Pulled pork is a treat often reserved as an occasional indulgence. Which probably is good, since it tends to be made with some of the fattier pieces of pork and then smothered with a sugary sauce and piled on a white roll.
Trouble is, we love pulled pork and wanted a version we could feel good about enjoying a little more often.
The first change we made was the cut of meat. We used a lean pork tenderloin and boiled it until tender in a flavorful broth.
For the sauce, we decided to do something a little out of the ordinary. We went with a tangy vinaigrette-style sauce. This allowed us to serve it warm or cold and mix in some crunchy raw vegetables to add color and texture.
We opted to skip the bun entirely. After all, the pork is the star. So we borrowed an Asian trick and serve it wrapped in bibb lettuce leaves.
Pulled pork lettuce wraps
11/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 quart no-salt chicken or vegetable stock
Ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon pickling spice blend
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Splash of hot sauce
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
Bibb lettuce leaves, to serve
In a large pot, combine pork, stock, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, garlic, bay leaves, cloves and pickling spice. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until pork is fork tender, about 1 hour.
Remove the pork from the liquid and allow to cool until easily handled. Using 2 forks or your fingers, shred or pull the pork into strands. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, hot sauce, sour cream and orange zest. Stir in bell pepper, celery, carrot and the shredded pork. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, offer bowls of the pulled pork with lettuce leaves. Diners can spoon some of the pork into each leaf and eat as a wrap.
Servings • 6
Source: The Associated Press