Mango, Ginger, and Habanero Pulled Pork

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.

Sweet and Spicy Deliciousness

Mango, Ginger, and Habanero Pulled Pork

Adapted from Aarti Sequeira

What You’ll Need:
1 boneless pork shoulder, about 3 pounds, excess fat removed
 
Rub:
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!

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A Simple Side: Indian Inspired Potatoes

I love Indian food. The bold spices and exotic aromas are comforting, yet conjure the images of a far away, unknown land. If you’re unfamiliar with Indian food, or just want to make a simple dish in your very own kitchen, give this recipe a try. It’s simple, yet delicious. For some added heat, add a large serrano pepper, split down the middle, to simmer with the potatos.

Indian Spiced Potatoes

Adapted from Aarti Sequeira

What You’ll Need:
2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows, or 2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt

Mix the Ginger-Garlic Paste, coriander, turmeric, and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl, then set aside. This is called a wet masala.

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the cumin seeds, then stand back and take cover! They’ll splutter and try to pop out of the pan. After about 30 seconds, add the wet masala, and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the pot, stirring to coat with the masala. Season with salt and the remaining water. Cover and reduce to low-medium heat, simmering the potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Serve hot.

Garlic-Ginger Paste

What You’ll Need:
1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil

Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a small food processor blend  until it forms a paste. This blend makes an excellent addition to many Indian recipes. Keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Keeps well for several weeks.