Thursday, April 21, 2016

Classic Pulled Pork with Rated X Sauce

A few weeks ago I went to a cooking demonstration that showcased products made by a local company, Offbeat Gourmet. Offbeat creates premium condiments using locally sourced and mostly organic ingredients. 
At the demonstration we were able to try everything that they cooked as well as sample a bunch of Offbeat's other products. I ended up sampling and buying several products, including a sauce they call Rated X. 
This sauce tricks you in the best of ways - the first flavor you get is sweet and tangy from the oranges, but then that heat kicks in and man is that some heat!!! It's not a spicy burn your tongue kind of heat, but more like a slowly developing heat that hits you at the back of our mouth. It's a sauce that is complex and adds to the dish with its heat instead of just being spicy for the sake of being spicy. SO, so good. And just look at that thick consistency - 
I knew I'd have to use Rated X the next time I made pulled pork. And with the heat coming from applewood smoked ghost peppers, I knew Jon would love it. 
I made a rub for the pork using smoky, sweet and slightly spicy flavors to complement the sauce. For liquid I chose an IPA beer, a touch of cider vinegar and just a tiny bit of the sauce since we'd be using more on our sandwiches. 
We put the sandwiches together on soft-on-the-inside, crusty-on-the-outside rolls with cole slaw and more of the sauce. I wish you could reach into the screen and taste this pork and the sauce. On its own the pork had just a hint of the heat, so adding that touch of sauce on the sandwich was perfect. Sticky, sweet and then hot all in one bite. 
Pulled Pork with Rated X Sauce
Original recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations, inspired by Offbeat Gourmet's Rated X Sauce
Serves 8-10
  • One 2 lb pork loin or tenderloin; I prefer to use a loin or tenderloin instead of a butt or shoulder as there is less fat and gristle
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • One onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 bottle of IPA (I use Goose Island IPA)
  • Splash of cider vinegar (maybe 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp of the Rated X sauce (or more), plus more for serving
  • Your favorite cole slaw and rolls, for serving
  • In a bowl, mix the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture generously all over the pork.
  • Put the onions and garlic in the bottom of your crock pot
  • Pour in the beer and cider vinegar, and then add the Rated X sauce, stirring to combine.
  • Place the pork in the pot and cover
  • Cook on high for 5 hours, turning the pork once
  • Turn to low and cook 2-3 more hours. In the last hour shred the pork with 2 forks.
  • Keep pork on warm until ready to serve. 

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