I think this was the first time I ever bought a mango. Can you believe that? Let me tell you, it was worth it. I discovered this recipe thanks to one of my high school friends posting it on her facebook page. Thanks Allison!
Bourbon-Mango Pulled Pork
1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast (mine was only 2.8lbs)
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (I used regular chili powder)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups water
2 teaspoons honey
1 shot (1.5 fluid ounce) bourbon whiskey
2 (12 ounce) bottles barbecue sauce (I used 1 18oz bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle)
1.Peel the mangoes and remove the pits. Place the pits into a slow cooker, then roughly chop the mango and set aside. Place the pork shoulder into the slow cooker, and season with the black pepper, kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon chipotle (or chili) powder; pour in the balsamic vinegar and water.
2.Cover, and cook on Low 5 to 8 hours until the meat is very tender. Once done, drain the pork, discarding the cooking liquid and mango pits, and shred with two forks.
3.While the pork is cooking, puree the chopped mango in a blender until smooth, then pour into a saucepan along with the honey, 1 teaspoon chipotle (or chili) powder, and whiskey. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring frequently until the mango has reduced and darkened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in the barbecue sauce, and remove from the heat.
4.Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir in the mango barbecue sauce (I didn’t put all of mine in. You can add however much you want–depends on how sloppy you like it!). Cover, and cook on High 1 to 2 hours (I don’t think this length of time is necessary. I probably left mine in about an hour) until the pork absorbs the barbecue sauce.
Verdict: This is really good! A bit on the spicy side, but you can control that with the chipotle vs. chili powder decision as well as the type of BBQ sauce you use. I bought both honey barbecue and the honey chipotle barbecue sauce and I decided to live on the edge and go for the chipotle version. I grilled my buns a little before adding the pork.
Husband’s take: “Wow.” “Oh my gosh.” He liked it. He had two sandwiches and is having all of the leftovers in his lunch tomorrow.
Changes I would make: Honestly? None. If you’re not a drinker, I would go to a liqour store and get a small (airline) bottle of the bourbon, because all you need is a little bit. The Kroger I go to doesn’t carry the small size. The bourbon really lends a delicious flavor to this recipe, so I wouldn’t recommend skipping it all together.
What I served it with: Sweet potato fries. Strawberries and bananas for dessert. If I lived in a perfect world, it would be served with coleslaw, potato chips, and a beer.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.