from one generation to the next
Yesterday was “D” day, kitchen demolition day. They say the kitchen renovation will take 6 weeks but I’ll wait and see. Builders are notoriously optimistic.
We’ve set up a camp kitchen in my “studio,” an electric grill, a single portable induction hob, a microwave and a fold up table for food prep. We’ll eat outside undercover while the weather holds up, but if turns cold, we’ll be compelled to become couch potatoes.
Shopping for ingredients for meals while our home is in disarray, I realised how much I relied on my oven and how frequently I had three pots cooking on the stovetop at the same time. I like variety, I like to have control of what I eat but I’m also up for a challenge. There’s no way I’m resorting to take-away meals or just serving plain grilled meat and salad for the next six weeks.
While I packed away the contents of the kitchen cupboards, setting aside the essentials, a piece of pork shoulder slowly braised in the soon to be abandoned oven, the beginnings of pulled pork burgers.
I intentionally kept the pork braise plain, stock from the freezer, white wine and a few simple aromatics. After chilling the meat overnight in the braising liquor, I shredded the pork with two forks, then reheated it in a hot pan adding a flavour kick as it caramelized, a dollop of Gretchen’s mustard, a glug of beer, another of maple syrup, and loads of freshly cracked black pepper.
Piled into a sourdough spelt bun spread with extra mustard and topped with a generous serve of apple kohlrabi coleslaw, our pulled pork burgers were much, much better than local any burger bar could deliver.
Maple Mustard Pulled Pork – makes 8 burgers
to prepare the pork:
1 kg piece of pork shoulder
250 mls dry white wine
750mls chicken stock
2 sprigs of sage, 12 leaves
6 allspice berries
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Preheat the oven to 160C
In a deep ovenproof casserole dish, heat the stock, wine and aromatics.
Add the pork and return the stock to the boil.
Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook until every tender, 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
Chill the pork overnight in the stock.
Just before serving, shred the pork using two forks.
to finish the pork:
1 heaped tablespoon mustard, preferably something with bite
4 tablespoons maple syrup
150 mls beer
very generous grinding of black pepper
sea salt to taste
Blend the beer, maple syrup and mustard.
Heat a large non stick or well seasoned cast iron pan until very hot.
With the pan over a high heat, add half the pork then when it begins to sizzle add half the beer mixture.
Simmer over a high heat stirring constantly until all the liquid is evaporated and the pork is heated through and nicely caramelized. Remove the pork from the pan and keep warm.
Repeat the above with the remaining pork and sauce.
Serve in fresh hamburger buns spread with extra mustard and topped with lemony slaw.