For decades we knew Coleman Natural for its high quality, all natural beef.
The company no longer purveys beef, but instead sells a wide variety of chicken, turkey and pork products, both natural and organic; no antibiotics, hormones or steroids, all vegetarian feed, all natural ingredients, no nitrates or nitrites, free range and gluten free.
Recently we were introduced to their pulled pork, made in the sweet Southern style with a barbecue sauce that includes Budweiser beer.
It was served to us in tortilla chip cups (photo #2). The snack-or-appetizer is finger-licking good and simple to put on the table.
Just spoon some pulled pork from the package (room temperature or warmed) into a platter of tortilla cups, and watch them disappear.
Alternatively, you can serve the pulled pork on nachos, with the addition of cheese and a jalapeño slice.
Or, you can set up a DIY appetizer stand and let people scoop their own, with their toppings of choice. All you need:
We used the pulled in a number of ways, with various garnishes.
One of the garnishes is a trio of toppings that we call “the fixings”: grated cheddar or jack, scallions and sour cream
Pulled pork is a preparation that originated in the South, where barbecued meats are a staple.
It is made using barbecued pork shoulder (also called Boston butt, Boston shoulder, picnic shoulder or pork butt).
The shoulder is an inexpensive cut that becomes tender after a long period of cooking over low heat*.
After emerging from the slow cooker, the meat is shredded (pulled) manually*, then mixed with a barbecue sauce, which can differ by region (see them here).
The pork is often served on a roll, or on a plate with coleslaw.
Fusion food: Carnitas, popular in Mexican cuisine, is pulled pork with different accents—beans, cilantro and onions, with guacamole replacing the coleslaw.
But first came this cultural event:
Europeans were introduced to what we now call barbecued foods, when Spanish explorers first arrived in Guyana around 1499.
There they saw the Arawak natives building a smoky fire to smoke their game†. The Spanish, who brought pigs with them, used the process to smoked their meat.
Later, as pork became a main meat for colonials in the Southern U.S., barbecue became a popular way to enjoy it.
*Long, slow cooking softens the connective tissue in the meat, making it so tender that it almost falls apart before it needs to be pulled.
†Our word “barbecue” comes from barbacoa, the Spanish adaptation of the word barabicu from the Taino people of Guyana (a related term is jerky, derived from the Quechua [Inca language] term charqui). Barabicu referred to a rack made of wood on which meat is roasted over flames from wood or charcoal. While drying meat is the oldest method of preserving it (e.g., jerky), a smoky fire kept the insects at bay, which further helped in the preservation of the meat.