Monday, July 10, 2017

Joey's Ginger Peachy Pulled Pork

  Do you love peaches as much as I do? Seriously, when peaches are at the peak of their season, I just want peach EVERYTHING. I'm forever making jams, cakes, pies, you name it, I love it all.
 So with that in mind, here was my flight of ideas....
I was recently trying to think of new ideas to cook in a slow cooker (which is often my go-to during summer). And then I thought, ok lets come up with a new version of a classic... about a pulled pork? And since I was already in peach mode, I thought, ooo there we go ...pork with peaches...perfect...  now lets see how we can make it work!
 And this is where I landed! I purposely didn't go crazy with a million ingredients. I basically tried to keep it simple and think of flavors that I know go well together. I had made a ginger ale ham (which worked famously, btw) so I knew that it would work with a slow cooker pork, and of course Peach and Ginger are fabulous dance partners as well, so I thought, why not put them all together! I must say I'm thrilled with the final result. It's a perfect summer dish because the peaches are gorgeous and juicy and ripe, and you don't have to turn on the oven. It's also a time saver because you can prepare it the night before, and then let it cook all day while you're at work. Dinner's ready by the time you get home! Easy! So if you're looking for a new peach something, I think you should definitely give this one a try! It's definitely a new favorite!

1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 3-4 lb boneless or semi-boneless pork shoulder
3 or 4 fresh ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, sliced
1 cup ginger ale (not diet)
1 cup peach preserves
1 tbs balsamic vinegar (can use other kinds, such as apple cider or red wine)
Salt and Pepper

 Place onion slices in a slow cooker and spread them out to cover the bottom. Trim any excess fat from pork, and place on top of onions. Places sliced peaches on top of pork. In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger ale, preserves, and vinegar. Pour over all. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. (can also cook on high for 4-5 hours).
 Carefully remove cooked pork from slow cooker to a large bowl. Using two forks, pull the pork into shreds, discarding any undesirables, such as bones and/or excess fat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and onions and add to the pork.  If you like a thin gravy, just add some of the liquid from the pot until the pork is as saucey as you like it. If you like a thicker gravy, make a quick slurry of flour and cold water, (a couple tbs of each), then whisk it into the crock pot and turn it onto high. Continue to stir until the gravy thickens. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve on fresh bakery rolls.

Be sure to add the vinegar. You definitely need a little acid in there to brighten everything up. I used balsamic vinegar, but I think next time I'll use apple cider vinegar. You could even just use lemon juice. Also be sure to season it very well. I added salt and pepper in the beginning, and it still needed more salt at the end.
You can use apricot preserves instead of the peach, or a combination of the two! And another fun AHA moment was when I discovered that Duck Sauce works just as well! (Makes sense, since it's made with peaches and apricots!)
Even though you have the ginger ale and the preserves, this dish is not very sweet at all. The pork juices and the onions temper the sweetness in a big way, and it turns out more on the savory side. If you'd like to pump up the ginger, go ahead and add a little grated fresh ginger root. If you'd like it to be sweeter or peachier, just add more preserves!

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