It's National Vegetarian Week in the UK!
I'm kicking it off with Sage & Apple 'pulled pork' Jackfruit. Great BBQ food for our 'great' British Summer. Did I say great? I meant grey. I should have said grey. It's just..grey (So far anyway). BUT, I'm ever the optimist. Anyway, this dish doesn't need sun. It does beg to be shared.
Please, carnivore BBQ'rs. No more bland freezer veggie burgers! Serve this to your veggie friends. The meat eaters will no doubt want some, so make extra. I want to show you that plant based food is delicious AND easy. The bonus is it is very low fat, low carb and is a good choice for protein.
What you will need
1 tin young green jackfruit, in brine (buy from Asian stores or online).
1 diced onion
1 apple chopped into 8 pieces (1/2..1/2 again, 1/2 again)
1/4 cup water
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs sage (or 1 tsp chopped fresh sage)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
olive oil for frying
Put a small amount of oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onions and sprinkle over the salt. Mix. Add a lid and gently sauté until soft.
Open the jackfruit can and drain the contents. The chunks are in triangular pieces. Cut off the bottom V where the core attaches to the outer. This will allow the pieces to stew and take on the look of pulled pork (but do put all the pieces in the pan).
Add the jackfruit. The chopped apple and herbs to the onions. Add the water. Stir and keep the heat on a low simmer, without the lid, for 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat. Allow the stew to cool a little. It is best to leave over night, for jackfruit to take on the fullest flavour. But, don't worry if you can't.
Now, you can stop there. The stew is lovely with creamy mashed potato, and/or sautéed french beans. But, if you want a more intense flavour more akin to something you'd find in a bun then lets continue. Turn on the oven. 250 c or Gas mark 8.
Step 4 (optional)
This step is to bake most of the water out of the stew and make it dryer. Intensifying the flavour. At this point you can add a chilli sauce and 1 tbs extra of balsamic vinegar or tamari. Or your favourite BBQ sauce, if you like that sweet, caramel, salty and hot flavour.
Take a high sided baking sheet. Gently transfer the stew to the baking sheet and spread it out. Bake for 20-30 mins. Keep a watch on it though. Move the stew around with a spoon, and make sure it all gets its time at the top. It will dehydrate. Keep tasting it and see what level of dryness you want to take it. It will also get more chewy. More like jerky.
Serve with an apple, cabbage coleslaw. Throw on some chopped green/salad/ onions (scallions). Some rocket (arugula) and fresh herbs from your garden.
What are you doing for National Vegetarian Week? Don't be shy, let us know in the comments below.
If you need some ideas, here is a list of events from the Vegetarian Society UK.