Summer get-togethers are the perfect time to serve pulled barbecued meat sandwiches and the like. A favorite of many people is pulled pork, although chicken, beef, buffalo and turkey make excellent substitutes.
Just a couple of days ago, I put together a pulled chicken barbecue that was enthusiastically received by a small group of friends and relatives who joined us for a Fourth of July party. The pulled chicken was a lot leaner than many of the pork versions I’ve had over the years.
Pulled pork often is made with the fattier cuts of meat and then is drenched in a sweet sauce and served on a bun. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
A version I came across recently in an Associated Press food story uses tenderloin, a leaner cut of pork, skips the bun in favor of lettuce (Asian-style) and instead of a sugary sauce features a tangy vinaigrette-style sauce, which allows it to be served warm or cold and mix in some crunchy raw vegetables to add some color and texture.
Pulled Pork Wraps
1½ pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 quart no-salt chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon pickling spice blend
¼ cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Splash of hot sauce
¼ cup low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
Bibb lettuce, to serve
In a large pot, combine the pork, stock, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, the garlic, bay leaves, cloves and pickling spice. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 1 hour.
Remove the pork from the liquid and allow to cool until easily handled. Using 2 forks or your fingers, shred or pull apart the pork into strands. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, hot sauce, sour cream and orange zest. Stir in the bell pepper, celery, carrot and the shredded pork. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, offer bowls of the pulled pork with lettuce leaves. Diners can spoon some of the pork into each leaf and eat as a wrap.
Yield: Serve: 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 180 calories, 28 percent of calories from fat, 6 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated, no trans), 75 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 1 gram fiber, 90 milligrams sodium.