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.


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
  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.

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