by Mabel Suen
Anyone who's been to the Bleeding Deacon Public House knows that its claim to fame is stick-to-your-gut American-style comfort food made with a fistful of enticing flavors. Chef Jimmy Hippchen learned his stuff in the Deacon's kitchen, and he stays true to it at the helm of Bleeding Deacon proprietor Mike McLaughlin's brand-new venture, the Crow's Nest.
"We have something for everyone but aren't necessarily catering to everyone," says Hippchen, explaining that his eclectic menu hits the basics expected at a bar-and-grill type eatery but with different components than merely traditional fare. Such is true of one of Hippchen's latest concoctions: a pulled-pork sandwich with cilantro barbecue sauce, which varies from the norm with the adventurous addition of a fruity slaw topping dressed in apple-mint vinaigrette. Try Hippchen's recipe at home to get a new flavorful profile for a favorite American dish in a fresh, delightful light.
Pulled-Pork Sandwich with Cilantro Barbecue Sauce
For a 3 lb or so pork butt: 2 T sugar 1/4 C Kosher salt 2 tsp cayenne 1 T ground coffee beans
Stab pork all over with a fork. Mix all ingredients for rub, and rub pork thoroughly. It should darken slightly as the sugar dissolves. Let sit in fridge for an hour or overnight. Wrap in cheese cloth to keep covered if desired. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put pork in a dutch oven or roasting pan and cook for about five hours. When the meat is fall-apart tender, pull it out and let it cool in the liquid to prevent it from drying out. Pull it and enjoy on the spot or store it the liquid to eat later (the liquid will solidify in the fridge as it is mostly fat).
For the barbecue sauce: (Yields just under a quart) 1 1/2 C ketchup 3/4 C light brown sugar 1/3 C soy sauce 1 T lime juice 1 T dijon mustard 1/2 C water 1 T olive oil 1/2 bunch cilantro, including stems
Melt the sugar first, then add the soy sauce and cilantro. Let simmer about a minute or so while stirring (be careful during this step -- if the sauce simmers too long, it gets very salty). Add everything else and stir until well combined. Kill heat and puree in blender or with a hand mixer. Salt to taste.
For slaw topping: 1-2 sliced red pears 1 head of romaine lettuce 1-2 T Apple mint vinaigrette (see below) Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and use to top sandwich.
Apple Mint Vinaigrette Yields just over a cup. 1 C olive oil 1/3 C apple cider vinegar 2 tsp dijon 1 clove garlic 12 mint leaves 1/4 granny smith apple, rough chopped. 1 tsp turbinado sugar small pinch of kosher salt
Slap the mint leaves in your hand to bring the flavor out. Combine everything but the oil in a blender or food processor. Blend while slowly adding oil.
Combine all of the above between two pieces of grilled or toasted bread and enjoy!