Saturday, April 14, 2012

BBQ Pork!, er... Jackfruit!

I'm going to savor the screenshot of this photo at the top of my vegan blog for quite some time.  Since the demise of Pure Luck last year, I have not had any BBQ jackfruit, but since I finally got myself into A Grocery Warehouse and found their jackfruit (among other exciting things),

..I was finally able to try recreating this delicacy myself.  And it is creepily like pork: the appearance (see above) and smell are dead-on, and the taste and texture (as far as I can remember) very, very close.  In fact, I rather didn't like eating it straight up, though I think on a sandwich or in tacos with other stuff it would be excellent.

With the exception of adding beer, I didn't change any of the flavors in Janet's recipe, though putting back in the cayenne she omitted actually made it very spicy!  I'm not sure what it is about the combo--tamarind, mustard, tomato, smoked paprika, garlic, beer-- that gives it that unmistakable smell and taste. 

The only place where things really changed was in the cooking method.  I'm guessing this depends on the jackfruit you get and how it's been preserved... I needed to de-seed mine at the beginning, and it took far longer than 15-30 min of simmering to really get tender.  Then, because I simmered longer, I also needed more liquid.  I thought beer might work well, since I have in my mind a vague association between people who eat BBQ and people who cook with beer-- is that wrong to say?

Anyway, this was super cool; I'll definitely keep it in my repertoire.  However, for the other jar of jackfruit, I'm going to attempt tuna a la the marinade for this bouillabaisse I made last year.

BBQ Jackfruit Pulled "Pork"
(from taste space)

20 oz young jackfruit, in brine
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground yellow mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic granules
1/8 tsp onion granules
1 tsp salt
3 TB tomato paste
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
2 c beer and/or water
2 tsp maple syrup or agave
1. In a small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, add onion and garlic. Heat until caramelized and browned, around 9-10 minutes.  I used the same medium saucepan as below, removing the onions when it was time to cook the jackfruit.
2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit well. Remove the solid centre pieces (see here for photos). Place jackfruit in a medium bowl.
3. Add Aleppo chili flakes, paprika, cayenne mustard, black pepper, onion and garlic granules and salt to the jackfruit. Sir to coat well.
4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add spiced jackfruit. Heat until the spices are toasted and fragrant, around 5 minutes. Do not burn. Scrape any stuck on bits.
5. Meanwhile, in a small cup, mix together the tomato paste, red pepper paste, vinegar, oil, tamarind concentrate, 1 c water/beer and maple syrup. Stir until well mixed. Add to jackfruit and deglaze the pan.
6. Once the onions are caramelized, add to the wet jackfruit mixture. Simmer jackfruit in its sauce for 15-45 minutes, until softened. Add additional liquid as needed.  Use a fork to shred the jackfruit into stringy bits.
7. Preheat oven to 400F. You could stop here, but if you want a firmer consistency more similar to pork, spread hte mixture evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-30 minutes until slightly dried out.
9. Serve on a sandwich or as a taco with lots of fixings.  Serves 3.


I also made Janet's recipe for very pretty pickled red onions as an accompaniment.

Pickled Red Onions
(from taste space)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar or agave
1 squirt of sriracha (or to taste, Tabasco is recommended)
1 red onion, halved and sliced into very thin rings

In a small bowl, combine vinegar cold water. Stir in salt, the sugar and the hot sauce. Add the sliced onions and let sit for at least one hour. This can be made in advance and tastes better after a longer marinade.

1 comment:

janet @ the taste space said...

Happy to hear it turned out so well for you!! :) I still have another can of jackfruit so let me know what else works for you. FatFreeVegan just posted jackfruit crab cakes that look really tasty. :)