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Recipe: Spicy Hoisin Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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Hoisin pulled pork
Dave Scantland
We sometimes leave the meat in chunks and serve this over rice, but usually we shred it and make it into sandwiches served with tangy Asian-style coleslaw. For small amounts of pork shoulder, country-style ribs from the shoulder are a good choice (but don't get them from the loin). We usually buy about a pound and a half and double the recipe because it freezes so well.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound pork shoulder
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce (or more to taste)
  • 2 soft hamburger buns

Preparation:

1. Trim the pork, removing any visible fat. Cut it into cubes about 2 inches square.

2. Combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and chile-garlic sauce in a medium sized heavy pot with a well-fitting lid. Add the pork and toss to coat.

3. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Put the pot on the stove and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. When it reaches a simmer, cover the pot and put it in the oven for 90 minutes. You can also continue to cook the pork on the stove -- when it reaches a simmer, cover the pot and turn the heat down a notch.

4. Either way, cook the pork for 90 minutes at a bare simmer. Check the meat by inserting a fork into one of the chunks. If it goes in easily and the pork falls apart, the meat is done. If it's not, cook for another 30 minutes or so, until the meat passes the fork test.

5. When the meat is done, strain the mixture through a coarse strainer into a fat separator. When the fat has separated, pour the sauce back into the pan. If you don't have a fat separator, remove the meat and let the sauce cool until any fat has risen to the top of the pan. Remove as much fat as possible with a spoon or use paper towels to blot it off.

6. Shred the meat and set it aside while you finish the sauce.

7. Pour the defatted sauce into a small sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Reduce to the consistency of ketchup. When the sauce is ready, toss the shredded meat in it and cook for a minute or two longer to reheat the pork. Taste and adjust seasoning (you can add more chile-garlic sauce if you want it spicier).

8. To serve, spoon onto split hamburger buns. Serve with tangy ginger slaw on the sandwich itself or on the side.

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