Despite the use of “habanero” in its title, this deliciously sweet pulled pork isn’t overwhelmingly spicy. The habanero that simmers slowly along with the pork gives a spicy hint to this addictive dish.
I have to admit, I purposely waited until the husband was away at work to make this dish. Usually, he’ll eat almost anything, but this slow-cooked pork is not one of those things. John is a firm believer that two things should not be sweet — vegetables and meat. I, on the other hand, absolutely love this pulled pork. Even better are the leftovers, which make great sandwiches. Yum.
I usually cook this dish in my Crockpot, but it can very easily be made in a Dutch oven or large pot. I used a boneless pork shoulder for this dish. The sauce is extremely versatile and can be used on chicken or even fish.
Mango, Ginger, and Habanero Pulled Pork
Adapted from Aarti Sequeira
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon paprika 2 teaspoons kosher salt Sauce:
1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 onion, finely minced 2 tablespoons minced ginger 1 habanero pepper, sliced down the center, top half together, stem intact Kosher salt 2 ripe mangoes, pureed 1/2 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and massage it into the pork, then set aside. This can be done and refrigerated up to a day in advance.
In a large saucepan (or Dutch oven if you plan on cooking the pork on your stovetop), warm the oil over low heat until hot. Add the cumin and fennel seeds. Keep a lid or shield handy – they’ll splutter upon contact and try to pop out! Once they settle down, add the onions, ginger and habanero pepper. Sauté until softened. Add a bit of salt, to taste. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, then simmer for about 5 minutes.
If using a Crockpot, transfer the ingredients into the pot and add the pork shoulder, making sure to coat it with the sauce. If you’re cooking your pulled pork on the stovetop, add the pork shoulder to your Dutch oven or pot, cover with a lid and gently simmer for about three hours, until the pork starts to fall apart.
Once its done cooking, remove the pork from the pot and shred it. You can use forks or your fingers, it’s up to you! Put the shredded pork on a bun and spoon some of the sweet sauce on top, or eat this deliciousness alongside one of my favorites, Indian Spiced Potatoes. Enjoy!