A Celebration of Smoked Pork: Sweet Potato Hashbrowns with Crispy Fried Pork
It’s the week before finals at the university (known as dead week not because you’re dead, but because you wish you were) and I don’t really have the time or the mental energy to right write an article at the moment. So, this week, I’m going to keep the words short and the food delicious for a special I’m calling “A Celebration of Smoked Pork.”
If you’ve ever smoked a huge piece of pork you know that it can be a struggle to find new and exciting ways to use the leftover meat besides ‘tossing it on a sandwich.’ You contemplate freezing it, throwing it out, feeding it to the dogs — none of which allow you to enjoy the wonders of smoked pork. In an effort to rid you (and me) of this problem, I present to you…
Sweet Potato Hashbrowns with Crispy Fried Pork (serves two hungry folks):
Very loosely adapted from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into cubes (size doesn’t matter.. they can be big or small.. just make sure they are cut evenly so they cook evenly)
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons reserved hickory smoked pork fat from smoked Boston butt (bacon fat can be substituted in a pinch, but expect there to be flavor consequences)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 cups pulled pork
- 1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce (something with a little tang and spice works well)
In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the pork fat over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add another tablespoon of the fat and add in the potatoes. Cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
In the now empty skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of fat and fry the pork until heated through and slightly crispy (this works best with room temperature pork). Just before serving, add the barbecue sauce to the pork and cook for 1 – 2 minutes. You want the sugar in the sauce to caramelize a bit, but you absolutely do not want it to burn.
Top the potatoes with the pork, sprinkle in the fresh thyme and parsley, and serve hot with arugula or your favorite side-salad.
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