Monday, September 17, 2012

Fresh Spring Rolls with Coconut Rum Pork

Kroger had a big sale on pork shoulder, and I mean they were really good prices, so I picked some up for dinner.  There are so many ways to make this type of meat that is really best when braised or slow cooked.  As I thought of how I'd prepare it, I decided that I wanted to incorporate it into a Vietnamese fresh spring roll, one of my favorite things ever to eat.  Then there I was, looking inside my pantry again, and the coconut rum was still there.  I had about a cup left.  It would make (as David Chang would say) a banging braising liquid!
After 8 hours in the slow cooker, my pork shoulder was falling - off - the - bone tender.  The juices were also incredible.
You can put anything in a spring roll.  The essential ingredients that I usually use are carrot, cucumber, cilantro, and rice noodles.  I had chives on this day, so those got thrown in.  If I had been using lamb, I most definitely would include mint.
There are several different sauces that you can make or purchase for spring rolls.  I chose to use a peanut sauce that I picked up at Whole Foods.  It's their 365 brand which I love.  It was a perfect accompaniment to the refreshing, chewy, crispy, and herbacious little Vietnamese spring roll.

Ingredients:

For the slow cooker:
  • 3 - 4 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 1 cup coconut rum
  • 2 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
For the spring rolls:
  • rice paper
  • rice noodles, cooked per package instructions
  • herbs:  cilantro, chives, mint (optional)
  • julienned carrots
  • matchstick cucumber
  • peanut sauce for dipping
Directions:
  1. Rub the pork shoulder with the curry paste and place inside slow cooker.  Pour the rum and broth over it, then cook on low for 8 hours.  Then turn to warm setting. 
  2. Pull a little bit of meat off the bone at a time, discarding the fat.  Assemble spring rolls.  Moisten the paper under water for a quick second.  Place on a plate to allow to soften.
  3. While still softening, add your ingredients (for the spring roll) except for the peanut sauce.
  4. Fold in sides and roll away from you.
Enjoy!
  

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