I made pulled pork last night, and…well…I just feel sour about it. No, not because the pork was bad. In fact, it was sweet and saucy and smoky all at the same time. You know how I love that. And no, not because I will now have homemade barbecue sauce underneath my fingernails for 72 hours and also as a happy reminder on my favorite pink camisole. No, not even because when I eat barbecue I speak in a slow Suthun’ drawl, real lady-like, and Daniel reminds me he doesn’t love my Paula Deen. Or my Al Pacino, for that matter.
So, what made me sour? Tough to tell at first, especially since I loved the meal so much I felt a little pale blue for the rest of the night. Nothing quite sets me afire like a meal I can eat with my hands, lick on my fingers, and marry with creamed corn. Except for Leo. But you know that already. And he never called again after we finished filming Shutter Island. I know. I’m sad too. No, but like, really sad. But do you think–
What was I writing you about?
Oh. Yes. The pulled pork.
I guess I’m just going to have to place a little blame where blame is due. And you know how I love to blame you. Admit that it’s a little fun. No?
Well, we’ll agree to disagree. But I’m right.
So anywho, here it is, my (latest) grievance with you: I just think you should have made me a pulled pork sandwich before I turned 26 and learned to make it own my own. I mean, that’s verging on three decades without so much as a dribble of barbecue sauce down my chin. And listen, pork is my favorite meat. If pressed (and please, God, I’m only being hyperbolic with my mother, so like, don’t make this true), I would forsake all other meat for a lovely piece of pig. A chop, a rib, a belly, a butt. I’m easy like Sunday morning. (We both know that’s untrue, but for the sake of simile, we’ll defer to Lionel Richie, k?)
Where do we go from here? Well, I think you could just apologize, buy me a few Mallo Cups, and call it even for that time I spread Elmer’s Glue on my nightstand. In my defense, though, I was creating a snow covered nativity for Christmas.
I’m a slave to artistic authenticity.
How’s that sound? We’ll call it a truce?
Because I really would like for us to work through this. The good news is that in the past 36 months I’ve more than made up for 26 years of barbecue pulled pork deprivation. The bad news is that in the past 36 months I’ve more than made up for 26 years of barbecue pulled pork deprivation.
Anyway, I’m glad I got that off my chest. I love you. I do. I’ll even share a saucy pork sandwich with you. I swear the sweet smokiness will make you want to crawl inside the slow cooker and wade in barbecue sauce. One bite of mango slaw and you’ll be sure you’re seeing life through rose colored glasses. Though, I’m not entirely sure I’d ever want my vision tinted pink. Hey, why does anyone even say that? It just seems terrible, actually.
But, yes, the pork.
It’s love. Strands and savory strands of meat so tender if falls apart before you even bring your lips to meet it. You can have half.
Like, half of a half. So, a quarter of one.
I should write you more often.
Forever your *favorite baby,
*I mean, who’s kidding who?
Slow Cooked Barbecue Pork with Mango Slaw
For the pork:
- 1/2 medium onion sliced
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 TBSP spicy brown mustard
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
For the mango slaw:
- 1 large mango peeled and sliced into thin matchsticks
- Juice of half a lime
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- Scatter the sliced onion in the base of your slow cooker. Lay the pork loins on top of the onion.
- In a bowl, whisk to combine the ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, brown mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Pour evenly over the pork. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Make the mango slaw by combining the mango, lime, and cilantro in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- When the pork is done cooking, shred it by using two forks and pulling in opposite directions. Serve with the mango slaw.