Monday, August 26, 2013

Brunch: Pulled Pork, Sweet Potato Biscuits, and Hatch Cream Sauce

So the title is a mouth full, but I couldn't figure out a way to shrink it down and not lose any of the deliciousness that is included in this meal.  I know I've said it before but brunch is my favorite meal.  I live for the days that I can spend a morning cooking something and the early afternoon indulging in it.  I'm always on the look out for that "perfect" brunch, and I think I may have finally found my holy grail of brunch.  But as fate would have it, what truly makes this meal special is the roasted hatch chili cream sauce, and hatch chilies are only available in Texas during August.  So this meal will sit patiently in my mind until I can get my hands on another case of hatch chilies.

Now I'll be the first to admit that you likely will not want to cook a giant hunk of pork shoulder (also called pork butt and Boston butt) purely for brunch.  I cooked the pork shoulder the night before for pulled pork sliders and saved half of the shoulder to use for breakfast.

There are several ways to cook pulled pork.  There is the fail proof crock-pot method that oddly enough uses some form of cola to cook the meat until it's falling apart tender.  There is the tried and true BBQ method, which involves smoking the meat low and slow for 12+ hours until it is falling apart and tender.  And, if you have the requisite equipment there is the sous vide and smoke method that I always use.

I've mentioned the sous vide in passing before,  but I have sadly never given my most absolute favorite kitchen gadget the proper posting it deserves.  But because it deserves its own post, I won't do it now either.  For now, suffice to say that sous vide is a method of cooking food that involves sealing it in a bag and cooking in a precisely controlled water bath.  The results are both outstanding and deceptively easy.

So for the pulled pork, I did the majority of the cooking in the sous vide.  I set my water bath to 175 degrees and allowed the meat to cook for approximately 10 hours.  The benefit with this method is that it allowed the connective tissue and fat to melt to nothing and left me with a sublimely delicious jous that I used after I shredded the meat.  Once my meat was largely cooked, I simply moved it to our grill/smoker and smoked it for an hour using mesquite chips.  This formed that beautiful smoke ring crust that you see in BBQ joints and it kept me from spending 12 hours tending to a fire.  I ended up with tender and juicy meat with a delicious smoke taste.

I'm not sure where I came up with the idea to pair the pulled pork with sweet potato biscuits, but once it was in my head I couldn't get it out.  I knew that the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes would pair beautifully the the smoky and silky texture of the meat.   After that it was simply a matter of finding something to bring everything together.  And I knew creamy roasted hatch sauce would do just that.

It is no secret that I have a deep and lasting love affair with the hatch chili.  It is so obvious that my dad calls me every summer to tell me that he saw the Central Market semis on the way from Hatch, New Mexico (which is near where he lives) on their way to Texas.  I really have no idea what makes the Hatch chili so special, but they are the most complex and robust flavored chili I've yet to encounter.  I spend an entire year craving the Hatch chili and always keep some stocked in my freezer to tide me over during my wait.

Pork shoulder is a relatively fatty type of meat so it generally needs something tangy or something hot to cut through that fat or your palate will be overwhelmed.  This sauce provides both.  It is both tangy from the greek yogurt and spicy from the chilies and is the perfect accompaniment to the smoky fatty meat.  And best of all, the sauce is deceptively simple.  Jason was stunned when I told him how few ingredients were actually in it.

So enough of my poetic waxing.  Can you tell how excited and how much I love this meal?

Pulled Pork on Sweet Potato Biscuits with a Hatch Cream Sauce


  • 2-3 cups pulled pork, cooked according to your preferred method
For the Sweet Potato Biscuits
Adapted from Key Ingredient
  • ¾cup cooked mashed sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato)
  • ⅓ to ½ cup whole milk, as needed
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • Whisk the mashed sweet potato and the milk in a medium sized bowl until the lumps are removed.
  • Using either a food processor (fitted with the dough blade) or a whisk, mix together the dry ingredients.  Cut in the butter into the mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  
    • I like to do all of this in the food processor and pulse several times.  It makes the process of making biscuits incredibly easy.
  • Add the potato/milk mixture to the dry mixture.  Pulse/stir the mixture until it begins to come together, adding just enough milk to create a dough.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and shape the dough into a 1/2 in square.  Cut into biscuits using a biscuit cutter or a cup; I just use a cup.
  • Bake a 425 on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes until the biscuits are lightly browned.  Allow to cool slightly.
Hatch Cream Sauce

  • 2 Hatch chilies roasted and skins removed.  (If you can't find Hatch, substitute with jalapeno or serranos.)
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • the juice from 1/2 of a lime
Instructions: Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.

To assemble, stack some pulled pork onto of a biscuit and drizzle with the hatch cream sauce.  Repeat and repeat and repeat.  You'll be happy you did.

I hope y'all love this as much as we did.  And let me know if you try it out!


Rebeka said...

I've never heard of hatch chilies, but oh my gosh this looks amazing!! How you came up with all of this is beyond me, but I think you missed your chef calling -- at least it is always a back up if lawyering gets too awful :)

SummerBreeze said...

If you ever run across hatch chilies you should definitely try them!

And thanks for the chef kudos! I do love me some food. #FatKidAtHeart

I hope your burn is healing nicely!

plasterers bristol said...

This sounds so good, something that i would definitely enjoy. Thanks for posting up this recipe.


Post a Comment