There is a small grocery store near my house that marks meat down every day so that they can make room for the day's new shipment. Most of the time the meat is still a good day or three from it's best by date and there is ALWAYS a pork shoulder or pork butt marked down. Every time I go in there it's like they crawled into my brain to see what kind of meat I want to find on sale that day. Last week I got some lamb stew meat for half price and chicken thighs for a song. This particular pork butt was marked $5 off so how could I not buy it? I am unable to walk past a discounted chunk of pig. It is what it is.
It's also gotten really cold and stupid out there so suddenly I find that my crock pot is calling to me. It also helps that my kitchen is STILL not all put back together so I can't get really exited about making anything that involves too many appliances or surface prep area. I feel like we are living in a dorm and relying on nothing but a rice cooker, a crockpot, one cutting board and kettle lately so it was either an instant ramen bowl or pulled pork. Pretty simple decision.
I have been tinkering a little bit with my go to korean pulled pork and I am liking it with a bit less hoisin, a bit more gochujang and five spice powder instead of the star anise. It's good the other way too but this way it seems to taste a bit more of gochujang and not so much of hoisin. I also found the star anise just a bit overpowering so I have stopped using it altogether. I am not telling YOU to stop using the stuff because you might love it the way it was but I think I am going to keep paring down the sweet and upping the spice over the next little while and will continue to check in with the results.
Korean Pulled Pork Take 2
Pork and Marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tbls gochujang (taste it when it's all mixed up and add more if you want it spicier)
3 tbls hoisin sauce
2 tbls ketchup
3 tbls rice vinegar
2 tbls rice syrup
2 tbls sesame oil
2 tsp chinese five spice powder
2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
approx 4 lb pork butt
Korean BBQ Sauce
4 tbl gochujang
5 tbls korean rice syrup (if you can't find that sugar or honey)
4 tbls light soy sauce
2 tbls rice vinegar
4 tsp sesame oil
Whisk everything together really well and set aside
Mix all of the ingredients together, except for the pork butt. Cut the pork into 4 or 5 large chunks and toss the pork into the sauce. I like to leave this in the fridge overnight if at all possible but you want to leave it for at least a few hours to marinate. When it's time to cook it, throw the whole thing into the crockpot and cook on low for about 8 hours. When it's done, remove the pork and set aside to cool a bit. Discard the liquid left in the crockpot. When the meat has cooled down enough to handle, shred the meat up and toss it with the Korean BBQ Sauce.
Now, you can eat it over rice, sprinkled with chopped scallion, sesame seeds and a bit of fresh cilantro or you can throw it into a sandwhich, a taco or just grab a fork.