Here in Dublin, after a night on the town, us young lads, boasting of our nocturnal conquests might ask each other “Did ya’ pull?”. No matter what private mortification occurred the evening before, the answer was always in the affirmative. “Course I did. Wasn’t I beating them off?” “I would have landed both but they were fighting over me.” and other such testosterone-fuelled nonsense was, of course, obligatory. However, that was all back in the day.
Now, when I’m asked whether I pulled or not, my thoughts immediately go to those fine trail hardened folk over in Dallas Fort Worth and their culinary habits. Yes, my pulling is done with forks these days. That’s why for part five of my Dublin Goes DFW series, I bring you that Texas favourite (with a Dublin kitchen twist) of Pulled Pork with Dublin / DFW Chili Plum Sauce. The sauce is in no way traditional. It’s my own idea and I suspect they will crash their pick up trucks into a dry gulch when they read of this in Texas.
The ingredients for the pork include:
- 2 kg pork shoulder joint
- 2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
- black pepper to taste
- 4 onions
- 1 glass of white wine
For the Dublin / DFW Chili Plum Sauce
- half a kilo of plums
- 1 Hatch chili
- 1 Ancho chili
- 1 New Mexico Sandia (hot)
- 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar or wine vinegar
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 200 grammes of sugar (brown or white)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- A splash of Worcestershire Sauce
First, soak the chilis in hot water to reconstitute them.
While this is going on, Fry the cumin seeds in a dry pan. Bash them with a pestle, in a mortar until they are a fine powder.
Mix this powder with the paprika and rub it all over the outside of the pork joint.
Chop the onions roughly and put most of them into the bottom of a casserole dish (Dutch Oven) and add the joint. Sprinkle the remaining onion over the top. Pour in the glass of wine. Place it in a 130ºC oven for 6 hours. Yes, 6 hours.
Drain the chilis and chop them.
Half the plums (Ignore the stones as they will be sieved out later).
Finely chop the onion with the garlic and carmelise it in a pan with some olive oil. Put the ingredients for the sauce into a nice big saucepan.
Bring this to a boil and cook until the plums have broken down and the sauce is quite thick.
Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove all the lumpy bits. Reduce the sauce some more. Adjust the sugar / salt balance to your taste.
At this stage, you can go and listen to your teenage children boasting about their pulling power. You have plenty of time, that pork won’t be ready for another five hours or so.
When the buzzer on the oven finally goes “bing”, take the pork out and lift it gently from casserole to chopping board, being sure to prevent it from falling apart.
It will be very delicate. Let it rest for ten minutes before attacking it with the forks.
Spoon on the onions from the casserole. I served it with some delicious saffron rice. That’s an excuse for the photo of the saffron water before it was added to the rice.
Over in Texas, they would probably add all the sauce and eat it in sliders or in bigger burger buns. Whatever way you eat this, it is fantastic. The chili plum sauce has heat, smokiness, sweetness and a nice sour edge too. It is beautiful with this very Texan pulled pork.
While you are eating this with your family, you may be asked “Did ‘ya pull?”. You can, for once in your life, tell the truth on this particular subject.
See the other posts in this fine Texas Irish series:
- Part 1 – Beef Short Ribs with Ancho Chili Rub
- Part 2 – Lamb goes Shoulder to Shoulder
- Part 3 – Wild Irish Salmon and Texas Ancho Chili
- Part 4 – Beef Chili and Cornbread
It’s time for me to hang up my Texas Irish spurs. For the moment, I’m settling into my bed roll and throwing the end of my metaphorical coffee on the campfire of this mini series. I might lasso some other recipes and add them later. But for now, it’s back to more local fare. I hope you enjoyed traveling with me. Happy trails, pardner. See ya’ all at the square dance.