Back Rib Burger.

While recounting my barbecue sauce journey, I also mentioned that I‘ve had a long-​standing aversion to pulled pork ... too dry and stringy. It was amazing to discover that I actually like barbecue sauce and pulled pork. Better late than never!

In today’s article I am sharing with you some of the pulled pork dishes I have made last year and this year.
I usually don’t buy meat that has already been spiced, but for my very first pork shoulder purchase (after more than half a century on this planet) I couldn’t resist one that had been dry rubbed with Santa Maria style spices. Why’s that? Because I grew up in Santa Maria, with this type of spices on meat.

Since then I have been cooking pork shoulders in a crock pot without any spices or sauce. Then I freeze the meat in 3 ounce individual servings. In this way I can turn the pulled pork into var­i­ous styles of dishes, like Asian, Mex­i­can, and of course barbecue. Pulled pork is so versatile!
My first homemade pulled pork sand­wich, using meat from the above pork shoulder and the first barbecue sauce I had ever bought: McMenamins Ham­mer­head BBQ Sauce. Topped with some homemade coleslaw on a whole wheat bun. Why eat out?
For my second pulled pork sandwich, a month later, I used Cattlemen’s Kansas City Classic BBQ Sauce and homemade coleslaw on a whole wheat bun.
Near the end of the year I made tacos inspired by a meal I had at the McMenamins White Eagle Saloon. My White Eagle Red Eye Taco started with an Old El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shell, filled with a half / half combination of pulled pork and shredded beef brisket soaked overnight in my homemade Red Eye BBQ sauce, Tillamook sour cream, chopped iceberg lettuce, Reser’s Baja Café Pico de Gallo Salsa, and diced raw onion.

My notes from that day read: “The salsa seems spicier than medium! The taco shells are awesome! I love my Red Eye BBQ sauce! Should I try some grated Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese on the second one for comparison? Nope! With a good shot of sour cream I didn’t even miss the cheese. These tacos were really awesome and a nice change of pace. A definite winner!”
In spring 2018 I made (and ate) carnitas for the first time. Because I didn’t cook the entire pork shoulder in carnitas spic­es, I made a marinade to soak the pulled pork in overnight. The liquids included orange, lemon and lime juices, as well as Mexican Coke (made with cane sugar in­stead of corn syrup). Herbs and spices included Mexican oregano, cumin, ci­lan­tro, salt, pepper, onion and garlic.
To make the carnitas, I fried small batches of the marinated pulled pork in oil at high heat in a cast-iron skillet to make the meat somewhat crispy. After plopping the meat on a taco-​sized flour tortilla, I piled on Tillamook sharp ched­dar cheese, fresh tomato, salsa (red on the one above, verde to the right), let­tuce, Tillamook sour cream, and a chive garnish.
The same month I made yet another pulled pork sandwich, made with my Red Eye BBQ sauce, and homemade coleslaw on a whole wheat bun, served with Kettle Chips.
We have finally caught up to the present. Earlier this month, inspired by an In­sta­gram post of a pulled pork spud, I cre­at­ed my own version with a baked potato, Nancy’s sour cream, pulled pork soaked in my Red-Eye and Dr Pepper barbecue sauces, and homemade coleslaw. I cut the potato into quarters so I could pile on more toppings. It was a delicious var­i­a­tion on a regular pulled pork sandwich.
Larger versions of the first 4 photos have been added to the Gourmet Chef Wannabe 2017 album. Larger versions of the other 4 photos have been added to the Gourmet Chef Wannabe 2018 album.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 725
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