|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Trendy pulled pork updates classic croquettes for an appetizer that'll have your guests begging for more.You can also serve these pulled pork croquettes on a soft white bread roll for lunch as a poshed up version of the beloved broodje kroket.
We've adapted Marcus Polman's easy oven-baked pulled pork recipe from Het Perfecte Varken for our pulled pork croquettes. It's quite a lengthy process, but well worth the effort, and the pulled pork portion of the recipe can be prepared a day or two in advance. The salpicon (meat ragout) also has to rest overnight, so be sure to plan ahead.
If you're not a fan of deep-fried snacks however, you can also enjoy this pulled pork with some crusty white bread or make a meal of it, as we often do, by serving the pulled pork over white navy beans tossed in the barbecue cooking sauce.
- 2.2 lb. (1 kg) pork collar (or shoulder)
- 2/3 cup (5 fl oz./150 ml) ketchup
- 2/5 cup (3.3 fl oz./100 ml) white wine vinegar
- 2/5 cup (3.3 fl oz./100 ml) chicken stock
- 4 tbsp. pure cane sugar (demerara)
- 1 tbsp. smooth mild mustard
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. dried chili powder
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 white onion (sliced into rings)
- 1 cup (8 oz./220 g) fatty bacon lardons (or strips)
- 1/5 cup (25 g) shallots (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tbsp. cornstarch (maizena)
- 5 1/2 cups (1.3 l) chicken stock
- 0.88 oz (25 g) leaf gelatin
- 1 1/2 tbsp. salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 6 cups (1.9 lb./900 g) pulled pork
- 1/5 cup (1.6 fl oz./50 ml) of the pulled pork cooking sauce
- For the Breadcrumbs:
- 1 loaf sliced white bread
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Garnish: Lemon wedges and grainy Dutch mustard
For the Pulled Pork:
Preheat the oven to 285 degrees F (140 degrees C). Cut the pork into large pieces and place in a large baking tin.
Mix the ketchup with the vinegar, stock, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and thyme to create a barbecue sauce. Add the onion and pour over the meat.
Cover the baking tin with foil and allow to cook for approximately 3 hours, or until you can cut into the pork with a spoon. If you have a meat thermometer, the core temperature of the meat should be at least 158 degrees F (70 degrees C). The cooking time may vary depending on the size of the cuts of meat and the fat content thereof.
Remove the foil from the baking tin and place back in the oven for the final 30 minutes, turning the meat often. Remove the pork from the barbecue sauce and allow to cool. Once it has cooled, use two forks to pull the pork into juicy little threads.
For the Croquettes:
Fry the bacon lardons in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan to render the fat. Remove the crisp bacon bits from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat low, and sauté the shallots and garlic in the bacon fat. Add the flour and cornstarch and stir to form a roux, cooking for a few more minutes on a very low heat, while stirring continuously so that the roux doesn't catch.
Meanwhile, warm the chicken stock and add to the roux little by little, whisking to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat.
Soak the leaf gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes to soften, then remove and gently squeeze to remove any excess water. Add the gelatin to the mixture in the pan. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme.
Now add the pulled pork, the bacon bits and 1/5 cup of the barbecue sauce in which you cooked the pulled pork. Mix well and allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator. When rested, use a spoon to create evenly sized balls and roll these into sausage shaped croquettes.
For the Breading:
Assemble three soup bowls: fill the first with flour, the second with beaten egg, and the third with fresh breadcrumbs (see Tips).
Dredge the croquettes in the flour, making sure that they are evenly coated. Shake off any excess flour. Dunk the croquettes briefly, one by one, in the soup bowl with the beaten egg mix, allowing any excess egg to drip off. Transfer the croquettes, one by one, to the dish with the bread crumbs. Toss each one in the bread crumbs until it is thoroughly coated. Chill the croquettes for 15 minutes to help the coating adhere better. Now repeat the entire process so that each croquette gets a double coating of flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
Deep-fry at 356 degrees F (180 degrees C) in a deep-fat fryer until golden brown. If you don't have a deep-fat fryer, fill a heavy bottomed sauté pan or wok with enough oil to come about halfway up the side of a croquette. Use sunflower oil or another oil suitable for high temperatures. Heat the oil until a few breadcrumbs sizzle when tossed in. To prevent overcrowding of the pan, fry the croquettes in small batches for a minute or two on each side, or until golden brown.
Drain the croquettes on paper kitchen towels and serve hot with wedges of lemon, pickles, and grainy Dutch mustard.
How to make fresh bread crumbs: You will need one loaf of sliced white bread. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Cut the crusts off the bread and arrange slices in a preheated oven. Allow to dry for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and use a rolling pin or bottle to create coarse bread crumbs (or pulse in a food processor).
The cooking time of the pulled pork can vary depending on the quality of the meat. Fatty, well-marbled cuts from the neck and shoulder tend to ''pull' better, and can stand longer cooking times, while leaner cuts may dry out. The so-called "Boston butt" does particularly well. For more information, see this cuts of pork diagram.