The Weekend Gourmet: #SundaySupper Labor Day Cookout...Featuring Strawberry BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches F

Sunday, September 2, 2012

#SundaySupper Labor Day Cookout...Featuring Strawberry BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Somehow, my calendar shows that it's already September...and that tomorrow is Labor Day. Labor Day is the unofficial end of Summer: the kids are back in school, and the days are starting to get a little bit shorter. But, try telling that to Mother Nature...it's still in the 90s here in Central Texas, so Fall is still a few weeks away for us. To celebrate Labor Day, the #SundaySupper crew is hosting a virtual cookout! My contribution to the event is a recipe that I've been wanting to make all Summer long: Strawberry BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches. I saw the recipe in a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and immediately knew that I would be making it. Now that Summer's winding down, it was time to quit procrastinating! 

Strawberries may seem a bit out of place in a BBQ sauce...but I promise that it's FABULOUS! The sweet-tart berries pair perfectly with succulent pork. The strawberries are added in two stages: half when the meat and sauce simmer for two hours, then the other half shortly before serving. The first round of berries basically cooks down into the BBQ sauce, but the second batch provides a fruity compliment to the savory pulled pork. Michael was a bit skeptical at first, but ended up eating two sandwiches and pronouncing the recipe a keeper!

Strawberry BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

Step 1: Remove the visible fat from a 2-3 lb. pork roast (butt, shoulder, or sirloin). Season the pork with your favorite seasoning -- I used Chef Paul Prudhomme's spicy Pork Magic. Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a large Dutch oven over med-high heat, then sear the pork until browned on both sides.


Step 2: Combine the following ingredients in a measuring cup: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I used Con 'Olio fig balsamic), and 1 tbs. sriracha. Stir to thoroughly combine and add to the Dutch oven. Add 2 cups quartered strawberries, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 small chopped shallot, a chicken bouillon cube, and 1 cup water. 


Step 3: Stir well to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Remove the cooked pork and let stand for 10 minutes. While the pork cools, turn the heat to med-high and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is reduced and thickened. Meanwhile, shred the pork with two forks. 


Step 4: Add the shredded pork, 1 tbs. Cajun seasoning, and 2 cups quartered strawberries to the Dutch oven. Stir well to combine the pork and strawberries with the BBQ sauce. Serve the flavorful pulled pork on toasted buns. For variety, I'm thinking it would also be good served with flour tortillas.


This recipe is so simple...once you assemble everything, it simmers away on top of the stove while you prepare the rest of your meal, watch the big game, or take care of other stuff around the house. Your patience is rewarded by the end result: succulent pork flavored with a sweet-and-spicy homemade BBQ sauce! I hope you'll give this unique spin on pulled pork a try...and that you'll join this week's #SundaySupper Twitter chat at 700EST. 

In the meantime, I hope you'll go visit my fellow #SundaySupper food bloggers and see all the yummy Labor Day cookout recipes that they're sharing.

Starters & Snacks

Main Dishes

Salads & Sides

Drinks

Desserts

Wine Pairings

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ


64 comments:

  1. I would've never thought to add strawberry but it sounds like a wonderful idea!

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    1. It is very unique, but it really WORKS with all the other flavors going on!!

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  2. Hi Wendy! I do a watermelon BBQ sauce, but strawberry sounds sooooo good!

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    1. I would love to see the watermelon BBQ sauce...is it on your blog?

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  3. I've done orange bbq sauce so why not strawberries?

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    1. They give a really nice flavor to the sauce...and the visible strawberries at the end are fun!

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  4. Strawberries always taste good.....this looks so good!

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    1. We loved it...I've got a container in the freezer that we're having tonight after we hit the gym!

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  5. Ohh love strawberries!! Sounds perfect

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    1. I hope you give it a try...since it cooks on the stovetop, it can be made year-round! I can't wait to make it for an upcoming Texans gameday...

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  6. I am SO intrigued by the strawberries in this sauce! Gorgeous!

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  7. Strawberry and balsamic with pork - what a great idea. Plus the spicy kick with the sriracha is wonderful.

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    Replies
    1. We like our food on the spicy side...this was a slow burn, not in your face!

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  8. I was very intrigued by just the title so I couldn't wait to see the recipe! Need to try this one just for the strawberries alone! :-) Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Glad you like it...it's fun and a bit unexpected! I love to cook foods that are familiar, but with a twist...

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  9. WOW! I would have never thought to put strawberries with pulled pork, but it makes total sense. It really looks amazing, Wendy! Happy #SundaySupper! Pinned.

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    1. It really does work well, and the little pop of red is really pretty too!

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  10. Yeah, somehow my calendar says September, too...been trying to figure out how that happened! I am so intrigued by this dish - and I really, REALLY want to try it. It looks mouthwatering!

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    1. I hope you do give it a try...let me know how you like it!!

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  11. This does sound like an odd pairing at first, but I love combining fruits with meat, so I just know this must taste fantastic! Wendy, you come up with the best original recipes! Happy #SundaySupper and Labor Day~

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    1. Aw...you're too sweet, Lizzy! I can't help it...I'm a bit of a rebel in the kitchen!

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  12. Strawberries and pulled pork are two of my favorite things and I'll bet they're amazing together! And as for the fig balsamic - yes, please :)

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    1. That fig balsamic is my new secret weapon: it's slightly sweet, with a great depth of flavor! I'm hooked on it!

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  13. I'll bet this is as delicious as it looks! Sometimes it's surprising when unlikely combinations come together like that!

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    1. I love to cook with unexpected/unusual combos of flavors and textures...so fun, and the results are usually very good!

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  14. I will be trying this recipe for sure! Pork is so good with any fruit. This is so unusual but looks so tasty!

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    1. It is a bit unusual, but it's really good! We used wheat buns, but I think sweet Hawaiian buns would be really good!

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  15. Such a unique idea but I bet it works so well together. Yummy!!

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    Replies
    1. The flavors really compliment each other nicely -- a little sweet, a little tangy...and then some heat on the end.

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  16. I never would have thought to combine this! Looks great and sound fabulous!

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    1. Me either, but as soon as I saw it in the cookbook? I knew I HAD TO play around with it a bit and make some before Summer was over...

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  17. What an interesting combo with the strawberries. I will definitely have to give it a whirl sometime.

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    1. Please do...it's a bit different, but that's what makes it so much fun!

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  18. wow...how unique! I gotta admit...if I saw it in a cookbook I would probably pass it up, but seeing how it worked for you has me very intrigued! great job.

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    1. I am really attracted to uncommon ingredients and combinations for some reason. I love to take something traditional and find a way to twist it a bit.

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  19. Wendy, this is just the ultimate pulled pork sandwich! It looks fantastic! Happy sunday!

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    1. I never even thought to add slaw to it, but I'm betting that would take it right over the top. It's just so good...even the leftovers!!

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  20. Hi Wendy! I bet this was good... I always like fruit and meat together - like grapes in a chicken salad. I have never seen this combo before!

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    1. I love grapes and craisins in my chicken salad too...and now? Strawberries with my pulled pork!

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  21. Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting! What part of Portland are you in? My BIL/SIL live in Hillsboro, and we visited in June. What a GREAT city!!!

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  22. I have done peach in bbq sauce, but strawberries sound amazing! What a great sandwich!

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    1. I'm betting that peach would be fabulous too...

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  23. I would never have thought to use strawberries but you have me intrigued I can't wait to try this.

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    1. I think you would love it, Isabel! Let me know how you like it, ok?

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  24. I would have never thought to have a pulled pork with berry's but I'm going to have to try!

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    1. I was amazed at how nicely the ingredients worked together...and the entire dish cost me less than $10 out of pocket since I found the pork roast on sale!

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  25. What an interesting take on pulled pork. Never, ever thought of using strawberries but with so many fresh strawberries still at the market I may have to quickly.

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    1. I hope you give it a try and love it as much as I do! Being a food blogger, I don't get a chance to repeat dishes often...but this one is going into the MUST MAKE AGAIN file for sure!!

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  26. Would never have thought to put strawberries in a pork sandwich, but this looks heavenly ! Lovely pics !!

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    Replies
    1. I had never thought of it before finding the recipe...now I wonder where it's been all my life!

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  27. What a great idea, Wendy. This reminds me of putting strawberry jam on sausage patties. happy Labor Day!

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    1. I love to put fruit in my salads, so I guess I just have a natural sweet tooth! Happy Labor Day to you as well, my friend!

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  28. I love strawberry and chicken together so I am sure that it would be just as amazing with pork. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  29. I am SO making this when it's strawberry season again! I actually had strawberry bbq sauce somewhere, so I know how great the two go together. Yum yum!

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    1. I was able to get a package of decent-looking strawberries for $1.89 last week to make this. We can get strawberries that are decent well into October down here in Texas. Guess that's our compensation for it still being in the 90s for another few weeks :)!

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  30. The strawberries may seem out of place, but I'm terribly intrigued! I've pinned this one for testing ;)

    Jamie @ www.mamamommymom.com

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    1. Let me know how you like it...it was really tasty!

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  31. Sounds really intriguing. I especially like that the pork simmers away while you take care of other things!

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    1. I love dishes that have hands-off cooking, so you have time to do other things. Multitasking at its best!

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  32. I think strawberried and pulled pork would make a great combination. Especially if you like sweet bbq sauce. But even if it wasn't sweet, spicy goes with sweet and so does sour so you have a perfect combo there Wendy! Your sandwich look really good.

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    1. This isn't overly sweet...the slow cooking sort of mellows it a bit.

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