BBQ season is just around the corner, so it is time to think of sweet and sticky sauces and messy sandwiches!
As I have mentioned before, just because we live in an apartment and don’t have a BBQ, doesn’t mean that we have to give up on the deliciousness of BBQ, we just have to improvise.
The title of this pulled pork recipe interested me, I love sesame seeds (and beer) so this recipe was definitely one for us to try.
As I was looking over the ingredient list, I saw star anise. Fortunately I had a few in my cupboard, so I was business to make this sticky pulled pork sandwich.
I want to share with you a funny story about star anise…
A few years ago, before Jamie and I moved to Ottawa, we had invited Jamie’s parents to come over for dinner. We had planned a steak dinner with all the fixings. One of the ingredients for making the steak sauce was star anise. I didn’t have this ingredient on hand, so I added it to my grocery list.
While gathering up the groceries for our dinner, I looked everywhere in the produce aisle for star anise. Did I ask for help? Nope. On my third trip around the fruits and vegetables, I found my ingredient. I picked it up, put it in the cart and away I went.
One the day of the dinner, I was getting all the ingredients ready. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the star anise, because the recipe called for placing it in the frying pan. It was way to big to do that, was I suppose to dice it? What about the greens on top, they seemed to have a lot of fragrance so they would be tasty. I was a bit stuck, so I called up Cherie and asked her what I was suppose to do.
That was when I learned that star anise and anise are two entirely different things! I was supposed to have these small dried out seeds that have a licorice taste, not an anise bulb (also known as fennel).
Thankfully, Cherie and Dwayne had this ingredient at their house, so I jumped in the car drove 25 minutes to get the star anise and drove back to make the correct sauce.
I will never, ever make that mistake again. I have learned my lesson and now when I don’t recognize and ingredient, I immediately Google it 🙂
Anyway, I digress. This pulled pork sandwich was delicious. We served it with coleslaw, cold pint and lots of napkins.
- 12 oz beer
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 3 lbs) cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, whisk together beer, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, 2 tbsp sesame oil, tamari, garlic and mustard powder. Add the star anise and pork. Bring to a simmer over medium-heat, then cover and cook until very tender, about 40 minutes.
- Discard the star anise, then use 2 forks to shred of pull apart the pork into bite-size pieces. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil and the hot sauce. Season with salt & pepper.
- Serve on fresh roll and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.