Pulled Pork at the Bon Appetit Kitchen

Call me Dorothy…and my little dog too. Well, his name is really Toto…and I don’t have a dog, I have a cat named Boris. But for one giddy day, I was able to see the wizard behind the emerald curtain. I was able to take a peek at the new Bon Appetit kitchen.

Conde Nast and HSN are releasing a new Bon Appetit Culinary Collection, which includes triply cookware, knives, and small appliances such as a pressure cooker, immersion blender, and grill/griddle. I was invited to see and taste the collection in action leading up to the launch.

Photo courtesy of Bon Appetit

Chef Ryan Scott, of Top Chef fame, is the perfect face of Bon Appetit’s new culinary line. He welcomed us into the kitchen with a warm yet mischievous smile, and entertained us while we hungrily eyed his Stir-Fried Brussel Sprouts with Sliced Garlic. That required quite a bit of charm because we were ready to dive bomb into the sizzling sprouts. His love of food was infectious. I guess you can’t expect anything less from someone who asked Santa for a wok and a food dehydrator when he was nine-years-old!

Photo courtesy of Bon Appetit

I also had the chance to chat with Bon Appetit’s Chef de Cuisine, Mary Nolan as she cooked up Baltimore Crab Cakes on the electric griddle. She explained that the BA Test Kitchen developed recipes specifically for each product in the line.

Photo courtesy of Bon Appetit

We then walked over to the pressure cooker and as she lifted the lid, I inhaled tangy smokey goodness from the North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork with Vinegar Sauce. I raised my brows dubiously when she told me that it only took 45 minutes to cook (excluding prep). How do you get moist, tender pulled pork in 45 minutes? Even with a pressure cooker, I didn’t think the flavors would have enough time to develop. Well, I was pleasantly surprised once I tried it. Then I spent the rest of my time in the kitchen trying to get the recipe to share it with you. (Luckily, they gave us recipes at the end along with a 12-inch frying pan so I left a happy camper.)

I liked that this electric pressure cooker lets you sear the meat right in the cooker. Caramelizing the meat adds flavor. No matter how lazy I feel, I never skip that step. And not having to wash an extra pan just for searing is a plus for those lazy days.

The other dish that intrigued me was the Sorghum-Glazed Carrots. I’ve heard of sorghum, but never really knew what it was. It sounds like guargum or xantham gum and my first guess would have been that sorghum is some sort of binder. I’m glad that I was way off mark with that one. Chef Ryan explained that it is a cross between honey and molasses. More depth of flavor than honey, but not quite as heavy and dark as molasses. He confided that the first time he encountered sorghum, he initially didn’t know what to do with it either and decided to experiment with it. And that’s what makes a great chef. A great anything, really. Not feeling like you have to know everything, and diving right in to figure it out. Then you end up with sorghum in your culinary toolkit when creating new dishes. A splash of orange juice for sweetness, a drizzle of bourbon for complexity and a pat of butter for a silky finish to the carrots didn’t hurt either.

Photo courtesy of Bon Appetit

I didn’t just get a peek behind the emerald curtains, I was able to take a tour, touch everything on the hangers and rub the material between my fingers…metaphorically speaking of course. I wasn’t shopping for clothes, but I did get some insight into the thought process at the BA Test Kitchen from food editor Hunter Lewis. “Every recipe has to have one takeaway teaching element so that even if the reader does not have the recipe on hand, he/she can apply that principle.” As an example he mentioned the fried chicken feature in the February issue, with takeaways on how to keep the chicken moist and make the coating crispy.

My takeaways from that day were an appreciation of what goes into publishing a food magazine, a newfound respect for a good pressure cooker, an urge to get my hands on some sorghum, and a wistful longing for a spacious and elegantly functional test kitchen of my own.

The Bon Appetit Culinary Collection premiere’s on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 on HSN at the following times:

  • 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM; 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM
  • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM; 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM; 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

The collection is exclusive to HSN, but if you won’t be able to watch Chef Ryan Scott cook up delicacies with the tools and cookware you can always purchase it on HSN’s website.

North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork with Vinegar Sauce

2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1″ thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup beer (such as lager, Pilsner, or amber)

Vinegar Sauce
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Mix first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add pork and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Press Warm on the pressure cooker; set timer for 30 minutes (add or subtract time as needed) and press Start to heat the pressure cooker. Heat oil in the pot. Working in batches, add pork and cook until browned; transfer to a plate. Add broth, beer and browned pork, with any juices from the plate, to pot. Lock lid in place, making sure vent is sealed. Press Warm; set timer for 42 minutes and press Start to cook. Release pressure manually by opening vent. Remove lid. Transfer pork to a platter and let cool. Discard cooking liquid.

Vinegar Sauce
Combine all ingredients in the cleaned pot. Press Warm; set timer for 15 minutes and press Start. Bring to a simmer; cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, shred pork with your fingers. Serve with vinegar sauce.

Bon Appetit Collection
Pressure Cooker Recipe

3 Responses to “Pulled Pork at the Bon Appetit Kitchen”

  1. jenna

    Yummy, I’m glad you shared the pulled pork recipe. I would like to try it but don’t have a pressure cooker. I guess you could bake it?


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