Everybody needs a few good recipes for a crowd, especially for the informal parties many host in winter for the Super Bowl, the Oscars and what have you. These wraps very handily fed about a dozen people at a recent weekend get-together; and there were even leftovers. It’s a delicious recipe with terrific flavor, yet it takes less than a half-hour of work to put it all together — the perfect menu for company!
Pork shoulder, also known as pork butt, is a relatively fatty and inexpensive cut of meat that is excellent for slow cooking and braises. If I’m going to eat a meal heavy in meat, this is usually the cut I choose. Even organic or well-raised pork is cheap when you buy this particular cut, and you really can’t mess it up.
You can find versions of this recipe all over the Internet; I was introduced to it by a friend, and I made a few slight modifications. This feeds a lot, obviously, but it’s still a good recipe for a smaller dinner, too. Just cut the amounts in half, or freeze some of the pork in individual portions for later meals. It refrigerates and freezes very well.
Slow-Cooked Hoisin Pork Wraps With Peanut Slaw
Serves 12 or more
Hoisin and Ginger Shredded Pork:
6 pounds pork butt, trimmed of thick fat
Salt and pepper
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large piece fresh ginger, about 5 inches long
1 bottle hoisin sauce (12-15 ounces) (See note.)
Rub the trimmed pork shoulder all over with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Put in the slow cooker (cut in pieces first, if necessary). Add the smashed garlic cloves, tucking them around the pork. Peel and grate the ginger, and put it in, too. Pour the hoisin sauce over everything. Cover and cook on low for about 10 hours or overnight.
When the meat is finished and tender, use two large forks to shred it and mix it with the sauce.
Note: Hoisin sauce is a rather sweet and lightly spicy barbecue sauce used in Chinese cooking.
1 batch Crunchy Peanut Slaw (See recipe below.)
2 dozen small tortillas or wraps (Lavash bread is also nice, although I prefer whole-wheat tortillas.)
Spicy chili-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha (if desired)
Warm the tortillas in the microwave, covered with a damp towel. Serve the pork, tortillas and slaw together, wrapping up the slaw and pork together.
Crunchy Peanut Slaw
Makes 1 big bowl of slaw, serving 8 or more
1 medium head green cabbage, outer leaves removed
1 1/2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 bunch green onions
1 cup chopped cilantro (about two big handfuls unchopped)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup light oil, such as canola
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or more, to taste)
Shred the cabbage very finely. The fineness of the shredded cabbage is really what makes this salad; you want it in threads almost, and the threads chopped into bite-size lengths. Toss with the peanuts in a large bowl. Chop the scallions, including the green and white parts. Toss the scallions and chopped cilantro with the cabbage, seasoning very lightly with salt and pepper.
Whisk the dressing ingredients until emulsified, then taste and adjust to your own preference of sweetness and saltiness.
Toss with the cabbage. Garnish with a few more peanuts and serve.