Looking back at our archives, the last Session we participated in also was hosted by Beer 47, discussing beer desserts. Small world right? While poking around in our archives, I did find an excellent cooking-with-beer recipe from Ray, dating back to May 2009. So I decided to dust it off and share it again.
Pulled Pork in Kolsch Sauce with Sauerkraut
3 lbs pork shoulder
12 fl oz kolsch
3 or 4 star anise pods
2 tbsp dried rosemary
4 or 5 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
freshly ground nutmeg to taste
1 15 oz can sauerkraut
1/2 c minced onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
A few pinches salt
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Cut pork shoulder into 2″ steaks. Make sure to cut perpendicular to the grain so the pork will be easy to shred when it’s cooked. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Combine shoulder steaks, kolsch, star anise, rosemary, and bay leaves in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook for at least three hours, flipping the pork halfway through.
Remove pork and set aside. Strain herbs out of the kolsch and scrape the bits of cooked meat stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add brown sugar and garlic and simmer over high heat until thickened and caramelized. It will smell like burnt sugar when it’s ready.
While the sauce reduces, shred the pork. The easiest way to to this is to hold the meat in place with tongs, and use a large-toothed steak knife or bread knife to gently pull the meat apart. The slow cooking will have weakened the connective tissue, allowing you to shred the meat without much force.
When the sauce is dark and thick, add the spices and stir. Return the pork to the pan and turn it with tongs to coat it evenly with sauce.
While the meat rests, prepare the sauerkraut. In a separate pan, combine oil, onion, and salt and cook over medium heat until the onions are tender. Add sauerkraut and mustard, mix until ingredients are evenly distributed, and cook over medium heat for five minutes.
Serve pork on toasted kaiser rolls with a little bit of sauerkraut.
The recipe here calls for kolsch, but any malty beer will do. Your best bets are probably kolsch, anything Belgian (especially dubbel), brown ale, malty English beers and sweeter stouts (perhaps even a coffee stout).
Check out Ray’s original stroke of genius here. Cheers!