I knew when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light that I would most likely love it and I did! It’s rich and tasty and the hit of crunchy tangy vegetables on top of the slow cooked pork is amazing! The vinegar in the topping cuts right through the fattiness that pork can sometimes have. My husband, a die hard BBQ fan and pork snob (that’s right I said it) really liked this sandwich. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly from Cooking lights version by substituting Cheerwine (a delicious cherry cola) for the soda the recipe called for. You could use any soda you please but the cherry taste went really well. Do yourself a favor and don’t skimp on the carrot, cucumber and red onion slaw. The sharp tang and crunch from the veggies makes the dish! Oh and to make things better it comes in under 500 calories, wohoo!
Soy and Cherry Cola Braised Pork Shoulder
Adapted from: Cooking Light/October 2011
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 3.5 lb bone in pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cherry cola
1/2 cup of hoisin sauce (click here for a recipe to make your own!)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup lower sodium soy sauce
1 cucumber, sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
3/4 cup matchstick carrots (or carrots sliced thinly)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil to pan. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt. Add pork to pan, saute for 8 minutes turning to brown all sides. Remove pork. Add ginger and garlic, saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in cola and the next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) bring to a boil. Return pork to pan, cover and bake at 300 for 1 hour and 50 minutes until tender, turning occasionally. Remove pork from pan and let stand for 10 minutes. Shred pork with two forks. Skim fat from cooking liquid.
3. Place pan over medium high heat. Bring cooking liquid to a boil. Cook 15 minutes or so until reduced to about 2 cups, stirring occasionally. Combine pork and 3/4 cup sauce in a bowl. Toss to coat.
4. While sauce is reducing, in a separate bowl combine cucumber, carrot, onion and rice wine vinegar and toss to combine. Set aside.
5. Top sandwich with slaw, a little vinegar from the bowl of slaw and additional sauce to taste. Devour promptly!