In this issue of Party Yak:
Here's a great Caribbean party food idea: Jerked Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
Jerked... pulled... it sounds like we're abusing pork. Quite the opposite.
In fact, I got a note from a reader that said, "I made your pulled pork recipe but it never made it to sandwiches. As soon as it came out, my friends swarmed it like ants on a grasshopper, pulled it apart, dipped it in the sauce and ate it. It was such a hit I almost didn't get any!"
A Jump-Up is a weekly Caribbean street party with plenty of
food, drink, music and dance. (Like a block party, only with better
food.) The Islands are generously dotted with "oil drum" smokers and the
mouthwatering aromas of spicy, slow-cooked meats. So when the "jump-up"
or barbecue is at your house consider serving...
Very Caribbean, all, although I have yet to taste a Mojito worthy of all the good PR about them.
Update: We have a winner! Check out these Mojito Recipes.
The trick to pulled pork sandwiches is the right cut of meat and long,
slow, low-temperature cooking, preferably in a smoker. Done right, the
meat practically falls apart and easily pulls apart with fingers or
fork, thus, "pulled pork."
Almost every pulled pork recipe begins with either a long soak in brine or a spicy rub, sometimes both. This one's a rub. Caribbean cooking is all about the spices and hot, hot, hot Scotch bonnet peppers. If you're serving a mixed crowd or not into hot, substitute another pepper of your choice.
1 5-6 pound pork butt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Jerk Barbecue Sauce:
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced scallion
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce (15-ounce can)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet pepper, if you can take it
Plain, soft sandwich rolls or buns
First, set the pork butt out to bring it to room temperature. Fire up the smoker, bringing it to about 220° and maintain that temperature throughout the cooking. (Jamaicans use charcoal and pimiento wood, but any smoker type, with any hardwood or wood chips, will do well.)
Prepare the rub by combining all its ingredients. Dust the pork butt completely with the rub and place it in the smoker. Remember, indirect heat only; no flames. Smoke it until very tender, 7-10 hours, longer if you keep lifting the lid or opening the door.
In the meantime, prepare the Jerk Barbecue Sauce: Sauté the minced onions and scallions until soft. Stir in the remaining ingredients, heat, then simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes. Cool. (Don't worry, the sauce thickens.)
When the pork butt is falling-apart tender, remove it from the smoker (or the cooler). Pull the "strands" of pork apart and place them in a large bowl. Coat the pulled pork well with Jerk Barbecue Sauce to taste.
Assembling pulled pork sandwiches is easy: Heap about 3/4 cup,
perhaps less, of pulled pork onto a sandwich roll and serve. (No other
condiments are necessary.) Makes 10-12 generous sandwiches.
Tip: No smoker? You may have success using a crock pot or a covered roasting pan in the oven instead of a smoker, but the pulled pork will not have that wonderful smoked quality, of course.
Or check out grill recipes as good as Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
20 mint leaves, or so
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups light rum
4 cups cold club soda
In a pitcher, muddle the mint leaves. Pour in the simple syrup, lime juice and rum. Add the club soda and stir once. Pour over ice cubes. Garnish with mint leaves and a wedge of lime, if desired.