November 04, 2009

Pomegranate Pulled Pork

3 lb boneless pork shoulder roast or tenderloin (trim off excess fat)
3/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons mesquite liquid smoke
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican hot chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
juice and zest of one lemon
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic

for the spice rub:
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons chipolte
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Mix the spice rub ingredients together. Rub them on the pork. Sear the pork on each side in a hot, dry, nonstick skillet. Add it and all remaining ingredients to a 4 quart slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low. When done, meat should shred easily with a fork. Remove roast from slow cooker. Shred with a fork and set aside. Mash any solid bits of the sauce with a potato masher. Return the pork to slow cooker and toss to evenly coat in sauce. Serve on rolls.

Note: If a slow cooker is not available, place the pork in a dutch oven and bake, covered for 4 1/2 hours at 375.

My thoughts:
This is a really decadent tasting pulled pork. The pomegranate arils (the seeds) just melt into the meat making it amazingly flavorful and tender. For even more pomegranate flavor, I used pomegranate molasses. You can buy it bottled at some grocery stores but Middle Eastern or Greek markets always carry it. It is actually made by boiling pomegranate juice down to a thick, syrupy liquid so it is possible to make it at home if need be. Anyway, I love pomegranate very much and realized that I had virtually no pomegranate recipes on the blog. That just needed correcting. I've made a lot of pulled pork but this one is just amazing: juicy and smoky and fruity and spicy. Admittedly, the ingredient list is long but it requires virtually no work or effort on your part and the results are so fabulous that it is foolish not to make it.