Introduction: BBQ "Pulled Pork" Jackfruit in the Bread Machine!
This is a "pulled pork" style sandwich, with a barbecue sauce, that can be prepared in a bread machine.
The base ingredient is Jackfruit, making this a vegetarian or vegan option that can hold its own in any summer cookout, without needing much active time or attention, and can be easily prepared separately.
This is a very flexible recipe and can be altered very easily, to fit any dietary preferences or palate requirements.
1 bread machine with a "jam" cycle
1 can "young" or "green" jackfruit in water
Sauce of choice (more completely detailed below)
toppings of choice -
Sliced Cheddar cheese
Step 1: What Is Jackfruit?
To misquote Douglas Adams:
"Jackfruit is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think watermelons and pumpkins are big, but that's just peanuts to Jackfruit."
Ok, that's an exaggeration but jackfruit is the largest fruit, and the fruits can get to be over 100 pounds. Jackfruit is so big that it is sometimes brought up as a possible solution to world hunger. It's also quite nutritious, with lots of protein and vitamins.
The fruit is typically served in two ways- the first is to let it fully ripen, and serve it sweet and custardy, and the second is to harvest it "green" or "young", and use it for its mild flavor and denser texture.
Young jackfruit is often compared to Tofu in that it takes the flavor of what it is cooked with well, and that's what we do in this recipe.
It is from tropical regions in Asia, so you can find it markets or grocery stores sections that feature subcontinental selections.
Here in the United States, you'll probably only be able to find it canned, though I hear it is becoming more popular as it becomes more widely known.
(pictures in this section from the wikimedia collection of jackfruit)
Step 2: Why Use a Bread Machine?
It is more common than ever to have parties where guests may need to have their food prepared separately. They may be vegetarians or vegans, or they may have a food allergy, or they may have a need to avoid cross-contamination with other foods. For that reason, it is very convenient to have a way to prepare a dish in a self contained fashion that won't interact with other cooking.
In this case, you can prepare a barbecue dish that will please, but can be isolated away from other items (such as meat.) The dish will not come into contact with a grill or pan that might be cause for concern, and you can serve the final sandwich to your guest knowing that there are no worries.
Using a bread machine allows you to be very "hands off" and focus on other elements, while still achieving the goal of cooking an excellent meal. Your guests won't feel like they are getting an afterthought when the taste this, though!
Step 3: Make the Sauce
If you just want to revel in the joy of having a machine make your dinner without too much work, you can also just use a premade sauce, and it will work just as well.
Or, you can make a sauce adjusted to your taste
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbs vinegar
2 tbs water
1 tsp worchestshire sauce
1 tbs mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
hot pepper sauce to taste.
You'll note that my list does not include two important ingredients- sugar and salt.
There is no sugar because I prefer my sauce to be unsweetened, and I feel the ketchup adds plenty of sugar. But if you want a more classic BBQ taste, then I recomemnd you add
4 tbs brown sugar
There is no salt because the jackfruit I used was packed in brine, and that adds more than enough salt to the overall dish. If your jackfruit is fresh or packed in water, then I recomend you add
1/2 tsp salt.
Step 4: Combine in the Machine
Drain and rinse the jackfruit, and add it to the pan. Add your sauce with it. If you make this recipe as is, no need to do anything else. If you double it, you may need to make sure that the jackfruit is evenly distributed in the pan so it will all be mixed by the paddles.
We'll use the "Jam" cycle on your bread machine to both heat the jackfruit, and to stir it. Over time, the heat will soften the green jackfruit and the action of the spinning paddles will cause it to shred, ending up with a result that is very like pulled pork.
The exact time to cook will be dependent on your machine, but will take at least 30 minutes. The longer you cook it, the more it will break down, and the more sauce it will absorb. The upper limit is probably two hours- after that, and it will start to turn to mush.
Jackfruit gets tougher the closer it gets to the core, so you will end up with some chunks that don't get the characteristic "stringy" look of pulled pork. Typical advice is to use 2 forks to tear the chunks apart, but that can scratch your pan. (nearly all bread machine pans are non-stick and will react badly to metal forks). I use a wooden dowel or a silicon spatula to just smash the chunks and it works well enough.
You can also use the forks to shred it after you take it out the pan.
Step 5: Why Not Toast Your Buns While You Wait?
This step is entirely optional, but I feel like it adds both the the texture of the sandwich, and also adds some resilience to the bread so it can hold more saucy jackfruit.
In the final 10-15 minutes of the cooking process, begin warming up your oven to 300-350 degrees F. It will only take a few minutes in the oven to lightly toast the buns.
(While it is possible to use your bread machine as a toaster, I think it would end up steaming the buns if you tried to do this at the same time as you cook the jackfruit.)
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!
To accompany my Barbecued Jack fruit sandwich, I added a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, and some thinly sliced pickled carrots.
The sharp cheddar, the sour pickles, and the tangy barbecue result in a flavor profile that is on the tart side, but not overpoweringly sour.
Texture-wise, the smooth cheese is a good contrast to the crunchy carrots and the jackfruit is toothsome without being chewy.
My wife enjoyed it, and says that it is a fine replacement for actual pulled pork, which I have never had.
(The pickled carrots were made using the techniques from Lesson 4 of the "Canning and Preserving Class", and are easy to make.)
Participated in the
Sandwich Challenge 2020