April 28, 2008

Smoky Mango Pulled Pork

3 lb boneless pork shoulder roast (trim off excess fat)
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon
1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
2 teaspoons smokehouse black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke
1 1/2 teaspoon Mexican hot chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon chipolte chile powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 habanero peppers, seeds removed and chopped
juice and zest of one lime
1 large mango, cubed
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil

for the spice rub:

1 teaspoon Mexican hot chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon chipolte
1 teaspoon smokehouse black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Mix the spice rub ingredients together. Rub them on the pork. In a large skillet heat the oil and then brown the roast well on all sides. Place roast in slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on high in the slow cooker 6 hours*. When done, meat should shred easily with a fork. Remove roast from slow cooker. Shred with a fork (or use your fingers) and set aside. Mash any solid bits of the sauce with a potato masher. If the sauce is very thin, heat it in a saucepan until it thickens**. Return the pork and the sauce to slow cooker, and toss to evenly coat. Serve on rolls.

*Or on low for 8-9 hours.

**I actually didn't need to do this step, but I find pork gives off a lot of water when cooked in the slow cooker and you might need to do this so the mixture isn't too soupy.

My thoughts:
This is one of those recipes that I made by running around the kitchen like a crazy person and trying to use whatever I have on hand. Thankfully I bothered to write down my measurements because this possibly my favorite of all of the recipes I've posted this year and I can't want to make it again.

Normally when I make pulled pork I saute the onions and garlic and let the pork sit overnight in the dry rub. However, I was running low on time and just tossed the raw cloves in whole, cut the onion into 8 pieces (instead of chopping them) and didn't let the meat sit with the spices at all-just a quick rubdown followed by a quick sear. I was worried the pork would suffer but it turned out great. Better than great, actually this is literally the best pulled pork I've ever eaten-the perfect combination of sweet, tart, fruity, smoky and spicy flavors. Matt loved it; we've never been so sad about finishing leftovers before. I wish I had some right now, and every day after that. It is just that good! And one of the easiest things you can make for dinner tonight, the prep is so quick it can be done in just a few minutes before heading off to work. You won't be sorry!