Pulled Pork Sous-Vide with Spiced Apricot Chutney

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Pulled Pork is a BBQ recipe from the Carolinas, recently featured on Putney Farm. I thought it would be nice to do a sous-vide version. When you hot-smoke meat for a brief time and then finish cooking the meat sous-vide, the meat will stay extremely moist and the smoky flavors will penetrate all the way through. I cooked the pork for 4 hours at 84C/183F, yielding meat that was juicy yet could be pulled apart with forks. This is slightly lower than the 88C/190F as mentioned by Putney Farm. I imagine at that temperature the meat would fall apart even more, but would also be slightly less juicy. Pork and fruit are a well-known combination, and in this case I served the pulled pork with a spiced apricot chutney. Putney Farm, thanks for the inspiration!

Note added in January 2017: I would now cook this 24 hours at 74C/165F to get pork that is more juicy, more tender, and more flaky than cooked for 4 hours at 84C/183F.

Ingredients

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300 grams (.66 lbs) boneless pork shoulder

2 Tbsp smoking dust

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the spiced chutney

1 garlic glove

1 small dried chile pepper

1 star anise

1 tsp minced ginger

500 grams (1.1 lbs) apricots

1 Tbsp cooking oil

sugar (to taste)

For serving

rice

bok choy

Preparation

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Season the pork with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Put the pork in a hot smoker with the smoking dust.

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Hot-smoke for 15 minutes.

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Allow the meat to cool to room temperature.

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Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold throughout. If you try to vacuum seal the meat before it’s cold, too much juice will be sucked out.

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Vacuum seal.

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Cook sous-vide for 4 hours at 84C/183F.

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Meanwhile, prepare the spiced apricot chutney. Wash and dry the apricots. Cut them in half around the kernel, and remove the kernel.

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Roughly chop the apricots after removing all the kernels.

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Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add garlic, ginger, chile pepper, and star anise. Sauté for a minute over medium heat. Do not allow the garlic to burn.

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Add the apricots.

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Cook, stirring, until the apricots have fallen apart and the sauce has a nice thick consistency.

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Add sugar to taste. The amount of sugar needed depends on the ripeness of the apricots. The chutney should not be very sweet.

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Stir in the sugar. Remove the star anise and the chile pepper.

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After 4 hours in the water bath, the pork will be cooked.

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Reserve the juices from the sous-vide pouch.

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Pull the pork apart with two forks.

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Pull it apart as much as you like.

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Combine the pulled pork with the juices from the pouch and allow to cool. The meat will absorb some of the juices.

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When it’s time to serve, gently heat the pulled pork.

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Serve the pulled pork on warm plates with the spiced apricot chutney, rice, and stir-fried bok choy.

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11 thoughts on “Pulled Pork Sous-Vide with Spiced Apricot Chutney

  1. This sounds very intriguing, Stefan, but I bought the big pit smoker to slow smoke meats. Of course, I would have to cook 6 – 8 of these to justify the amount of wood it takes to slow cook just 1. 😮 Those juices would have made a fabulous BBQ sauce but then you wouldn’t have needed the chutney. 😉 Also, those don’t look like Southern style collard greens in the background so what are they?

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  2. Well done and thanks for the mention! The apricot chutney looks great as well…

    We may have to try sous-vide BBQ (purists here would howl, but we like technology…;-)

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  3. Pulled pork is a favorite, Stefan, and I’d never of thought that it could be prepared sous-vide. You sure have taught u all quite a bit about sous-vide’s possibilities and today was no exception. Thanks for taking the time.

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