"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pulled Pork Shoulder Slow Cooked in a Balsamic Honey Mustard Glaze with Asian Slaw

I love the feeling I get when I pull into the garage after work, and even before I open the door, I can smell the tantalizing aromas emanating from the slow cooker in my kitchen. At the end of a 12-hour day, that smell instantly relaxes me! But, it also is one of the reasons why I love cooking so much.

Today was one of those days! This morning - before I went to work - I put a pork shoulder in the slow cooker to make pulled pork for dinner tonight. The inspiration for this dish came about this past weekend. We were at our friends Gail and Nadine's house for dinner. We were talking about pulled pork recipes. So, I was inspired to make a pulled pork dish. I was browsing the Internet for a relatively easy (but inviting) pulled pork recipe that I could use and give it my own flavor. I came across this recipe:  http://www.justataste.com/2013/12/easy-slow-cooker-balsamic-honey-pulled-pork-recipe/

I was drawn to the recipe because of the ingredients (balsamic vinegar, blackberry jam, Asian Slaw). So, while I was at the my favorite grocery store (aka my playground) - Berkeley Bowl - I decided to pick up the ingredients that I didn't have at home. I hadn't had a chance to make it earlier this week. But, today was a great day for that dish. We had a pretty hot day today around the Bay Area (some would say a heat wave!). So, it was a perfect day for slow cooking (no oven, but I love the ability to enjoy slow and concentrated flavors).

I modified this dish a little bit. You know me - I rarely follow a recipe to the T! So, here is what I did differently:

The Pulled Pork:
  • I seasoned the pork with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  • Then, I browned the pork shoulder on all sides.
  • For the sauce, I used:
    • Mayan Sweet Onions (instead of regular yellow onions).
    • About a Tablespoon of Soy Sauce.
    • A Tablespoon of Honey Dijon Mustard.
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Mexican Oregano (regular Oregano is fine)
    • Wild Huckleberry Jam (which we bought in Oregon last year) instead of Blackberry. I love the little Huckleberries in the jam.
    • Salt and pepper to taste.

The Asian Slaw:

I did a mixture of purple and green cabbage. I added some chopped cilantro and shredded carrots. I also seasoned the dressing with salt and pepper.

The Composed Sandwich:

We used Ciabatta bread to make the sandwich. When assembling the sandwich, I spread a little bit of Honey Dijon Mustard on the bread, added the pulled pork on one side, and the slaw on the other side. VoilĂ !

Homemade Guacamole:

As a little side/appetizer, I made some guacamole. I had some very ripe avocados around, and thought it would be a great way to use them.

The Wine:

We enjoyed the sandwich with a glass of red wine blend (Merlot and Cabernet Franc) by Ravenswood (2011). This blend was a great compliment to the pork sandwich, which is mildly sweet from the sauce, but slightly tangy from the Asian Slaw.

I hope you all are having a great week. Here's looking forward to the weekend and inspirations!

Until next time . . . Cheers!


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