It's probably needless to say after that incredulous rant, but I am not one of those winny (new word!) people; that's one of the reasons I don't gamble or enter any contest that costs me anything more than 30 seconds of my time. Well, imagine my surprise when I checked Google Reader this morning and found that I had won a giveaway from one of my long-time favorite blogs, Home Ec 101! It certainly brightened up my rainy, weekend's-finally-over morning. Thanks to Heather@Home Ec 101 for providing the web with years of near-encyclopaedic knowledge that I can always refer to when I don't know the best way to get something cooked or cleaned!
While on our quest to save money (especially on food in a disturbingly delicious part of the country), we have done a lot of our eating out at the Momofuku family of restaurants. How is this decidedly not inexpensive food even close to a frugal option? Because we have gift cards leftover from our wedding, of course. ;-) That means we've eaten for "free" every time we've been since April! Unfortunately, the cards' values are starting to dwindle, meaning I'm faced with a sad choice, indeed: pay real money for Momofuku or learn to make my own homemade version of Noodle Bar's pork buns (sans pork belly, because I have this thing about textures--especially fat that isn't crispy). Since six billion pounds of slow roasted pork shoulder were staring me down when I opened the refrigerator yesterday afternoon, my answer was obvious...
Momofuku Style Pulled Pork Buns
I made my buns double-sized because I was starving, excited to eat, and just plain didn't feel like folding and then steaming the sixteen tiny buns the recipe called for; the giant buns took an additional five minutes to steam and just two of them made a lovely dinner. Since we're honest around here*... two and a quarter for my husband and one and a quarter for me (four and a quarter for Mr. N if you count lunch today).
More honesty: I don't own a steamer basket--or anything even remotely like one. My MacGyver solution? A 13-inch skillet filled with water a couple of inches of water, topped with a cooling rack, and covered with the lid from my 14" wok. Coincidentally, I learned that parchment works in place of the waxed paper recommended by the bun recipe. The best part of my version of the recipe (IMHO) is that it works with almost any leftover pork, thus saving you from days upon days of pulled pork sandwiches. Score!
1 batch of prepared steamed buns
1 lb. prepared pork shoulder (or use your favorite recipe)
1/2 cup beef broth
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce, divided
3 half sour pickles, matchsticked
1/2 sweet onion, sliced thinly and soaked in half sour brine
Mix the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire, Sriracha, brown sugar, and 2 tbsp of the Hoisin in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until warmed and sugar is dissolved, about 20 minutes.
If the buns aren't warm, heat them according to the recipe.
Gently pull the buns open (like a taco) and brush the bottom half of each bun with the remaining Hoisin sauce. Top the sauce with 2 oz. of the pulled pork, then pickle with onion.
*More honesty: Heather@Home Ec 101 has no idea that I've mentioned her in this post; I was neither asked nor told to mention her site or anything related to it (or the Tupperware giveaway). I am posting the links and praise on my own accord due to the absolute homemaking-related awesomeness that is Home Ec 101!**
**Can you tell I'm a bit of a fan?