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Enjoying the tastes of BBQ from your kitchen

homemade pulled pork burger with caramelized onion and bbq sauce

As we hopefully near the spring it’s great to feature a recipe that both combines one of the first seasonal ingredients of the year with the idea of BBQ.
We live in a great agricultural area and mangoes are ripe for the picking in early spring as they are now in season … in Mexico.
They actually originated in south Asia, as many fruits did, and naturally migrated across the ocean over thousands of years. The heat in the mid-Americas create the perfect environment for tropical fruits to flourish.
We continue to want to enjoy comfort food right now and there’s nothing more suitable than our beloved “pulled” pork, which of course came from the BBQ traditions of the old South.
Plantation workers would sometimes be allowed to have the fattier, tougher pieces of meat to cook and would have to be creative to not only make them palatable but delicious.
They would use slower cooking methods such as spit roasting or smoking in order to achieve this. After the cooking process was over, there would be pieces of meat that would sometimes stick to the coals or rocks. In order to not waste them they would “pull” them off!
This type of recipe can be achieved easily while trapped indoors with your family, day in and day out, by essentially stewing the meat, whether on the stove top, oven or slow-cooker, an advantage being that all of the juices, flavours and nutrients are contained within and help to make up the sauce. The acidity of the mangoes have a natural ability to tenderize as well as add sweetness and flavour.
This type of dish is often served as a sandwich – maybe on a bun or tortilla wrap – but is also great by itself or on a bed of rice or even mashed potatoes.
Bourbon is only made in the South and is a natural compliment to this sauce – thank goodness the LCBO is considered an essential service!

Mango- Bourbon Pulled Pork
• 3 lb pork shoulder
• 1 onion, sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tomatoes, diced
• 2 mangoes, diced
• 2 oz bourbon
• 1/2 litre chicken stock
• Juice of 1 orange
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/4 cup balsamic
• 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
• 1 bottle “bold” BBQ sauce
• Chipotle chili powder, cumin, cinnamon sticks
• Salt, pepper

Sautee vegetables and spices together, add liquids and pour over pork shoulder.
Place in low oven or slow cooker and allow to simmer for several hours until meat is fork tender.
Pull out meat, shred with a fork.
Allow cooking liquid to reduce by 1/3, puree and back into pork.
Serve in a wrap or a bun.

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