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"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Polynesian Inspired Pulled Pork Loin

Sometimes I just have to throw caution to the wind and play in the kitchen.

Today I made a Polynesian inspired shredded pork loin because pork loin was on sale this week and barbecue is passe.*  Two pork loins, really, because there were two nestled snugly in the package and I hated to deprive them of each other's company.

I started making this yesterday but decided to wait until all was cooked and tasted before writing a blog post .  If it turned out edible, I'd post, and if not?  Well, there's always a plethora of cartoons in the Blue Nowhere to yoink and share!

Clearly it turned out at least manageable, as I am posting.  Hurrah!

The players:

Pork loin.  I had bout 2 1/2 pounds in a package.
One can of pineapple chunks in pineapple juice.  I know there are two there - I wasn't sure what I'd need.  Turns out, I needed one.
Soy sauce, about 2 Tablespoons
Hoisin sauce, about 4 Tablespoons (I bought mine at the store because I cannot begin to figure out how to make it at home)
Lime juice, about 4 Tablespoons (I used key lime because it's what I had on hand and I didn't feel like squeezing fresh limes and I don't like RealLime because it doesn't taste real to me, so yeah, I used key lime)
Two slices of onion, chopped small but not quite minced
Peeled and grated ginger, about 3 Tablespoons, and two to three more Tablespoons peeled and chopped small
Three to nine cloves of garlic, minced-ish
Red pepper - I prefer to use flaked but I was mysteriously out so had to use ground

Aaaand - action!

In a large measuring cup (I used a 2 cup), pour about half a cup of the pineapple juice and add the rest of the liquid ingredients (Including the hoisin, which is more liquid-ish than actual liquid, but who's counting?) and give it a stir.  Shake a little red pepper flake in (how much depends on how spicy you like it). Reserve the remaining pineapple juice and chunks for later use.

Place the pork in a large Ziploc type bag.  Pour the liquid over it, then dump in the solids.  Get as much air as you can out of the bag and refrigerate over night.  Feel free to turn it, massage it, and read it bedtime stories to help make it happy.  Look:

Sooooo happy...all those chunks of garlic and ginger and excuse me I need to wipe my mouth before the drool hits the keyboard...

In the morning, dump the lot into a slow cooker.  I'll be honest - I wanted an excuse to try my roommate's slow cooker because it's bigger than mine, and it's new to me, and it's Wednesday.  Set the cooker on low and leave it alone to contemplate the nature of The Universe or something.

After a few hours, it'll be driving you wild with the scent of some kind of magical, alchemical cookery.  Embrace the madness.

I wound up adding a tiny bit of water and the rest  pineapple juice later in the day to boost the liquid content.  About an hour before serving, I cut the pineapple chunks in half and dumped them in.  Another hour, and ooohhhh...

Now came a debate for me - to remove the meat, reserve the liquid, and simply shred the meat without returning it to the liquid?  Or leave the liquid and toss the shredded meat back in?  I chose the latter, but I really don't think there's a correct answer, here.

Oh, my.

I served it with coconut sticky rice (for one cup of rice use one can of coconut milk and enough water to total 2 1/4 cups liquid, cook on medium until it bubbles then on low until almost all the liquid is absorbed, then turn it off and let it rest until all of the liquid is absorbed - it's exhausting bubbling up all that deliciousness!) and steamed carrots and broccoli.

The kids weren't really keen on it but my roommates?  Would have given it several thumbs up if they hadn't been busy using their thumbs to operate eating utensils.  Near the end of dinner, I just mixed all the meat up with the rice and ohmuhgodness.

I'll likely make this again, maybe tweaking the recipe a little because why not?

If you try it, tweak it, love it, hate it, let me know, wouldja?

*Not really.  Please don't feel hurt, barbecue, you know I love you!

1 comment:

Momlady said...

You are so much more adventuresome in the kitchen than I.