Last month's Cooking Club Challenge was Recipe to Riches-themed, and we gave you 3 of last season's most popular recipes to choose from. Pulled pork came out on top, and now the results are in. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Congratulations to Chef Steven H for winning this month's challenge!
Chef Steven H: "“Nothing is better that comfort food on a cold autumn day. I started thinking of the ingredients I needed for this recipe and realized that most of them were exotic. I took the pork and firstly brined it in water, with salt, and molasses (Portugal). I then created a rub similar to the recipe, using cumin (India), corinader(Chinese), Paprika (Mediteranian), and cayenne pepper(South America).For the sauce I used ketchup (American), cola (American), and then a splash of the international spices from the rub that made it truly modern American. I have always loved my pulled pork sandwiches topped with some refreshing but tangy cole slaw (Germany), and I decided that trying it on a ciabatta bun (Italian) would make it a truly worldly experience. It turned out to be a world wonder...just didn't last as long as the others."
Chef Darryl J: "Who doesn't love a great pulled pork? This month's challenge had me anxious to dive in. I started with my favorite bun recipe and didn't take the coleslaw shortcut either, opting to build it from scratch as well. On the sandwich, I really enjoyed the spice rub combination, but I wasn't a big fan of the cola bbq sauce, it was too sweet for my preference."
Chef Despina V: "Mmmmmm what a delicious meal! This was the dish to my husband's heart! I prepared it for our 16th wedding anniversary dinner (made him glad to be married to me for so many years) Excellent flavour! Loved the BBQ Sauce! Thanks for the great challenge!"
Chef Elizabeth S: "This was the the perfect sandwich for feeding a crowd on Grey Cup Sunday! I decided to put a little Vietnamese spin on it so changed the dry rub to include ginger, excluding the paprika, mustard and cumin, and since I was cooking the meat in a slow cooker, added the sauce ingredients, which included fish sauce, fresh garlic, ginger and Thai chiles, directly to the pot. It was delicious served on a bun with spicy mayo and pickled daikon radish-carrot slaw. Thanks for the inspiration!"
Chef Erin M: "I had a lot of spice rub left so I kept it in a jar and used it on BBQ ribs. It was just as tasty and delicious. My family specially like the little "kick" at the end of a bite from the cayenne and hot paprika. The pork took a long time in the oven and the smell was irresistible, well worth the wait."
Chef James B: "It's a pulled pork sandwich with slaw on a mustard seed-topped homemade hamburger bun. The pulled pork is a bone-in pork shoulder cured in salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and cinnamon, roasted, then mixed with caramelized onion in a simple barbeque sauce (ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, and salt). The coleslaw is just cabbage and carrot mixed with a coleslaw sauce (mayo, egg yolk, lemon juice, sugar, cream, and a pinch of paprika), and laid onto the bun, which is the King Arthur Flour hamburger bun recipe. I topped the bun with a mix of egg wash and whole grain mustard (I love the flavour of pork and mustard, but it didn't go with the sauce or slaw, so I got creative and used it to top the bun instead of sesame seeds)."
Chef Jason W: "In response to this month's Challenge, I prepared Pulled Pork al Pastore - inspired by the adventures of Chuck Hughes in Chuck's Week Off. Using a Mexican recipe for tacos al pastore, I prepared a marinade for the pork and let it sit for about 24 hours. Slow cooked in the oven for 6 hours this pulled pork was tender with a satisfying balance of sweet and spicy. The meat was served on tostadas with a garish of pineapple, onion and cilantro and a side of sauteed Swiss card, broccoli and raisins. A twist on a favourite, this was a real hit with the family! This is my first time participating and I appreciate the inspiration to try something a bit different from what I would normally cook and continue to branch out and grow as a cook."
Chef Katherine S: "I was pretty psyched for this challenge because I had been looking for an excuse to try making pulled pork! Honesltly, the pork itself was so yummy with the rub we probably could have eaten it straight out of the oven without shredding it. But it was duly shredded and the sauce added. We would have liked a little more sauce for the amount of meat, and will probably adjust the vinegar (less) in the future and maybe add some smoked paprika to the mix, but it was still really great. We skipped the coleslaw dressing and went for the plain crunch, which was really nice, and also added some cilantro leaves. I can totally see pulled pork being made on a regular basis after this!"
Chef Marisa R: "There is nothing better than walking in from the cold after a long day at work and smelling the deep aroma of food cooking. I popped my seared pork into the crockpot with all the ingredients and headed off to work! What could be easier! Then I shredded the cooked fall off the bone pork, dipped it back into the simmered sauce and topped it with my home made Kimchi which I added shredded Butternut squash, just so that the kids would have extra veggies and topped it with warmed black olive buns!!! There is enough for lunches, fajitas or stir fry if I want! This was a winning recipe and a keeper!"
Chef Sandie G: "I have always heard the rave of pulled pork and to this day I have never tried it. So this challenge was a perfect time for me to give Pulled Pork a try. I followed the recipe but did make a couple of small changes. I did not have any garlic or onion powder so I grated fresh garlic and onion that I grew in my garden. I also did not have any buns of any sort so I decided to bake some Focaccia and also made an Apple Fennel Cole Slaw to top off the sandwich. It was worth cooking the pork shoulder for 5 hours as it was so tender and pulled apart beautifully. This challenge now has me hooked on Pulled Pork. It was a joy to make."
Chef Sandy T: "Pulled pork! Low and slow, and so delicious. My twist, pulled pork tacos. I added smoked chipotle to the spice rub, lime juice to the slaw and cilantro and pickled red onions to garnish. I toasted the tortillas to add some crunch. My family went crazy for these. Would be great for a crowd too. This is one of those set and forget recipes that fills the house with wonderful aromas."
Chef Sarah R: "When I first saw the ingredients for the sauce for the pulled pork, I was unsure if I would like the result. But I am very happy I tried it anyway because the sauce was delicious! I loved how juicy and flavourful the sauce made the pork! I did make a couple changes to the recipe, I made my pulled pork in my slow cooker and I added onions as well. I also made my own coleslaw and served it on the side. You might think this last idea is a little crazy, but I served my leftover pulled pork with pancakes and maple syrup on Saturday morning. It was incredible and I would never have come up with that idea without seeing your sauce recipe!"
Chef Taylor P: "When I first saw the ingredients for the sauce for the pulled pork, I was unsure if I would like the result. But I am very happy I tried it anyway because the sauce was delicious! I loved how juicy and flavourful the sauce made the pork! I did make a couple changes to the recipe, I made my pulled pork in my slow cooker and I added onions as well. I also made my own coleslaw and served it on the side. You might think this last idea is a little crazy, but I served my leftover pulled pork with pancakes and maple syrup on Saturday morning. It was incredible and I would never have come up with that idea without seeing your sauce recipe!"
Chef Wanda B: "Since it was a cold day in Calgary when I made this pulled pork I slow roasted it in the oven instead of grilling it. I further used a spice rub to flavour the pork and a home made BBQ Sauce to accompany it. When I make the BBQ Sauce I like to make a little extra and separate it into a couple different pots and/or bowls. I then individualize the sauces with hot sauce, whiskey, root beer, etc. This is how we serve the sauce at our house allowing everyone to pick the flavour they like best."
by Souzan Michael