Maybe we’re biased, but there’s nothing like that sweet spot between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Beach days are still a reality, as are weekend trips to Hudson Valley apple orchards. Before you know it, the leaves will begin to fall and seasonal festivals will return to the region. To celebrate the impending arrival of what’s arguably the Hudson Valley’s shining season, try out this scrumptious pulled pork sliders recipe featuring maple sugar from the Valley’s very own Crown Maple.
Serves 4 to 6
4 to 6 pounds boneless pork shoulder
½ cup good-quality bourbon
¼ cup Crown Maple sugar
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
¼ cup (60 ml) Crown Maple syrup (Dark Color, Robust Taste)
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Place the pork in a deep Dutch oven or roasting pan.
Mix the bourbon, maple sugar, spices, and salt in a bowl and pour all over the pork, turning to coat. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or foil and bake for 3 ¼ to 4 hours, checking its internal temperature halfway through. (The finished pulled pork should have an internal temperature of 195 to 200°F, and the texture will be right when the thermometer slides into the meat without resistance.)
Remove the pork from the oven, reserving the liquid, and transfer it to a cutting board. Let cool slightly, then shred the meat with two forks.
While the meat cools, cook down the remaining liquid in the Dutch oven over high heat for about 10 minutes, until it has slightly reduced and thickened. (If desired, whisk in the cornstarch to thicken.) Stir in the maple syrup and season with salt and black pepper to taste, then add the shredded meat and stir to coat with the sauce. Serve warm.