We may not agree on everything, but the one food Mr. Dish and I can always agree on is pulled pork. Ordering a pulled pork sandwich is never a bad decision. Hearty, savory, sweet, messy… delicious.
I was lucky enough to grow up with a father who took his pork as seriously as he did scaring my boyfriends. Papa Dish knows he can still lure me home with a batch of pulled pork… or “pork paste,” as he calls it. I may be partial, but Mr. Dish agreed… it’s the best pulled pork either of us have ever had.
As I forge on with my culinary mission, I decided it was time to make a batch of the legendary stuff for myself. After a little cajoling, Papa Dish told me how he makes it. (I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read the blog, so I don’t think he’ll find out that I’m sharing his secret with all of you.) I’ll preface this by telling you that my results were not as good as Dad’s. But I think it was pretty darn successful for my first try.
I was surprised to find out that Dad uses pork chops, rather than a larger piece of meat. A few pounds of them in a family pack does the trick, bones removed, meat cut into strips.
Brown the meat with a little oil. In the meantime, chop up an onion and a jalapeno pepper. I threw in a clove of garlic for good measure.
Once the meat is browned add a can of seasoned, diced tomatoes and a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce.
Add your chopped veggies, and then add water just so all the meat is covered with liquid.
Cover and simmer for four hours, stirring occasionally. The sauce thickened as it cooked, so I added some water once in a while to keep everything moist.
After about three and a half hours the meat was breaking down nicely, so I uncovered it and let it thicken up for a while. This is what our finished product looked like:
Salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a little honey if it’s too spicy. While we thoroughly enjoyed our sandwiches, I think next time I’ll let it cook longer. Dad’s pork is much softer, and more “paste-like.”
But as Dad said, “You can’t mess it up! Just throw it all in the pot!” I’ll just have to keep experimenting… which means we’ll just have to keep eating pork paste sandwiches until I get it just right!
Do you have a recipe that’s taken some tweaking or experimenting before it all came together? Do tell!