For those who are new to a plant based diet, or miss the taste of certain animal products, faux meat is really quite a godsend. Not everyone gives up animal products for the same reason. In fact, whenever I speak with people about giving up animal products, a huge issue for them is taste. They feel that without meat products, their diet lacks something. Luckily, there are dozens of companies who are out to make their lives easier; you can purchase vegan deli slices, burgers, ribs, chicken, veggie sausages, almost anything you can possibly fathom, there is someone out there who makes a better tasting vegan version.
Personally, I try to avoid processed products when I can. While some of these products taste fantastic, I prefer to try and reach my daily intake of fruits and vegetables before turning to an abundance of soy and gluten products. So, when I learned about Jack Fruit, I was very excited to try my hand at “pulled pork.”
I went off to my favourite Asian grocery, and picked up a can of young jackfruit, in water. I’m told that some jackfruit is very sweet and meant for dessert, so be sure to purchase young jackfruit. I then rinsed and drained it very well, as it had kind of a vinegary taste to it. The next part was really fun. I basically played with it in my hands until it took on a shredded, stringier consistency. There will be harder pieces in the center, and i squished those down too, although some people might prefer to throw it out.
At the same time, I sauteed an onion and some garlic in a pan. Added the jack fruit, and my favourite spices, and cooked for about ten minutes. Towards the end, I whipped up a homemade vegan barbecue sauce, and let this bubble a little bit until it thickened up and coated everything. (One thing I think was crucial, is that I omitted the vinegar usually required in my barbecue sauce recipe, just to offset any of the vinegar like taste that was in the jackfruit). I then transferred this mixture to my slow cooker, and let it cook up for a couple hours while I prepared some parsnip and yam fries, garlic rosemary aoli, and a salad. I may or may not have also caught up on Walking Dead at this time.
Behold, my dinner this past Sunday night. Granted, this was waaay too much food, but I am pretty excited about this recipe and to share it when it is complete, hopefully in cookbook form. Really, I am just working on thickening the barbecue sauce a little more, so you guys can keep it and store it in a mason jar for later use too! I am stoked on this simple, pseudo meat recipe that doesn’t require one to fill up on tons of starchy carbs and fried greasy food comas. High fives for jackfruit.