Inexact measurements and BBQ pork

I have a LOT of pork in my freezer. I’ve got lemon-pepper plans for some of it, but I needed something quick for dinner tonight, and I really wanted to use some of the pork (seriously, there are at least 6 pounds of it in my tiny little freezer).

I called my mum on the train ride home to ask about a BBQ pork dish she’d made when I was a kid, and she gave me the “recipe.” Uh-huh, that’s in quotes. Why? Because she didn’t tell me how much of any of the ingredients go into this, just listed them off and gave me the general guidelines that the sauce was “mostly BBQ, with a little bit of ketchup and even less water.”

With that to go on, I made some guesses about initial quantities, and adjusted the sauce as it cooked. Also, since I really can’t follow directions, I added an ingredient – heavy cream – to this recipe. I like what it did to the sauce.

BBQ pork, hanging out in the pan.

The recipe:

Measurement-free BBQ Pork
pork loin, cubed
BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s, or your favorite)
heavy cream
olive oil
garlic powder

Do This
Cut your pork loin into small (I’d guess 1/2 inch) cubes. Rub a bit of garlic powder, salt, and pepper into the pork. Drizzle some olive oil into a saute pan and brown (or whiten, I guess, since pork doesn’t really turn brown?) the pork cubes on all sides. Remove from heat.
In a medium (or large, if you’re using a lot of pork) saucepan over low heat, mix BBQ sauce, ketchup, and water. There should be a hefty amount of BBQ sauce, a few good squirts of ketchup, and only enough water to slightly thin out the sauce. Stir, and cook for a few minutes on medium heat. If the sauce is bubbling rapidly, it’s too hot.
Add a short glug of heavy cream, a shake or two of garlic powder, and as much salt and pepper as you feel like. Stir so that the cream and spices disappear into the sauce.
Add the pork, stirring so that all of the cubes are coated in sauce. Cook on medium for a few minutes, then lower the heat.
Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, for about a half hour. If the sauce begins to cook off too much, add a few more squirts of BBQ sauce and a little bit of ketchup. After about 30 minutes have passed, remove from heat and serve.

This is a definite “throw things in the pan indiscriminately” kind of food. I used about a pound of pork, and 30 minutes was just right – if you’re using more, you might need to increase the cooking time.

Taste the sauce as you go along (but be careful not to burn your mouth…not that I do that or anything) to make sure that the flavor is balanced. The ketchup and cream are in there to temper the BBQ sauce a bit; you still want to taste the pork, so a dominant BBQ flavor isn’t really the goal here.

I promise, there’s pork under that BBQ sauce.

Rachael Ray isn’t the only one who can do 30 minute meals!* Thanks, mum.

*In fairness, this isn’t a complete meal. However, biscuits can be baked and veggies can be prepared while the BBQ pork is hanging out on the stove, so I guess it could be part of a 30-minute meal?


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