Pulled Pork on a Sweet Potato

Of all conventional meats, pork is my favorite. It is so versatile. And sweet potato has to be my all-time favorite starchy vegetable. I wanted my first cooked meal on campus to be something proper and extravagant. Here is a pulled pork recipe I used from Simply Recipes that was a little unconventional when comparing other pulled pork recipes. In addition, due to the fact that my stomach is still reeling from all the bread I ate during my stay in South America (yes, it’s been a week), my boyfriend suggested we make a gluten-free bun alternative so that my stomach does not undergo any further stress. There will also be a move-in outfit that is also fitting for being reunited with your boyfriend after two months.

The Food

The method of preparing the pulled pork was a little unconventional: we simmered it in a broth for less than three hours rather than slow-roasting it for over 4. We wanted to make something easy to serve that many people would enjoy–after all, it is my first “not living out of a suit case” weekend in my own apartment, so I wanted to make the first meal count (the other meals were nachos and spaghetti, deal with it).

Assembly foods generally are crowd-pleasers. People can put as much or as little of any topping as they want. Or, in the case of the aioli and “buns” we made, you can dip the sweet potato in the aioli for a creamy, hearty treat.

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All the ingredients together pre-pureeing.

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Pureed goop.

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Pork in the pot with the poor excuse for bay leaves.

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Where’d the pork go? Oh it’s hiding in the goop mixed with water.

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Our sides of thick-cut sweet potato chips and an avocado aoili.

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The pork after it was shredded and added to the sauce. Admittedly, we could have reduced the sauce further, but we were getting hungry.

Pulled Pork
  • 1.5 lb pork shoulder butt
  • 1.5 tbspn garlic paste
  • 1 fresh jalapeño
  • 1 tbspn hot chili cooking paste
  • 1 tbspn yellow mustard
  • 3/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tspns of gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  1. Put all the ingredients except the pork and bay leaf in a bowl
  2. Blend on the higher speed until smooth
  3. Add the pork with the bay leaf to a large pot
  4. Add the mixture with about a quart of water, or enough water so that it just coats the pork
  5. Bring to a boil and then simmer semi-aggressively for about 2 hours
  6. After 2 hours or when the pork comes apart easily, pull the pork out of the pot
  7. Let it cool and then pull it out
  8. Reduce the sauce in the pot until about 2/3 evaporated (or more for creamier sauce)
  9. In the mean time, shred the pork with two forks
  10. Add the pork back in to coat
  11. Serve with sides of choice

Total time: 2 hours and about 45 minutes

Source: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pulled_pork_sandwich/

Avocado AIoli
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt*
  • 1 tbspn lemon juice
  • 1 tbspn lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic clove
  • Handful of basil leaves
  1. Mash the avocado in a bowl
  2. Add the Greek yogurt and mix
  3. Add the lemon and lime juice to prevent browning
  4. Mix in the garlic clove
  5. Chop the basil leaves
  6. Stir in basil until the mixture is homogeneous

*Could use sour cream instead. No sour cream in the house (yet)

Sweet Potato “Buns”
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 spritz canola oil
  • Cumin to taste
  • Salt
  • Paprika to taste
  • Dried basil leaves
  1. Cut sweet potato into disks at an angle to maximize surface area.*
  1. Arrange on a prepped baking sheet
  2. Turn the heat off and then just let the flavors marinate for a bit.
  3. While it is still lukewarm, stir in the chia seeds to allow the surface to breakdown

*Some might not make it into disk form, so just chop those into small pieces

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Assembly of the various component of our dish.

The Clothes

This weekend was also my first legitimate move-in day. The other times I went to Ithaca, I was living out of a suitcase while most of my room was still shoved into trash bags and piled up in a corner (NOT a good look). Important thing to remember for moving in: closed-toe shoes and comfort. You do NOT want a giant bag crushing your toes in sandals. And you also don’t want to wear anything so tight that movement is difficult. I wore a scarf and jacket too, since it was one of those temperatures where wearing just a shirt and shorts is too cold but moving around made you sweat up a storm.

Jacket (vintage), shirt (Tobi), scarf (H&M), shorts (BDG), and boots (MIA)

Jacket (vintage), shirt (Tobi), scarf (H&M), shorts (BDG), and boots (MIA)

The Allergies

This recipe is not vegan, but it is gluten-free. After coming back from South America, I was in all sorts of crazy stomach discomfort mostly due to the fact that my only food options, for the most part, were bread, pastries, or cake. These foods are not good if you have a mild intolerance. I came back to the US with rashes all over my body and stomach problems that are still plaguing me a week later. The excess of wheat and gluten is what was my gastrointestinal down-fall so, please, if you can, try to find foods you can eat, even if it means being that pain-in-the-ass on the group trip.

Keep it yummy,

Jo

Next week: Vegan pudding for breakfast!

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