As a child, I met my pulled pork quota in the autumn months, in conjunction with the cider donuts and hayrides of the “Harvest Days” festival at a local farm. The fall association lingers, but lately I’ve been rethinking that timing for a few reasons. First, there is never a bad time for pulled pork unless you’re at a vegan festival (is that even a thing?). Secondly, I’m no grilling expert, so this is a convenient slight-of-hand, meat decoy.
Thirdly, even if I were a grilling expert, at some point, I’d want to join the gathering instead of watching it from behind a plume of smoke. Lastly, wouldn’t we all rather be lounging at the pool or in the thick of some summer activity while the meat cooked itself? In conclusion, pulled pork is summer brilliance (everyone knew that already, and I’m just late to the conclusion)!
I’m also really late to the world of beer (ie: can count on one hand the number of times I’ve finished an entire beer all by myself!!!), but I do know it does wonders for meat, and bourbon does wonders for sauces!
…and fried plantains do wonders for the whole compilation, so have yourself some summertime pulled pork ‘n plantains and thank me from your poolside lounge location!
Pulled Pork & Plantains
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
4.5 lbs boneless pork shoulder (*or 6 lbs pork hip area?!?)
12 fl. oz Uinta Anniversary Barley Wine Ale (or the beer of your choice)
4 Tablespoons organic liquid smoke
1 cup local apple butter
1 cup organic ketchup (don’t go the corn syrupy ketchup route; just don’t!)
1/2 cup apple-cider vinegar
1/3 cup bourbon
2 Tablespoons Bourbon barrel aged Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons all natural Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Place onion slices in an even layer in slow-cooker insert. Trim skin and any excess fat from pork. Lay over onion. Pour in ale and liquid smoke. Cover and cook on low until meat is very tender, about 8 hours.
Remove pork to a large cutting board and onion to a large bowl. Discard liquid. Using two forks, shred pork.
Whisk apple butter with ketchup, vinegar, bourbon, Worcestershire, Tabasco, garlic powder and ground ginger in a large saucepan, then set over medium-high.
Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally, until apple jelly is dissolved and sauce is smooth, 6 to 8 min.
Add shredded pork and onion. Stir until all meat is coated with sauce. Remove from heat.
Serve on a grainy roll with fried plantains. Pork will keep well, refrigerated, up to 3 days.
3/4- 1 cup high quality peanut oil (enough to cover the plantains when frying)
Preheat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat.
Peel the plantain and cut them in slices. Carefully add the slices to the heated oil.
Fry the pieces until browned and tender.
Drain excess oil on paper towels.