BBQ Pulled Pork, BBQ Sauce, Brioche Buns and Curtido Coleslaw with Lard Mayo
Summer is upon us, Father’s Day is fast approaching and that says BBQ in capital letters – thanks to a bevy of palette-pleasing recipes from Coast Packing Company’s own Corporate Chef Ernie Miller.
“This is the season for backyard grilling, family gatherings and amazing from-scratch meals,” said Eric R. Gustafson, CEO of the 95-year-old company. “As Chef Ernie’s recipes attest, Father’s Day is also a time for creativity in the kitchen, centered around food prepared with healthy, minimally-processed animal fats.” Coast Packing is the leading supplier of animal fat shortenings in the Western U.S., including the popular VIVA® brand of pure lard.
With special appreciation to Walker Foods – a 100-year-old Southern California mainstay and its El Pato® line — Coast extends warm wishes to all dads and everyone else celebrating this Father’s Day. The recipes follow:
Southern California BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
These are a wonderful variation on traditional BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. The emphasis here is on California flavor and, of course, the star of the show, the pork. Spicy and flavorful from the bun to the slaw, these sandwiches are a fantastic main course for Father’s Day BBQs (among other grilling opportunities), picnics, or any gathering of pork enthusiasts. Health conscious eaters will appreciate the use of natural, healthy animal fat and probiotic coleslaw. Below, you’ll find separate recipes for: 8 Lard Brioche buns, sliced; 8 Tbsp Lard Mayonnaise; 2½ lbs of Southern California Style BBQ Pulled Pork; and 2 Cups Curtido Coleslaw with Lard Mayonnaise.
Yield: 8 servings
1) Toast the buns, if desired, and spread one tablespoon of lard mayonnaise on both sides of the bread to keep it moist and prevent buns from becoming soggy due to BBQ sauce.
2) Divide BBQ pulled pork into eight even portions and spoon onto the bottom buns. Top each sandwich with ¼ Cup of curtido coleslaw and cover with the top part of the bun. Enjoy!
Southern California Style BBQ Pulled Pork
Nothing says BBQ better than pulled pork mixed with a delicious, smoky sauce. Since this recipes uses our Southern California (El Pato®) BBQ sauce, we’ll employ a California method for cooking the pork. Rather than cook the pork low and slow in the oven, on the grill or in a smoker, this recipe calls for use of a slow cooker. And rather than cook the pork in the sauce, as many pulled pork recipes call for, cook it in VIVA lard, very similar to the making of carnitas. Indeed, the lard saved after cooking the pork can be used for future carnitas-making. We do highly recommend you save your carnitas-flavored lard for future use!
Yield: 8 servings
2½ lbs Pork shoulder, boneless
1 ea Orange, medium
1 ea Onion, medium, rough chopped
6 ea Garlic cloves, peeled
2 ea Chipotle, in adobo
1 tsp Coriander seed
1 tsp Cumin seed
1 tsp Peppercorn, black
2 Cups VIVA® Lard (more as necessary to submerge ingredients)
1½ Cups Southern California (El Pato) BBQ Sauce (see below)
1) Cut pork shoulder into 2-3 inch pieces. Cut orange in half and cut halves into quarters, peel and all.
2) Place all ingredients into the bowl of a 6-qt slow cooker. Turn slow cooker on high. When lard has melted, ensure that all ingredients are submerged in the fat. Add additional lard as necessary. Cover and cook until pork is tender, approximately 5 hours.
3) With tongs, remove the pork to a cutting board and allow to cool. Being careful of the hot fat, strain the lard and reserve for future use. Discard orange, vegetables and spices.
4) Shred the pork finely. In a medium mixing bowl thoroughly combine shredded pork with BBQ sauce.
Southern California (El Pato) BBQ Sauce
Barbeque (BBQ) sauce comes in a wide variety of styles depending on geography — North Carolina, South Carolina, Memphis, Texas, the list goes on and on. Although there is no officially-recognized Southern California-style BBQ sauce, this seemingly simple recipe embraces both BBQ tradition and California flavors for a complex and spicy result!
El Pato tomato sauce has been made in downtown Los Angeles along the banks of the L.A. River since the 1920s by Walker Foods, a family-owned and operated company dating back to 1905. It is a pantry staple in many a California kitchen. Why “El Pato”? Because until the Army Corps of Engineers began taming the L.A. River with concrete in 1938, the river would periodically flood – sometimes flooding the Walker Foods factory, which was right next to it. And “El Pato,” Spanish for “the duck,” hearkens to an old Mexican proverb: “No matter how high the flood waters get, the duck always floats on top.”
Entire histories of ketchup have been written, but what is important to know about today’s ketchup is that the mechanically harvestable tomato was developed by UC Davis scientists in the 1960s and consequently, the Central Valley of California is now responsible for more than 90% of the nation’s processed tomato production. When a prominent ketchup uses the motto “grown not made” — it’s grown in California. Fish sauce, of course, appears in many different cuisines, but is frequently associated with Vietnamese food and outside of Vietnam itself, no place has more people of Vietnamese descent than California.
Yield: 1½ Cups, approximately 8 servings
1 ea El Pato (Mexican Hot Style) Tomato Sauce (original yellow 7.75 oz can)
½ Cup Ketchup
2 Tbsp Vinegar, apple cider
1 Tbsp Fish sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)
1 ea Chipotle, in adobo
1) Place all ingredients in the jar of a blender. Puree until smooth.
2) Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Lard Brioche Buns
“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” – Queen Maria Theresa
The unfortunate mis-translation of the above is “Let them eat cake.” Even more unfortunate because it was actually misattributed to Queen Marie-Antoinette, who never said it. The translation itself is wholly inaccurate because brioche is actually somewhere between bread and pastry. Traditionally brioche is a very enriched bread made with butter and eggs from Normandy, which is famous for its butter. Because of its rich nature, brioche is suitable for any meal and versatile enough to be used in both sweet and savory applications.
One such use would be for a BBQ pulled pork sandwich, which also straddles the sweet/savory divide. Since the protein is pork, of course, it only makes sense to substitute lard for the traditional butter in order to enhance the porky flavor. This is not without precedent, a version of brioche made in Southern France is frequently made with olive oil, which is more readily available nearer the Mediterranean.
Yield: 8 buns
2½ tsp Yeast, dry, active
⅓ Cup Milk, whole, room temperature
2 Tbsp Sugar, granulated
3 ea Eggs, large, room temperature
½ Cup VIVA lard, room temperature (plus additional lard for greasing)
10½ oz Flour, all purpose
1¼ tsp Salt, kosher
1) In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to combine yeast, sugar, and milk. Proof yeast by letting mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2) In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat two eggs. Reserve third egg for egg wash.
3) Remove whisk attachment of stand mixer and replace with dough hook. Add beaten eggs and VIVA lard and mix well with the dough hook. Add flour and salt, mixing and kneading at medium speed until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. continue to knead for 20 minutes until the dough is smooth and tacky, but not too sticky.
4) Grease a clean mixing bowl with lard. Remove dough from mixer and shape loosely into a ball. Place in the bowl and turn once to coat with lard on all sides. Top loosely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm spot to rise for 90 minutes or until doubled in volume. Once it has risen, refrigerate the dough for at least two hours so it will be easier to work with.
5) Once the dough is chilled, working quickly, punch it down and turn over onto a floured surface. Knead gently by hand for 2 minutes, form into a ball and cut the ball into 8 portions. Roll and form each portion into a ball. Brioche has a tendency to spread (or slack), so you will need to use bun molds or something similar (plans for making bun molds from foil are available on the internet). Grease a baking sheet with lard (or use a non-stick lining) and place buns in molds. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise a second time in a warm spot for 30-60 minutes or until doubled in volume.
6) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375℉.
7) In a small mixing bowl, whisk remaining egg with one tablespoon of water and use a pastry brush to gently cover the top of each bun with egg wash.
8) Turn oven to 400℉ and bake buns for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350℉ and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until buns are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool to room temperature.
Mayonnaise, whether you love it or (mistakenly) hate it, is an incredibly versatile, sauce, condiment and ingredient. An emulsion of egg yolks and fat, it brings body, tang, and creaminess to many a dish. Rather than simply use a neutral flavored oil to make it, however, we can increase the flavor and add umami by incorporating lard into this wonderful, spreadable delight. Try this on your next ham & swiss sandwich!
Yield: 2 Cups, approximately
¾ Cup VIVA lard, melted but cool
¾ Cup Olive oil, light (in this application the less flavor the better)
2 ea Egg yolks
1 Tbsp Mustard, Dijon
1 Tbsp Lemon, juice
To taste Salt, kosher
Water, as necessary to correct consistency
1) Combine lard and olive oil in measuring Cup with spout. Whisk to combine.
2) Add egg yolks, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and a generous pinch of salt to bowl of food processor. Run processor for 5 seconds to combine. Scrape down sides of processor bowl with rubber spatula and process for an additional 5 seconds. Scrape down sides of processor bowl again.
3) Ensure that the melted lard/olive oil mixture is no more than lukewarm, otherwise you will cook the egg yolks. With processor running, slowly drizzle lard mixture into bowl in a very thin, slow and steady stream until an emulsion is formed. Once an emulsion has formed, you can pour in the fat more quickly, stopping and scraping down sides of the processor bowl as necessary. Add additional salt to taste and adjust consistency with water until thick, smooth, and creamy, but not waxy.
4) Store in refrigerator in airtight container for up to two weeks.
Caution: Products made with raw eggs are a potential health hazard. Pasteurized eggs may be used in this recipe.
Curtido Coleslaw with Lard Mayonnaise
Curtido is often referred to as Salvadoran coleslaw or sauerkraut. However, by combining it with mayonnaise, it becomes much more like a traditional American coleslaw for picnics and BBQ, only with Latino flair! And it’s probiotic! The next time your menu or dish calls for some mayonnaise-based coleslaw, give this one a try for an amazing taste sensation. VIVA!
Yield: 2 Cups, approximately 8 servings
2 Cups Curtido, fermented (recipe separate), thoroughly drained (reserve liquid)
⅓ Cup Lard Mayonnaise (recipe separate)
1) In a medium mixing bowl, toss drained curtido with lard mayonnaise until thoroughly coated. Add reserved liquid from curtido to adjust consistency. Chill.
Fermented Curtido (Cortido)
Curtido is traditionally a lightly fermented cabbage salad originating in El Salvador, but present in the cuisines of many Central American nations. It is analogous to such dishes as sauerkraut or kimchi and is eaten as a side dish (a pickled salad) or as a condiment for a wide variety of recipes. Most famously, it is used to accompany pupusas and the combination of pupusas and curtido is practically El Salvador’s national dish.
Curtido is generally served raw. It’s sour, tangy, tart flavor complements many rich, hearty and spicy Latin American dishes. The crunch of the fermented cabbage also provides a great textural contrast in many recipes. Anywhere you might consider using cabbage salad, you can use curtido. This is a 3% brine recipe.
Yield: About 1.5 quarts
For the curtido:
1¾ lb Cabbage, shredded
½ lb Carrot, julienned or grated
½ ea Onion, Red, julienned
1 ea Jalapeño, minced (optional)
¾ oz Salt, with no additives (this is 1oz of salt for every 3 lbs of vegetable)
1½ tsp Oregano, dried
½ tsp Cumin seed
1 ea Lime, juice
For the brine:
1 oz Salt, with no additives
1 Qt Water
Quality: For the best curtido, use firm heads of fresh cabbage. Any variety may be used (white, purple, Savoy, Napa), but late variety cabbages make superior curtido. For best results, shred cabbage and start curtido between 24 and 48 hours after harvest. Cabbages that have been properly stored may be used up to several weeks later.
1) Discard outer leaves of cabbage. Rinse heads under cold running water and drain. Cut heads in quarters and remove cores. Shred or slice to a thickness of a quarter.
2) Put cabbage in a mixing bowl and toss with all ingredients, salt and spices, using clean hands.
3) Pack firmly into your clean fermentation container until salt draws juices from the cabbage mixture. Place a weight, such as a clean glass or plastic freezer bag with a few ounces of brine, on top of the cabbage mixture. This weight is to force water out of the cabbage mixture and keep the cabbage mixture submerged under the brine. If juice does not cover cabbage mixture, add additional brine. Seal your jar, but not airtight. Place on a plate to capture any excess liquid during the fermentation process.
4) Store out of direct sunlight at 65° to 75°F while fermenting. At temperatures near 75°F, curtido will be finished in about 5 days; at 65°F, fermentation may take 7 to 9 days. You may allow your curtido to ferment even longer, but it is traditionally a shorter ferment.
Caution: If the curtido becomes soft, slimy, or develops a disagreeable odor, discard. Fully fermented curtido may be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for several months.