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Pulled Pork Sliders with Cabernet Caramelized Onions

Sliders of all sorts are very popular these days. Most of the work can be done the day before, so all you have to do when your guests arrive is to serve a basket of small slider buns, a bowl of warm, flavorful Cabernet pulled pork, and a bowl of Cabernet onions on the side.
The trick is long, slow cooking. The shoulder has plenty of fat (rendered out as it cooks) to keep it moist and tender through the cooking process.
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 25 bite sized hors d’oeuvres

Ingredients

Pork

  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder, boneless
  • 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 5 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, fresh
  • 1 ripe Santa Rosa or other dark plum pit removed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 30 small slider buns (the smallest size you can get—one or two bites)
  • 1/2 cup Cabernet caramelized onions with mint (see recipe below)

Cabernet Caramelized Onions with Mint

  • 4 medium red onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

Pork

  • Purchasea boneless pork shoulder that is tied up as a roast by the butcher using a“net.” The advantage of this is that you can remove the roast from the net and marinate the meat laid open for best flavor.
  • Combineall the ingredients and marinate the pork overnight (if you were able to remove the net) by placing it in a large zip lock bag or by placing it in a baking dish and turning it a few times.
  • The next day, place it back in the net, or leave it “as is” if you’ve left it tied. If you have a rotisserie on your grill, skewer the shoulder on the spit and cook it over slow heat for 3 or 4 hours with a pan to catch the drippings under it, until the meat is tender enough to be easily pulled apart. It should be golden brown and nicely crisp on the outside.
  • If you have a grill with a cover, you can start a small fire of coals (or gas fire) on the outer ends of the BBQ and place the meat in the middle with no flame directly below it and cook for the same amount of time as above with the same basic instructions. It should cook at a temperature of around 200 – 225 degrees.
  • The final option is to slow cook it in your oven at the lowest setting your oven has (it can be 175 degree up to 250 degrees F). Place the pork with the marinade in a baking dish covered for the first 2 hours. Remove the cover and turn the temperature to 275 degrees and cook it until very tender. The liquid should evaporate by then.
  • The meat should be moist and tender if you’ve kept the temperature low enough. Remove the pork from the heat, allow it to cool and “pull” the meat a part. Remove the fat from the drippings pan and place the meat back in the juice that has accumulated. Allow the pork roast to cool until you can easily touch it.
  • Using your hands pull the meat apart in small sections, removing any fat pockets in the process. Mix the meat with the cooking juices that have accumulated in the pan. You can chill this and re-heat any time in the next few days.

Cabernet Caramelized Onions with Mint

  • In a small heavy bottomed sauce pot place the onions, red wine, sugar and bay leafs. Cover tightly and simmer for 15 minutes on a medium high flame. Uncover and continue cooking for about 45 minutes, stirringoccasionally, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and then remove from heat. When the onions cool, finely chop the mint and mix in. The onions can be served warm or room temp.

Notes

Recipe by Chef Bruce Riezenman
Pair with Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley - Shop Here