I used to be a meat eater and I have a laundry list of foods that I enjoyed. Most of the time it’s the flavor, which can be pretty easily recreated in sauces, etc. But sometimes it’s the flavor/texture combination, and that’s the case with pulled pork (or any pulled meat). There are substitutes that you can buy in the store, but they are stuffed with soy and wheat gluten and what’s the fun in store bought?
One thing that really facinates me about vegetarian cooking is figuring out how to create classics (or substitutes for classics) using just veggies and not the meat substitutes you find in the store. Especially for sandwiches because you end up with a wheat on wheat experience which leaves you feeling super stuffed.
This recipe came to mind when I had some people over at my house for a barbecue and I was tired of the standard veggie burgers and wanted to do something different. I had recently become familiar with the oyster mushroom and had the aha moment when I realized that you could “peel” them and get strings of mushroom. This takes some time, especially with 2 pounds of mushrooms, but when cooked down this resembles the pulled meat texture and mushrooms are awesome at soaking up flavor flavs so it seemed like the perfect fit.
I cooked it in the 3-quart part of the Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Combo Cooker (which is awesome BTW) that I found out about from The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss (also awesome). I think the cast iron gave it a nice additional flavor, but it would also work in a regular pot or slow cooker.
What do you think?? What did you change? Did the carnivores respond? Did this totally suck? Let me know below!
Note, if you are a lazy meat eater, this is a great way to get that similar pulled pork texture and taste in an hour instead of 6 hours!
Vegan "Pulled Pork" Sandwiches
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 2 pounds oyster mushrooms shredded/pulled into strips
- 2 medium yellow onions sliced
- 4 jalapeno peppers seeded and sliced
- 1 cup BBQ sauce make sure it's vegan!
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp thyme dry
- 1/4 tbsp garlic poweder
Heat up oil in large cast iron pan (or pot) and saute onions and peppers for about 7 minutes on medium heat until some browning occurs.
Stir in pulled mushrooms until they are well mixed in with the peppers and onions. You might need to do this in a couple phases depending on the size of your pot.
Add barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, thyme and garlic powder.
Stir all ingredients together and cook for about 20 minutes over medium-low heat stirring occasionally. You can keep them like this for even longer if you need/want to.
Serve on a soft bun (I used sourdough rolls from the far mar). if you want you can butter the inside of the bun for some extra decadence and you can also add sandwich pickles if that tickles your fancy