Thursday, August 7, 2008

Chipotle Pulled-Pork Sandwiches

Oh the dog days of summer in Texas and I have a new found love affair with my crockpot. I used to think crockpot cooking was only for winter where warm soups and roasts were just the thing to take the chill away but THINK AGAIN! With a 2 week run of 100 plus degree temperatures and my poor a/c cranking up every 5 minutes, I dread the idea of even turning the light on in the kitchen. So this week out came the crockpot again, we're best friends now. During the fall I usually make this meal on the stove per the directions but I thought I'd give my new best friend a crack at it, and sure enough it turned out even better than on the stove. The meat was so tender and just fell apart.

Menu: Chipotle Pulled-Pork BBQ Sandwiches, coleslaw and your choice of ice cold beer.

Chipotle Pulled-Pork BBQ Sandwiches

1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
6 (1/2-ounce) slices provolone cheese
12 sandwich-cut bread-and-butter pickles
6 (2 1/2-ounce) Kaiser rolls

  1. Remove 1 chile from can; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Finely chop chile. (If you like it spicy, use another or two, which come on bbq is supposed to be spicy right)
  2. (Ok this is where the directions call for a saucepan but instead just throw the meat in and then cover it with the rest of the ingredients. ) Place chopped chile, barbecue sauce, and the next 4 ingredients (barbecue sauce through tomatoes) in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 10 minutes or until sauce thickens and pork is very tender. Remove from heat. Remove pork from sauce; shred pork. Return pork to sauce. (Since we cooked it in the crockpot no need to remove the pork, just take two forks and shred it in the crockpot and then give it a good mix)

  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, thyme, and sugar; cook 10 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally.

  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet (or your panini maker) over medium heat. Place 1 cheese slice, 1/2 cup pork mixture, about 2 tablespoons onions, and 2 pickle slices on bottom half of each roll. Cover with top halves of rolls. Add 3 sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches, and press gently to flatten. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until cheese melts and bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Repeat procedure with remaining sandwiches.

Doesn't this just make your mouth water! Now grab a bag of dress and serve coleslaw, mix it up and plate next to your ooey goey sandwich.

Now an important note, choose your bbq sauce wisely as this can make or break your sandwiches, you want to make sure it's not too sugary tasting because it'll be overkill with the pickles, too spicy itself and you'll be dying with the chipotle, not too smokey either because that's what the chipotle is for. I'd suggest a nice mild to medium flavor bbq sauce with a hint of kick whether its name brand or a local specialty.

Recipe and picture courtesy of my favorite website

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