21 January, 2013

Pulled Pork on My Fork

Kidlet #2's seventh (yes, seventh!) birthday was yesterday.  We celebrated during our monthly family dinner, this time hosted by moi.

Yes, there are seven candles on that red velvet cupcake.
Photo courtesy of Grandma.

I served Ina Garten's (The Barefoot Contessa) Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin.  Highly recommend for a dinner party.  It's so, so easy; the hardest part is juicing and zesting the lemons.  You can make the marinade right in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.  After a good, long soak in the marinade, the tenderloins are seared in a stovetop-to-oven skillet, so very few dishes get dirty in the preparation and cooking of this main dish.  Which, if you don't have a dishwasher, is a pretty good thing.

Be forewarned, though, that the recipe makes way, way more than six people will likely eat, unless you are serving very little in the way of side dishes.  Two tenderloins would have been enough for four adults and the Kidlets.  I had more than an entire tenderloin left.  And I'm not really a fan of leftovers, and especially not leftover meat.  It just never tastes very good reheated.  So what to do with that whole extra tenderloin?

I couldn't get the idea of pulled pork out of my head.  I know, I know, everyone will tell you that to get good pulled pork, you need to make it with pork shoulder or butt, cuts that are much fattier than loin.  But I couldn't help but think that someone must have developed some way of preparing tenderloin for shredding it.  And that someone probably put their idea on the internet.

You know what?  I was right.  Judy.  Judy found a recipe from Gourmet Magazine.  And she put it on her blog, Judy's Kitchen.  Gourmet Magazine's Pulled Pork Sandwich.  Thank you, Gourmet Magazine.  Thank you, Judy.  Thank you, internet.

I went to the cupboard to get some barbecue sauce, and alas, there was none to be had.  But I had ingredients to make barbecue sauce.

So make it, I did.  I made this one.  And then I put the tenderloin, water, sauce, and vinegar in my Dutch oven, and 50 minutes later, I had tenderloin that was so tender I could pull it apart with a fork.


I must admit, it is a tiny bit drier than properly-prepared-from-a-pork-shoulder pulled pork, but I just added a little extra sauce and that took care of the problem right away.  Whisked together and simmered a little vinegar-based coleslaw dressing (I used this one), and yummy, yummy dinner.

My next adventure in pulled pork will be to purchase a shoulder or butt and try to make some Eastern Carolina-style barbecue.  Because even though this was yummy, it was NOT Eastern Carolina-style.  If you ever travel to the eastern part of North Carolina, don't even think about putting anything red on your pulled pork.  Barbecue there is made with a vinegar-based sauce, which isn't really a sauce in the way that most people think of sauce, it just helps keep the pork moist.  You can read all about it here.

I don't know how I'm going to do it yet, because I'm certainly not going to barbecue a pig in my postage stamp-sized backyard.  But I'll figure something out.  Yummy.  Makes me want some crispy cornbread.

1 comment:

Kristyn McCain said...

That looks really yummy. Now I am hungry :)