Barbecue Shredded Pork Experiment

Wednesday I decided to try making up a barbecue shredded pork dish, not following a specific recipe, starting similarly to my barbecue shredded beef.

I had two pounds of boneless pork loin steak that had been on sale for $1.29/lb and was due either to be used or frozen. In the crockput I put a cup of water, just over an eight cup of cider vinegar, and about a quarter cup of brown sugar. I added the pork, cut into large chunks, with the worst fat removed but not a lot of effort made along those lines. I set the crockpot for the 4 hours on high setting and went to do things.

After three hours or so, I tossed in some celery flakes and pepper flake. I’d guess it was a teaspoon or so of each. It was nice to make something in which the pepper flakes fit logically, and it gave me a chance to see what they were like essentially rehydrated and cooked, as opposed to the more common use, in which I don’t partake, sprinkling them on pizza. Which isn’t as bad as pouring salt on your pizza, as my cousin used to do, before it turned out he had a funky heart problem for which low salt was legitimately helpful.

After the four hours was well over and it was sitting there on the automatic warm cycle, I scooped out the meat and shredded it, which meant touching it with minimal force and watching it fall apart. I put the liquid aside, except enough to cover the bottom of the crockpot.

I added a quarter cupt of honey to the crockpot before I shredded the pork. Timing probably doesn’t matter.

I added back the pork and ended up adding back all the liquid, but your mileage may vary, and it turned out more watery than it seemed it would.

I used dry mustard, ketchup, more vinegar, a little red pepper, a little onion powder, a little black pepper, and more brown sugar. This is subject to taste and to varying, and the flavor changes as it sits. I started with 1/2 cup of ketchup and ended up with a total of 3/4 cup or more. Brown sugar was probably 1/4 cup, maybe less. Vinegar was maybe a tablespoon. Dry mustard, the main source of heat, was perhaps as much as 1/2 tablespoon, but no more. The other spices we’re talking a dash or two or three.

It came out sweet, with clear overtones of honey flavor, with a tang. It was very different, but delicious. I’ll change it up next time, which Deb is eager for, and see if I can make it even better.

I had bought rolls at the farmstand, but we still had French bread needing to be finished. The rolls went in the freezer. We served the shredded pork on slices of French bread, with some cheddar cheese on top, and ate it with forks rather than as sandwiches. On the side we had corn on the cob, which I can no longer buy three ears of at a time, as the kids need a full ear each.

It is worth noting that after cooking in the crockpot with the vinegar, water, brown sugar, and addition of celery and pepper near the end, the pork was fantastic and would have made yummy sandwiches with no further ingredients added. Or it could have been served as a meat dish with sides, rather than on bread.

I could also see cooking up the meat to where it shreds, then adding a commercial barbecue sauce for convenience. No spices or guessing needed.

As usual, I took some pictures. As usual, they are on the camera as yet.

1 Comment

  1. john of sparta

    locally, BBQ is a “noun”. it is Barbeque (not barbequed).
    one does not “barbeque” anything. barbeque is what is served.
    thereby, barbeque is always pork. nothing else.
    so…..concerning your experiment….try the following:
    1. add Lots more Vinegar (cider not white). 3 times more at least.
    2. use both red and black pepper, but more red.
    3. as you have discovered, brown sugar is the secret. but not much.

    confirmation:
    1. if you can taste the vinegar in the cooked pork=good.
    2. if you can smell the vinegar from the cooked pork=better.
    3. if the pepper from the second bite makes you drink one-half glass of
    (Real sugar sweetened while still hot) ice (not iced) tea=best.

    bottom line: the only decision is vinegar vs. tomato (ketchup) as
    the main ingredient. obviously, i prefer the former.
    please: never combine the two. that is a major social graces demerit.
    might as well buy Kraft BBQ sauce at the store.

    Reply

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