Braised Pork with Homemade Sweet Pickles

Braised Pork with Homemade Sweet Pickles

This is one of my favorite things to eat when
it’s warm out. It is not quick, but it is cheap and stupid-easy. Starts with possibly
the easiest homemade pickles. Get yourself 1-2 pounds of any vegetables
that you’d like and slice them thin. I’m starting with a small purple cabbage. Just
cut it in half and wedge out the core. Cut the halves in half and then start slicing.
Without the core holding them together, the leaves should fall apart into individual strips.
You don’t have to use purple cabbage for this, but I’d recommend a cabbage of some
kind, and also some form of onion. I’ll keep going with the purple theme. And here
is my secret for peeling onions. I cut them in half, and then rather than sacrifice minutes
of my life trying to scrape that skin off of the outermost layer, I just sacrifice the
outermost layer. Call it wasteful, call it lazy, I call it setting priorities. Get those
thinly sliced, and then for a little texture and color variety, I’m gonna use a very
large carrot. It does not have to be tissue-paper thin. If you don’t feel like doing a bunch of
slicing, just get yourself this — a bag of prepared coleslaw mix. I’d maybe augment
it with an onion that I sliced myself, but I have absolutely made pickles out of pre-cut
slaw and honestly, it’s just as good. Today I’ll use my pile of purple. Get yourself a large bowl. This is stainless
steel, not aluminum. Vinegar will cause aluminum to leach into food. I’m talking about an
entire 12-ounce bottle of rice wine vinegar. I freaking love this stuff. It’s really
mild, so you don’t have to cook it to boil off that harsh ammonia-like note that other
vinegars have. Throw in a half-cup of sugar and a pinch of salt, and that is literally
it. No boiling and cooling it back down again. Just stir it up. The sugar might not seem
like it’s going to dissolve. Don’t worry, it will, once it mixes with all of the water
inside our vegetables. Sugar pulls water out of cells via osmosis, just like salt does.
That’s why it’s traditionally used in all kinds of preserves, including sweet pickles.
It also tastes great. Sweet and sour: there’s no better combination on earth. Don’t think that your veggies have to be
submerged in the pickling liquid. They just need to be coated. Now, these are not the
kind of pickles you can just put in a jar in the basement. We didn’t sterilize our
instruments or anything. These have to stay in the fridge. They’ll taste pretty good
after a few hours in there. Here they are the morning after. Look how much water’s
come out of them. It’s good to stir them once a day. These would be good now, but man,
give them a few days or a week in the fridge, and they will blow your mind. Here they are
after five days. Still crunchy, but with intense sweet and sour flavor. Try those on tacos,
they’ll change your life. But today I’m putting them on this: a five-pound
piece of pork shoulder. Did I mention this recipe is incredibly cheap, in addition to
being easy? Start by preheating your oven to 325 Fahrenheit
and setting a burner to medium-high heat underneath an oven-safe pot that is, ideally, just wide
enough to hold the meat. I’ll show you why in a second. Salt the meat liberally. Add a little olive oil in the pot, and then
brown the meat well on all sides. While it’s going, chop up a few cloves of garlic. Flip it over, and ah! That could have gone
better. Here’s why I like to use a small pot, or
at least a narrow pot, for braising a single large piece of meat. Look at how little extra
surface area there is here. The more empty space there is on the bottom of the pot, the
more likely stuff is to burn on there while we’re browning the meat. Throw in your garlic, and then about a tablespoon
of cumin, and a tablespoon of dried oregano. That’ll get you a vaguely Cuban flavor.
And then enough water to come maybe halfway up the pork. Ocmulgee Brew Pub in Macon, Georgia. You should
go. Grind in some pepper, and then put the lid
on the pot. You could reduce this heat to a simmer and just cook it on the stovetop,
but I like to braise it in the oven. It cooks quicker, and it’ll get some additional browning
in there. Check it after it’s been in for a couple
hours. I’m just making sure that the liquid hasn’t all evaporated. If it does, the meat
could burn, but 325 is a pretty safe temperature. I’m gonna flip the meat around, just so
that all sides cook evenly. And then I’m going to test it to see how much longer it
needs. We want this to be soft. This is soft, but you can see that I can’t really pull
the meat off the bone yet. Better give it another hour. So here it is after three hours, total, in
the oven. And look, you can pull that meat right off the bone. It could still be softer,
but I think it tastes like cat food when it gets it too soft. Pull the pork out onto a
plate, then check out this braising liquid. We’re going to reduce this down to a glaze
for the pork. But there’s a big layer of rendered fat on top. If you don’t want to
eat that, you could get rid of it by using the greatest gravy separator of all time. That could have gone better! Alright, so you see how the fat has risen
to the top, because it’s less dense? Now you just hold this thing over the pot and
squeeze the handle to open up a valve that’s on the bottom. All of the broth drains out
the bottom, and you just let go before the fat goes through. I love this thing, but taking
that fat out is optional. Now we just boil this down, stirring occasionally.
You can actually hear when it’s almost done. It’ll get syrupy and the bubbles will start
piling on top of each other. It makes a very different sound when that happens. Now it’s
really thick and intense. Get your pork shoulder. This has had some time to cool down, so you
should be able to pull off all the meat with your hands and just throw it in the pot. Ok,
it’s still a little too hot. If you come across any big pieces of fat or anything else
you don’t want to eat, just don’t put it in. Now get a couple of forks and pull these chunks
apart as much as you want. I don’t like to completely shred it. Ilike some big chunks.
Toss everything around in that glaze, and then eat a piece to check for seasoning. A
little more salt. You want this to be a little too salty by itself, because there’s not
much salt in the pickles and you want them to balance each other out. This makes a lot of food and it’s so easy
to serve, which makes it perfect for having friends over in the summertime. Just pile
some meat on a plate. Get your pickles out, and drop a big pile on the pork. I tear some
cilantro leaves on top, and then spoon a little of that sweet pickle juice over the plate.
You could have this with some rice on the side if you wanted a starch, but I like to
eat it just like this. Love that contrast of the soft, fatty meat with the bright, crunchy
pickles. Sweet, sour and salty. It’s one of Lauren’s favorites, too. “It’s delicious. It’s so good. The pickles
are the best part.”

100 thoughts on “Braised Pork with Homemade Sweet Pickles”

  1. I love this video, but imma be real with you, the way you pronounced "cumin" sent me into a murderous rage.

  2. Adam: I just sacrifice the outer most layer. call it wasteful, call it lazy, i call it setting priorities.

    Adam 5 seconds later: I ignored my destiny once, I cannot do that again, I'm sorry little one. Drops outermost layer off of vormir for a rock

  3. What if I can't find any rice wine vinegar where I live? Is there any replacement? I really want to make those pickles

  4. hey adam, why did you remove the fat from that broth? doesnt it add flavor? Please excuse my cooking igorance if this was a dumb question i really dont know much about it.

  5. Hey I'm with you on sacrificing the outer most layer of onion, most of the time when I'm cooking I find that a whole spanish or a whole purple onion is more than I realistically need so there's no real need to save the outermost layer since I already have too much onion for my taste

  6. Prepping onions like this isn't wasteful IF you toss the material you peel in a collection bag in the freezer (dump pieces of carrots and celery you cut off and not use for cooking in that as well. ) When full simmer and get a beautiful stock

  7. I always just peel off the first layer of the onion as well.
    Aside from saving time, it's also better since most of the times, the first layer kinda fuses with the skin or have patches on it as well.

  8. This reminds me of a Chinese dish that's pretty similar. It's called 梅菜猪肉 and it's basically the same but it uses preserved vegetables and instead of sweet pickled cabbages and different seasoning. Pretty cool to see a different recipe with a similar concept. 👍

  9. Adam, use those outside onions for stock. Keep a freezer bag and just shove those onion bits, any mushroom stalks, carrot BOTTOMS, and celery leaves and or the tops and shove them in there. Then, freeze all of your roast chicken bones, the carcass. I make excellent chicken stock, in a pressure cooker, with waste products. The only thing that isn't waste is the bay leave, water, and pepper I throw in it. If you want a thicker more jelly stock, buy some chicken necks or wings at the counter. It's almost free and blows the pants off any store bought garbage stock.

  10. Oh man! Why did you tell me it was cheap in the middle of the video!? I bought Kurobuta meat instead of the 30$ stuff you find in the markets!!

  11. Hey adam! I made this once at home and put it in corn tortillas with cotija ontop. It was incredible! I just started a job working at a bar where the kitchen is all made from scratch, and im allowed to just kinda cook whatever i want and throw it up as a special, so i wanna make this again for the folks there c: Thanks for the recipe, you really killed it with this one,

  12. He says he thinks pork tastes like cat food when cooked to long. How does he know what cat food taste like? Just one of hundreds of dumb shit this dude says

  13. Adam you remind me so much of Alton brown. I’m learning things as I watch you cook, not just about the food but the science behind it. Keep up the amazing work 🤟🏻

  14. Looks lovely. Instead of a plate, I used toast (Buttered) and instead of cutlery, I used my hands I used some vegemite but it still turned out great.

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