Monday, August 19, 2013
Soy Ginger Pulled Pork
This recipe is a favorite at our house, my husband likes to play around with flavors when making pulled pork (we're not really into barbecue sauce). We usually serve it over rice, but it is great in lettuce wraps (cold or warm), sandwiches or just on its own as well.
To make this Soy Ginger Pulled Pork at home you will need:
a small pork roast or pork shoulder (about 3 pounds)
1 large onion
1/2 cup fresh ginger, sliced
1/4 cup Soy Sauce (I use low sodium)
heaping 1/4 cup of brown sugar (packed)
1 Tablespoon molasses
2-3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste (we generally use about 1 teaspoon of each)
cast iron dutch oven
corn starch to thicken sauce (optional)
Start by cutting your pork shoulder into 4 or 5 pieces (try to keep them all about the same size). You can trim off a bit of the fat if you want, but it is not necessary as the slow cooking will break most of it down. Place the meat in the bottom of your dutch oven. Add water to your dutch oven so it comes about halfway up the sides of your pork (about 2-3 cups).
Next, slice up your onion. I start by cutting my onion in half, then I remove the outer skin. Slice your onions fairly thin, they will end up cooking down to a point you barely notice them (they just give really good flavor to the meat). I'm not really a huge onion fan, and the first time my husband made this I didn't even realize it had onions in it! If you love onions, feel free to slice them thicker or add some halfway through the cooking process so they don't break down as much.
Then, assemble your additional flavorings. As you can see in the photo above, we slice up our ginger in fairly large slices, and leave the skin on. We take the ginger out before shredding the pork to serve. To make this easier you can tie up your ginger in some cheesecloth before tossing it in to cook. It really adds a fabulous flavor to the pork. If you prefer, you could get away with using less ginger overall by peeling a smaller piece and grating it with a microplane into your pork, the smaller you grate it the more intense the flavor so you can cut back on volume by quite a bit. If fresh ginger isn't something you have on hand, you can substitute about a teaspoon of dried ground ginger in a pinch (but really, try the fresh stuff at least once--it's awesome!).
Toss all remaining ingredients into the pot and turn it on to medium high heat. Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and give everything a little stir. Cover and cook for about 2.5 hours. You will want to check every 30 minutes or so to give the pot a stir and make sure there is still some liquid in the pan, if not you can add more water to keep the meat braising. The meat will be fully cooked after only about the first 30 minutes, but it needs the extra time for the fats to break down and the flavors to develop. This is seriously tender tasty pork! Once done, if you think there is too much water left in your pan, you can add some corn starch (a little bit at a time--maybe 1/4 teaspoon or so) and stir until the sauce thickens up. Shred the pork with a fork and serve over rice, noodles or as a sandwich! Enjoy!