I’m on board the cauliflower train! Cauliflower is everywhere lately: it’s replacing pizza crust, mashed potatoes, fried rice, buffalo wings, burger patties and even steaks (yes, steaks!)
It’s an amazing substitute not only for vegetarians, but also for people looking to cut back on carbs or just sneak more veggies into their diet!
I searched high and low for a vegetarian answer to pulled pork, seeing as how it’s seemingly the most popular food on the planet lately, but couldn’t really find what I was looking for. I found a few recipes in which various food bloggers had created “patties” out of their cauliflower, smothered them in barbecue sauce, and topped them with onions. Delicious though they may be, patties weren’t really what I was going for: I wanted to mimic the look and texture of pulled pork too, not just the flavour.
So I went out on a limb and experimented with my own recipe, and I’m pleased to report that it turned out great! Not only did I love them, but so did my non-vegetarian boyfriend! (How badly can you truly eff something up when it’s drowning in barbecue sauce anyhow?)
What you’ll need:
- 1 head of cauliflower, roughly cut into large florets.
- 1 half red onion, cut in strips
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp crushed chilis
- 1/4 tsp hot salt (I used: Amola Molten Hot Salt)
- 1 tsp garlic plus
- 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Olive oil for coating and sautéing, as needed
- About 1/4 cup water* See step 4
- About 3/4 cup BBQ sauce of choice* See step 4 (I used: The Boss of Sauce in “Snowball Effect”)
1) In a large nonstick skillet, combine onion, garlic and a splash of olive oil. Sauté until tender, (about 5 minutes.)
2) In a large mixing bowl, lightly sprinkle cauliflower florets with oil and add dry seasonings. Toss to coat.
3) Add freshly seasoned cauliflower florets to onion/garlic mixture in skillet, continue to sauté…
4) In the meantime, whisk together BBQ sauce and water. This ratio may change depending on the thickness of your BBQ sauce. You want to end up with one cup total, and a light “hotsauce” consistency, so use your best judgement. (My sauce doubles as a marinade and is already quite liquified.) Pour into skillet, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until sauce is reduced. For extra colour/texture, turn up heat and cook for 2-3 more minutes once simmered.
*You can test the consistency of your cauliflower by removing a piece from the skillet and shredding it with a fork. Ideally, it should result in a shredded, stringy texture not unlike pulled meat. If the cauliflower is too firm, continue to simmer, checking it periodically.
5) Remove lid and shred florets using 2 forks.