Vegan Pulled Pork with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
Ohmygoodness you guys, I’ve been wanting to write this post for over a week now. I need some balance in my life, some hardcore balance. But my mother’s arriving in town in t-minus 4 hours, so I had an excuse. The garden? Weeds, weeds, weeds. The house? I mean, seriously, how does one cat produce so much fur and filth? It’s incredible. (On a side note, I should really compost her fur, not sure what I was thinking otherwise.) So right now I’m boiling potatoes during my lunch break to make a last-minute potato salad for tonight’s dinner and I have a few minutes. Vegan Pulled Pork with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce posting time it is!
Although it’s been getting some attention lately, I first read about jackfruit as a meat substitute on Jenn’s Veganize It, Don’t Criticize It blog. Since early 2009, I’ve been scouring Asian markets for the infamous canned (in water or brine, not syrup) jackfruit and haven’t had any luck until recently at Oasis World Market in Blacksburg. (You have no idea how amazing it would be if that store would open a location in Roanoke…heaven!)
With G out of town the other week, I figured it’d be the perfect time to experiment with a meat substitute since he isn’t so keen on them. I also figured it was definitely the time to use up some rhubarb I picked up from the farmers market.
Rhubarb is cool and all, but the texture really gets to me (stringy and mushy? ick), so after reading about Rhubarb Ketchup I knew I had to make a rhubarb BBQ sauce. I rarely find a BBQ sauce that I like online, as was the case when I Googled “rhubarb BBQ sauce,” but I read a few recipes and rolled the dice to figure out a flavor profile I was keen on. The final sauce is thick and tangy and a little sweet and a little savory–perfect for any grilled proteins or on a veggie burger. While I wasn’t super keen on the texture of the jackfruit, the real star of the game was the sauce, so I was a’ok with that. My final pulled pork sandwich was topped with a quick pickle of carrots and radish and red onions, lending the perfect crunch a bit more acidity to the sandwich. What’s not love?
Vegan Pulled Pork with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
For the Pulled Pork:
1 can jackfruit (in water or brine, not syrup)
1/2 onion, sliced
Water as needed
For the BBQ Sauce:
1 bunch rhubarb, chopped into equal pieces
1/2 large red onion, diced
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
3/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
water to cover
For the Quick Pickles:
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin rounds
2 radishes, cleaned and cut into thin rounds
1 c chopped cabbage
1/4 red onion, sliced into slivers
2 tbsp sugar
Rice vinegar to cover
Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the half onion slices and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the jackfruit. Chop larger chunks in halves or quarters. Place jackfruit in the pan with the onions and saute for 15-20 minutes, until the jackfruit has wilted and separated into ribbons (you might have to break apart chunks with a spoon while it cooks). Add water to the pan as necessary to cook the jackfruit (to keep it from burning). Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine all BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepot. Add enough water to just cover the rhubarb and other ingredients. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Once everything is soft, transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
To make the pickles, place the vegetables in a small glass or ceramic bowl. Add the sugar and then enough vinegar to cover the pickles to the top. Mix with your hands or a spoon and set aside for at least 30 minutes to pickle. Store in fridge for longer use.
To make the sandwiches, combine the jackfruit with just enough BBQ sauce to coat it and mix to coat. Place on toasted buns and top with the quick pickles. Enjoy with a side salad and a cold brew!
The Pulled Pork makes 4 servings.
The BBQ sauce makes approx. two cups.
The Quick Pickles make 1 cup pickled vegetables.