Here is the post I promised on Sunday, the one that called for BBQ sauce.
Before I go into lengthy descriptions I just wanted to say this recipe is for my friend Y.
Why you ask?
First of all she just got her first Le Creuset for her birthday so I am psyched that my next few posts involve my beloved, appropriately pumpkin-colored crock pot.
Second of all, the girl grew up in Houston so I thought a real Southern, meaty dish served with BBQ sauce couldn't be more appropriate.
Third, the girl loves Coke.
Coke? What does Coke have to do with it?
Ok, so let me start from the beginning.
Several moons ago, and I mean several, that same girl was pregnant with a baby who is almost two now. She and her husband and first child were visiting in us in Milan and I bought a six pack of caffeine-free Coke for her to drink while we enjoyed a glass of wine or beer or whatever is was we were drinking. Well, a few of those cans were still lurking in a corner of my kitchen until recently. I usually don't keep soft drinks in the house, soda is a rare treat for my kids. But lately they had started noticing those red and gold cans. Asking about them, hinting they wanted some. A lot. I had to get rid of them.
Fast forward to a few days ago, when I was rightly so, gawking at pictures on Foodgawker of pulled pork sandwiches. I had been reading recipes for pulled pork long before I got my Le Creuset last year. I had some friends coming over for dinner and I decided the time had come. I came across quite a few recipes that used Coke as one of the main ingredients to make this delicacy. I realized it wasn't authentic, and I have to admit it sounded a little revolting at first but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. I was sure the Coke would tenderize the meat fabulously, and realized the sugar and other aromas would somehow work. Plus, it would be a great way to get rid of those cans. So that is how I killed my proverbial
pig birds with one stone.
The result was melt-in-your-mouth, flavorful meat that I served alongside white polenta (which I in turn served again with leftovers grilled) and doused in the home made barbecue sauce. I certainly made for a different meal here in the Old Continent and a succulent one if I may add. Whatever you do, make lots so you can enjoy left overs, perhaps one of those sandwiches that triggered this whole post.
Also, need I add that this is the perfect meal to prepare when you have a lot of other things going on and you want a great result without too much effort?
Adapted from food.com
about 2kg pork roast (I got one piece shoulder and one piece butt)
2 pressed garlic cloves
3 small onions sliced thinly
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp Pimenton de la Vera (or cayenne pepper), ground
1 tsp liquid smoke
3 cans of Coca-Cola (or enough to cover the meat; if it doesn't turn the pieces a few times)
a pinch of salt
Soften the onions in some oil in the crock pot. Place the meat in the pot, add in the garlic, pepper and Pimenton de la Vera, the liquid smoke and the Coca-Cola. Set the meat on low heat and cook for 8-10 hours. When ready, remove from the pot, remove bones and trim fat. Use a fork to begin pulling the pork apart. You can serve the barbecue sauce mixed in. I preferred to serve it with a little of the cooking liquid mixed in to keep it moist and drizzled the sauce on top.
The result was delicious, exactly how I imagined it, although I might add a little salt next time I make it (so I included it in the ingredients - you know, to contrast the sweetness). Of the two pieces I preferred the shoulder as it is a fattier cut (which made it more tender) with a more complex flavor, but both were fall-apart soft.