Monday, February 11, 2008

Pulled Pork Sammies with Kohlrabi Slaw

We had Sus and Shin over for dinner last night. We love those guys, especially since they brought that little squishy stress-toy of theirs (oh, right - they're called babies - my bad). Sage is the cutest little happa you've ever seen. He makes little cooing, gurgling noises and smells like sweet cream butter. I want.

I made pulled pork, my first try. It was exactly how I wanted it to turn out. I love it when I get my way! I also made my newly-invented kohlrabi-arugula slaw (I like to call it Rocket Slaw) to go on top, some Carolina-style barbecue sauce, some German potato salad for a little starch, and a pitcher of Lynchburg lemonade to tipple.

Hey, you might not realize this, but it's kinda awkward to take snaps of dinner when you have guests over. Especially if it's more than one guest, one of whom is an infant. So while I did take quite a few pics, they are mostly blurry because I didn't think it was good hostessing to set the light box up on the dinner table. So fucking sue me.

Also, I found out that you can get reasonably good pulled pork even if you were too busy getting drunk and playing Rock Band the night before to remember to get the dry rub going 8 hours in advance. Win.

Pulled Pork
Serves 4 adults generously, but no babies.

2-3 pounds of pork butt

Dry Rub
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
cracked black pepper

Combine these things and rub the mix all over the pork butt. I mean really rub it in good. I cut little slashes all over the meat so I could shove more rub in. Fridge the thing for at least 4 hours (this is all the time I had - overnight would've been preferable). Pull pork out of the fridge an hour before cooking time.

Preheat oven to 250oF. Brown the meat on all sides to get some nice Maillard flavor - the sugar in the rub will burn a little while it caramelizes, but I think this adds a nice depth of flavor. Cover and roast for ~75-90 minutes per pound (my 2.74-lb. butt was done in 4 hours), flipping the meat every hour or so. On the last flip the meat will fall completely apart in your tongs and that's how you know it's ready.

In the meanwhile, you can make some kohlrabi-rocket slaw and sauce to go on the sammies with the meat.

Kohlrabi-Rocket Slaw
Okay, so the photos came out really blurry and unusable. I'll try to get good ones later. Just imagine you're looking at very green cole slaw. Raw kohlrabi tastes like a sweet, mild radish, and it's lovely.

I got a good one after all - uber close-up money-shot. Yes, folks, that's a raisin.

3 tbsp mayo (I use low fat)
1/3 c white balsamic vinegar (rice vinegar would work)
a splash of cream
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
fat pinch salt
some cracks of pepper

4 baby (or one adult) kohlrabi, scrubbed - you only need to peel it if using full-size kohlrabi
half a bunch of arugula, rinsed scrupulously (I think it makes about 1.5 cups when minced up)
1/2 c flatleaf parsley
2 tbsp dried cranberries or golden raisins

In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Yes, the cream will curdle a bit in the vinegar, but the honey and dijon will emulsify things so don't freak out. You can fiddle with this to taste, but I like a sweet, vinegary slaw, and the kohlrabi and rocket are peppery enough to stand up to it.

Slice the kohlrabi thinly, then chuck it into the food processor and pulse a few times until it's minced up. Dump this into the dressing bowl. Tear up the arugula and parsley and chuck it in the food processor, pulse a bit until it's chopped very fine and dump it into the bowl with the other stuff. Add the cranberries/raisins and stir. If you can let this sit for 15 or 20 minutes to let the flavors meld, it's better.

Carolina-style barbecue sauce

2/3 c apple cider vinegar
2/3 c white balsamic vinegar
1/4 c hot sauce (such as leftover Frank's Red Hot -Mango wing sauce from last weekend)
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar
pinch salt
cracks of pepper

Blend and serve in a little bowl with a spoon for easy access (but no squirt-shirt-stain-disasters).

Serve pork on soft buns, top with a spoonful of sauce, then a nice wad of slaw.

If I'd really been on my A-game, I'da made some barbecue beans and sweet potato fries to go with the sammiches, but I was tragically not. Next time. Instead, here's a nice cocktail recipe.

Lynchburg lemonade

Makes "some" cocktails. I don't know how big your glasses are.

5 -6 oz. fine Kentucky bourbon such as Maker's Mark
one liter of lemon Italian soda
one finger of Buddha's hand, sliced up into little finger-coins (or a couple lemon slices)

Stir these together and garnish with Buddha's hand/lemon.

Cin Cin, y'all!


glamah16 said...

That looks soooo gooood.I have to try the Kohlrabi slaw.Great idea.

Peter M said...

Yep Heather, thems be pulled pork, good and flaky.

The sauce sounds good and I'll have to try the NC-syle version.

Onto Kohlrabi, I've seen in the market for years, never tried, wondered how it tasted, wondered who ate.

In your honour, I will make a voodoo doll of you out of it and poke it about in it's nether regions.

Peter G said...

Mmmm...what a feast! I love all the elements here. The pulled pork, the slaw, bbq sauce and the lemonade. Very summery!

LOL @ lightbox at table! You're too funny Heather.

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

I want to come to your house!!! I am going to try to get the ingredients for the slaw at the Farmer's Market this Wednesday!

Heather said...

Courtney - I had been craving pulled pork for quite some time, and it hit the spot.

Peter the Geek - I'm wearing my voodoo-proof chastity belt. Also, I dare you to talk that way to all the housewife food bloggers. :D

Petah Down Undah - btw, please do let me know if my always calling you that is utterly unoriginal and annoying. It's winter here, you lucky bastard. I have to cook my sunny weather. :)

Judy - The slaw is really tasty. Ironic that it's made of wintery vegetables when it tastes so summery!

Emiline said...

Sus, Shin, and Sage are good names.
I like the pictures. Rarely do we see people in the pictures.

I really want to make this. Maybe it would be good for a joust?? Hmm?? I could throw some citrus in there.

I would love to see what the slaw looks like, but I understand.

I don't know about the stars on Tastespotting. I'm going to check it out. Also didn't know I had a macro function on my camera.

Heather said...

Thanks, Emmie - The handsome fella on the left is none other than the Hubz. I added a photo of the slaw finally. Now it's total hard-core porkography. >:)

Ben said...

For a moment I thought this was going to be your entry for this month's RFJ. It looks so delicious. I love pork, even though I don't get to eat it very often. This is definitely a way I wan to eat it.

Núria said...

Babies smell so nicely!
Heather, my best paellas have been cooked while having 2 beers... I just get very thirsty when I cook paella ;-)

Your pork parade is gourgeous! YOur friends are lucky!

Heather said...

Ben - I have another idea for the Joust, but it's just for fun. :)

Nuria - I alwyas drink while I cook. Maybe that why I end up with so many cuts an burns on my hands!

Pixie said...

This looks gorgeous! Look at all that wonderful meat. Thanks for sharing.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

YUMMMMMMMMMMMM. I want. I love the slaw especially. I so know what you mean too about taking pics at the table. But trust me, after a while they get used to it! LOL!

Terry B said...

This sounds crazy good, Heather. All of it. A quick question--what did you roast the pork in? The ceramic dish in the photo? A roasting pan?

Heather said...

Pixie - It was a delicious heap of moist meat. I could just eat it with a fork!

Jenn - I figured since my friends are probably completely sick of hearing me talk about my blog that I should spare them the photo op. Next time they won't be so lucky. :)

Terry - Good question - I roasted the pork in a different dish - my Le Creuset oval Dutch oven. The ceramic one in the picture just fits in the fridge better.

Anonymous said...

That looks absolutely awesome!
I'm on my way to a refrigerator rampage now. Thanks to you. It's midnight. Fuck!

Heather said...

Midnight snacks are the best!

Deanna said...

I made the pork and it was absolutely amazing. Can't wait to make the entire meal!!!
Thank you so much!!

Leigh said...

being in the uk, pulled pork is like some kind of exotic, mout-watering thing that us brits struggle to get our heads around. I must have collected about 2 different recipes for it, and this oe is going in the bag, too. And i learned i new word today - porkography. I love it, it'll be used a lot today. This recipe simply must be made.

April in CT said...

I just finished shredding this for dinner tonight and I have to say it should be ILLEGAL for something to taste so good! The smell was pure torture all day, but when I finally got a sample of it I almost melted right on to the kitchen floor. After I shredded it I put it back in the roasting dish to soak up all the juices. My hubby got me a Le Creuset buffet casserole for Christmas and I was scared of it (I'm pretty used to cheap cookware) and now I'm kissing his feet for such a great gift. I use it way more than I thought and now this pulled pork will be a regular visitor around these parts. :)

Heather said...

Aw, I'm so glad the recipe works! I really just shoot from the hip. It's pretty hard to screw up a pork butt, though. Glad you have had good results. :)