I love pulled pork, especially for entertaining as it makes a huge amount of meat. I’ve made Italian Style and I’ve made your standard BBQ version, but when I came across this recipe I found it so interesting for several reasons but mostly because it calls for a large amount of potent flavors (sweet, acidic and spicy). As a home cook I found this strange (1 c. honey??) but then I remembered that the reason we love restaurant food is that they use more sugar, more salt, more everything; the balance is still there but there’s just overall more flavor. I decided it was worth the potential waste of ingredients and I gave it a go.
I was right in that the flavor was still well-balanced, and man did it “pack a punch”. The crowd I made it for all loved it and the best part was that I’d made it the day before so my “prep” when they were here was just to heat it in a pot on the stove. One of my most used tips with entertaining is that the more you can have done ahead the more fun you’ll have with your friends. I topped this simply but pickled veggies would also be great. Serve it over jasmine or white rice with simply dressed green salad. Gluten and dairy free to boot.
Asian Style Pulled Pork with Spicy Honey
1/4 c. kosher salt
2 tbsp. black pepper
1/4 c. chili powder
1 (8 lb) bone -in pork shoulder/butt
2 small/medium onions, cut into thick rings
12-15 garlic cloves, smashed
2 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar, divided
1 c. water
3 c. fresh orange juice, divided
1 c. honey
2 tbsp. ground fresh chili paste
2 tbsp. fish sauce
To serve – thinly sliced red onion and thinly sliced serrano peppers
- Combine salt, pepper and chili powder. Rub mixture all over pork. Place onions and garlic in bottom of crockpot. Place pork on top. Add 2 cups of the vinegar, the water, and 2 cups of the orange juice. Cover and set crockpot for 8 hours on low.
- Remove meat to large bowl and let cool until easy to handle. Strain liquid into a large bowl and let cool until fat rises to the top. Discard the fat and reserve 1 c. of the braising liquid.
- Pick through meat, discarding fat and bones. Shred/chop as needed to make meat bite sized.
- To 1 c. reserved liquid, add remaining 1 c. orange juice, remaining 1/4 cup vinegar, honey, chili paste and fish sauce. Whisk to combine. If worried about spice, strain sauce to remove chili seeds before adding to meat.
- Add sauce to meat and stir to combine. Serve, topped with red onion and peppers.