Mike outdid himself this time, as he usually does. I have been so excited to shoot pulled pork sliders and figured it’s only fitting that I do it during one of my favorite times of year… my birthday weekend. I was able to focus entirely on the shoot setup & styling and Mike took over prepping the meal. I’m so lucky to have his passion for cooking involved with my passion for food photography. It’s definitely a team effort for the more time consuming meals, especially since we only get to do this on weekends.
The Asian flavors, along with the fat that it’s cooked in, make the pork flavorful and complex. The slaw adds just the right amount of crisp freshness and acidity, and a bit of spicy mayo (mayo mixed with Sriracha) and cilantro (my favorite!) round things out nicely. It’s definitely a weekend meal, but it’s well worth the wait if you have the time.
I wanted to show off all of the ingredients without having it look too messy, so the pork and slaw needed a little extra styling love for the shoot. I had to eat a couple of the messy sliders until I got it right…hey, someone had to…
If you have the time, make this recipe and invite your friends over. They’ll crave it as soon as they walk in the door.
PULLED PORK SLIDERS WITH ASIAN SLAW
2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne
1. Stir together rub spices in a small bowl.
2. Set aside.
1 cup dark brown sugar 3/4 cup hoisin sauce 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together and return the shredded meat to the slow cooker.
2. Add the sauce and mix to combine.
3. Season to taste.
4. Serve pork on small sliders and top with Asian Slaw.
1 8-10lb bone-in pork shoulder (preferably butt end) without skin
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1. Dry pork with paper towels.
2. Trim surface fat from pork, then rub all over with spice mixture.
3. Let pork stand at room temp for about 30 minutes.
4. Place onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the chicken broth.
5. Add the butter. Place the meat on top of it all.
6. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6-8 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
7. Turn off slow cooker and remove pork to a cutting board.
8. Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium-heat proof bowl.
9. Pour onion mixture from slow cooker through the strainer.
10. Return the solids to the slow cooker.
11. Set strained liquid aside.
12. If the pork has a bone, remove & discard it.
13. Using 2 forks, shred meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat.
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 English cucumber, seeded and julienned
1/2 Fuji apple, julienned
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup Mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
Pinch or more of red pepper flakes, to taste
1. Combine all of the ingredients.
2. Store in refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours so flavors can blend.
3. Serve with pulled pork.
All images © Regan Baroni 2014.