Rhubar-b-q Sauce + Pulled Pork Rhubarbecue Tacos
from Diana, Gathered Scattered Kitchen
This post is a little bit of a misnomer as the taco part is not the central feature. Actually, it’s the Rhubarbecue sauce. Rhubarbe-what, you say? Yes, I made barbecue sauce out of rhubarb. Rhubarb is another one of those crops like zucchini that there is always in abundance at harvest time. Now, rhubarb tends to be more of a spring crop, but, for some reason, after I plucked all the stems in April, they grew back with a vengeance. What is it that they say about plucking grey hairs? …same thing with rhubarb, apparently. So here’s the deal; this ain’t no American barbecue sauce. This is in the vein of British brown sauce otherwise known as HP Sauce. It’s very sweet but great with grilled steak and…pulled pork, hence the taco recipe. I added some chipotle to moderate the sweetness and add some heat.
Rhubarbecue Sauce Recipe
2 quarts chopped rhubarb
1 ½ cups of chopped raisins
½ cup of chopped onion
3 ½ cups of brown sugar (crazy, but yes!)
½ cup of vinegar
* 2-3 chipotle peppers with 2-3 tbs. of adobo sauce (2=medium heat, 3=hot heat) (You can find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in most “ethnic” sections of a supermarket.
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt
Combine rhubarb, raisins, onion, sugar and vinegar in a large sauce pot. Simmer until thick. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add spices and peppers; cook 5 minutes more. Following this, the directions indicate to take an immersion blender but I find that the rhubarb strings get caught in the blade and you are constantly picking them out. So, I like to put it in my Vitamix, holding down the cover to prevent scalding explosion and mix until well blended. Kinda’ like a rhubarbecue smoothie.
Storing the Sauce: Now here’s where you need to make a decision: Do want to can or freeze? I have done both. Canning directions are as follows: Ladle hot sauce into hot pint-jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Alternately, you can ladle into non-heated pint jars and screw on a plastic cap and put in freezer.
Adapted for the American palate from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving
Pulled Pork Rhubarbecue Tacos Recipe
1-28oz. can of diced tomatoes (I really like fire roasted but they are not always available).
Pork shoulder (cooking times vary according to size)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Okay, decision time again. Do you want to slow cook or pressure cook? If you know anything about me, I will pressure cook, but this recipe lends itself well to slow cooking. I will present the directions for pressure-cooking and you, fair reader, are most likely able to adjust to your slow cooker.
Place all the ingredients (minus the rhubarbecue sauce) in the pot with ½ cup of water. I like to mix it all up, making sure the pork shoulder get coated with the tomato-garlic mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place on high heat until the pressure is full throttle. Reduce heat enough to maintain pressure. For a small pork shoulder (less than 3 lbs.), I cook for about *25 minutes and then, removing from heat until pressure comes down naturally. For a larger cut (3 ½ to 4 lbs), I have cooked for as long as *40 minutes and let the pressure come down naturally. (Times are approximate. A good rule of thumb: Check on your pressure cooker periodically and don’t burn your house down. If pressure cookers scare you, use the slow cooker.) After the pressure is released, carefully remove the lid. Your pork is ready to shred with two forks. Place shredded pork in a bowl and add rhubarbecue sauce until the pork is well moistened with sauce. Place a couple of tablespoons of meat into a warmed tortilla and add your favorite toppings. I, myself, really enjoy shredded cabbage but I encourage you to experiment with your favorite taco toppings being careful not to drown out the flavor of the rhubarbecue sauce.