Pulled Pork & Pickled Apple Sandwich with Horseradish-Chèvre Aioli

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I started this blog – at least in part – to push myself to come up with new and interesting recipe to share. One of my favorite ways of doing this has been through a culinary challenge: combining unusual ingredients, putting a new spin on an old dish, or some other difficult task.

My last culinary challenge, however, was more than a year ago, and had less to do with creative ingredients and more to do with creative uses of a gas grill.

So when a group of friends offered a new challenge by picking three disparate ingredients for me to make a dish out of, I could barely contain my excitement.

Their selection? Apples, horseradish, and chèvre cheese.

And thus this new pulled pork sandwich was born! The homemade barbecue sauce is a bit more mild than most store-bought versions, which allows the flavors of the meat and other ingredients to shine through. The pickled apples are sour and tart, but still slightly sweet. The aioli is creamy and sharp with just the right amount of horseradish bite. All three components come together to form a creative and tasty new pulled pork recipe!

When I made this my pork wound up closer to stewed than pulled. I was using my awesome new pressure cooker and only cooked it for about 30 minutes, which didn’t quite do the trick. Regardless, I would recommend using a pressure cooker for this recipe (and buying one if you don’t have one) because it cuts the cook time for the pork by several hours.

Have a culinary challenge? Go to the Dear Chef tab and let me know!

Pulled Pork & Pickled Apple Sandwich with Horseradish-Chèvre Aoili

Ingredients

Pulled Pork Ingredients

  • 4 lbs pork shoulder, fat trimmed off
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Other Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chèvre
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • hamburger buns, to serve

Plating Pre-Pork

Instructions

  1. Combine all the pulled pork ingredients in a large pot or pressure cooker. Cover and cook at a low simmer until tender enough to shred with a fork, approximately 4-5 hours in a large pot or 45 minutes in a pressure cooker.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, combine the vinegar, water, lemon juice, brown sugar, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil and hold for 3-5 minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the apple and red onion, ensuring that they are completely covered in the liquid. Cover with a lid and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain away the excess liquid.
  4. Combine the chèvre, olive oil and horseradish in a bowl and mix until evenly combined. Add additional olive oil if the spread is too thick.
  5. To serve, spread the chèvre mixture on a hamburger bun, add a layer of pickled apple, a heaping pile of pulled pork, and top with the other half of the bun.
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