This is the final destination of the other half of our pulled pork joint.
Now it was supposed to be a "sort of" roast dinner - with accompanying roast potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash, Yorkshire Puddings and gravy etc. However, we forgot to take one of the tubs of stock out of the freezer at the same time as the pork, which meant that we'd have to forgo using it to make the amazing gravy - which would be a shame. True, I could have got it out anyway and defrosted it in the pan - but in the time before I was due to start making dinner, I started to think sideways.
Initially, I started to think about gravy alternatives such as making a sauce. I contemplated fruity sauces, but couldn't think of anything that didn't demand going out to the local Sainsbury's for supplies - and I didn't want to have to do that. I seriously contemplated making an onion sauce, mainly because I love onion sauce and haven't had it for an aeon. I thought it would go quite well with the pork (even better with lamb - but we didn't have any of that) and onion sauce always goes well with vegetables and roasties. However, when I contemplated the washing up that would result at the end of the dinner, that put me off the sauce idea completely.
After all, I'd have a pyrex dish for the pork to be heated up in, the roasting tray for the roasties and a pyrex bowl that I'd used to oil and season them in, another tray for the Yorkshires, the three-part steamer pan for the other vegetables - and that was before I'd begun to think about the gravy or a sauce! I was going off the idea rapidly.
So I began to think even further sideways - about things that weren't roast dinners. Now, what would I be likely to do with some leftover roast pork, if I wasn't going to make it into a roast?
Wraps - I could put it in wraps with some BBQ sauce. Don't have any wraps though - and don't want to have to go out and get some. A pie - it'd make a nice pie. Mind you, then I'd have to make pastry - and I refer you back to the washing up problem. So what doesn't make a lot of washing up? Hmmn .. something made in the wok. Aha - now we're onto something. A stir-fry. Oh, but son & heir doesn't like stir fries - and I don't have any traditional stir fry vegetables in. Well yes, but this IS pulled pork we're talking about stir frying - and son & heir is a sucker for pulled pork. Add some chilli to the lure and I'm sure he'll forgive the stir fry effect. So what vegetables have I got? A red pepper .. two courgettes .. the taggy end of a head of broccoli and plenty of onions. Wish I had some mushrooms!
So okay, what sauce could I put the whole thing in? I've got a Blue Dragon Black Bean sauce, but one won't be enough and anyway, I don't fancy the oh-so-savoury route. Wish I had some Hoi Sin sauce! I've got Oyster sauce .. hmmn, once again not enough.
It was about this time that I remembered I had a bottle of Mic's Chilli Sweet Chilli Sauce in the cupboard that we'd not tried as yet. I knew I also had a part-used bottle of Mic's Chilli El Loco BBQ Sauce in the fridge. The sweet chilli was going down the right flavour route - sweet and hot - and the BBQ sauce would add the complexity to the flavours. Add a little bit of Mirrin (Japanese rice wine) and a dash of Fish Sauce and I reckon we'd have it. I had the bottle of Cider Vinegar standing by, just in case the whole thing came up too sweet - but didn't need it.
The vegetables behaved themselves in the pan and I even got to exercise a tip I'd seen demonstrated on the t.v. - that of stir frying the onions and peppers, then including a small amount of water in the wok and steaming the remaining vegetables for 2-3 minutes, before continuing the stir frying. I did this just after including the broccoli pieces and it worked like a charm. The combination of the two sauces was a complete masterstroke, if I say so myself - and the whole thing came together in what felt like minutes. The washing up consisted of two pans and a chopping board - can't complain about that - and best of all, it was flipping delicious.
As a last-minute avoidance of making a roast dinner, I'd say that was a complete score!
As regards the Mic's Chilli Sweet Chilli Sauce, what a winner that is! I'd already got a huge bottle of Thai sweet chilli sauce on the go - and had been waiting to finish that before breaking out the Mic's Chilli version. However, the Thai one is so rampant with garlic that I didn't fancy including it in the stir fry or we'd have been burping garlic for ever more. Mic's Chilli's Sweet Chilli Sauce has a degree of garlic - much as you'd expect - but it also has some lovely deep toffee flavours going on in there. The chilli effect, for all that it declares itself to be just "one chilli hot" was still pretty darned awesome when combined with a dash of Chinese five spice and the BBQ sauce!
So there you are - want something different to do with the other half of a pulled pork joint? Raid the fridge!
SWEET CHILLI PORK STIR FRY (feeds 3)
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 medium onions, peeled, quartered and sliced thickly
1 red capsicum pepper, cored, de-seeded and sliced thinly
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 courgette, sliced into batons
4 broccoli florets, quartered
500g cold cooked pulled pork
100ml sweet chilli sauce
75ml barbecue sauce
1 tbsp Mirrin
1 tbsp Fish sauce.
1. Heat the oil in a wok and add the onions. Cook on a high temperature until softened and just beginning to caramelise, stirring all the time, then add the red pepper. Continue cooking and stirring until the red pepper has softened.
2. Add the five spice and stir to combine. Add the courgette pieces together with the broccoli and continue to cook and stir for another couple of minutes. Add approx 100ml of warm water and cover the pan. Let the contents steam for around 3-5 minutes, pausing to stir once in this process.
3. Add the pork, chilli sauce, barbecue sauce, mirrin and fish sauce and stir to combine.
4. Turn the heat down and cook for another few minutes, to allow the flavours to marry up and the pork to heat through sufficiently.
5. Serve on a bed of white rice.