Here was the problem: I needed dinner ready by 7:15 p.m. But I was going to be out of the house for the two hours before that.
Further complicating things, I had a pork tenderloin that I wanted to turn into pulled pork. But my typical stovetop method of braising it until it falls apart wouldn’t work if I wasn’t there to keep an eye on the pot. And I hadn’t planned far enough ahead (welcome to my world) to have time to use the slow cooker.
The solution? Braising the pork in the oven. It’s faster than a slow cooker — but equally hands-off — yet far gentler than stovetop cooking. And along the way, I discovered a whole new — and so very effortless — way to make a rich sauce for my pork that had the added benefit of slipping in some vegetables.
It actually was pretty simple. I brought a blend of white wine and chicken broth to a simmer, then added chopped butternut squash, sliced onion and my pork tenderloin. I returned the whole thing to a simmer, then popped the pot in the oven and walked away for two hours.
By the time I got home, the pork was so tender it was falling apart. So were the vegetables. So I used a slotted spoon to fish out the pork, then I pureed the squash and onion. Add barbecue sauce and the pork (which was so tender it pretty much pulled itself) and I had a vegetable-rich barbecue pulled pork.
The sauce was incredible, in part because the squash gave it a great natural sweetness, as well as a velvety texture.