Aarti Sequeira is the winner of Season 6 of 'The Next Food Network Star'. This young lady has worked really hard to get to her level of success, ultimate victory and a brand new show on Food Network called Aarti Party. She is known to add an Indian twist to many dishes without making them too strong. Mild flavors that give you the right Indian flavors in the appropriate combination. She whisks out her stainless steel Indian spice container enhancing her European favorites with a little twist and sprucing up the flavors making it exotic, delicate and subtle. I can relate to her way of cooking probably because I love to put a little Indian twist in many of my own recipes. The simplicity of this recipe influenced me to try it out after watching one of the episodes. The ultimate results were devoured to satisfaction and I can vouch that these sandwiches are incredibly delicious!!
When R and I were married he had a different style of eating from what I was used to. He only splurged on fried foods and meat, rice and spicy hot food. Nothing else made him happier than fried chicken or slow cooked meat. Fruits and vegetables were never a part of his diet. I learned to make his favorite Kerala style non-vegetarian dishes, and loved to see the smile on his face when I fried up a feast or two. A few years back when his health told him to avoid some of his all-time favorites, he slowly changed his diet and is slowly transitioning to healthy eating(which I thought would never happen in spite of all my efforts). Not only does he eat smaller portions of rice, desserts and carbohydrates, but is also willing to try out my salads with a little coaxing from yours truly!
Aarti's recipe reminded me of a time when my little girls and R feasted on my deep-fried (Kentucky Style)Chicken served with slow cooked greens, corn and slaw. Oftentimes, it feels good to bring back a few old favorite slow cooked meat dishes like this one and see R's eyes light up at the dinner table. I served these whole wheat sandwiches with nothing other than slow cooked collard greens accompanied by coleslaw and corn on the cob. Here is my Slow Cooked Pulled Pork from Aarti's recipe and she has used Brioche Rolls.
1 boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), about 3 pounds, excess fat removed
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 onion, finely minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced (seeds discarded if you don't like it spicy)
2 cups mango puree
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Brioche rolls, split
Rub: Combine the rub ingredients, in a small bowl and massage it into the pork shoulder until well coated. Set aside while you make BBQ sauce. You could do this a day ahead and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
BBQ sauce: In a large saucepan, warm the oil, over low heat, until hot and shimmering. Add the cumin and fennel; they should splutter upon contact - be careful! Once the spluttering subsides, add the onions, ginger and serrano and a little salt, to taste. Saute until they soften but don't let them get any color. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Simmer about 5 minutes. Taste and season.
Add the pork shoulder to the saucepan, coating it with the sauce. Cover, and gently simmer until the pork falls apart easily, stirring and turning often, about 3 hours.
Remove the pork from the saucepan and shred it using 2 forks. Return it to the sauce and stir to coat with the sauce. Put a generous spoonful of the pork inside a brioche bun, top with a few slices of pickle and serve. Aarti's Note: prepare to have your loved one swoon over you!