All the amazing flavors of pulled pork stuffed inside a cheesy portabella mushroom!
Pulled pork is one of those things that one cannot make just enough of for a single dinner. I feel it’s impossible. Regardless of how you plan it, you’ll always have a bunch leftover which, if I can be candid, doesn’t suck. I puffy heart pulled pork! Well okay let me clarify that, I puffy heart AMAZING pulled pork.
Pulled pork for me is defined by 2 things:
- The type of pork used/how tender/how fatty it is; and
- The sauce. It’s all about that sauce.
I find the best pulled pork comes from the butt or shoulder. It has the most flavor and, when cooked, produces the best texture. Next is the sauce. I’m seriously all about the sauce. Every sauce has a purpose though I’ll be completely honest I still don’t get the whole Carolina sauce with all the vinegar. It’s not me. I don’t like a sweet sauce per se but I don’t want to drink vinegar. But hey I’m open to having my mind changed on this. I can only go by the sauces I had while I stayed in NC for work. Plus full disclosure I like a sauce that is thick and not watery. It’s me, not you.
So as I was saying I can’t just make enough pulled pork for a single dinner or even one that lasts 2 nights. It just impossible for me. Like when I made my Ultimate Pressure Cooker BBQ Coke Pulled Pork, I had enough for like 18 meals. Thus the is why I posted about BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos. I had pork in the freezer, pork in the fridge for sandwiches AND still had pork that I had no clue what to do with. But like I said, I was totally OK with that as I love pulled pork. Oh and for those that are wondering – yes you can totally use pulled chicken or beef in this recipe!
Making these are super simple, really as it’s just a few ingredients though you can totally go crazy on it. I would say go with however big your mushroom caps are. If you have the ginormous ones, make this your meal! I’ve done it. I just wanted to go with a dish that could be used for game night, Sunday football, poker with the fellas or summer cookouts! Yes, if you have a grill, you can TOTALLY make these on the grill! Hello Traeger, I REALLY want to work you with you people! *hint hint* Lol
Cleaning out the shrooms
Now one thing I have to mention about working with these is have to remove the stem and remove the gills. The stems you can totally chop up small and save for soup or another dish or, if you want, use it in here. The gills though, definitely remove them. To clean out the mushrooms, gently twist off or cut off the stem of each mushroom. Grab a mushroom in one hand and cradle it. Use a soup spoon in your other hand to scrape the gills off, moving in circular path, right around the portabello. The gills will come out very easily, so you don’t need a lot of pressure – in fact, push too hard and you may go right through the mushroom; so tread lightly, and if needed you can go back over it a second time. The gills are edible but for this recipe you need the space. And let’s be real, if I have to choose between mushroom gills and cheese/pulled pork – yeah, no brainer!
It’s funny as I’m almost embarrassed to post this recipe as it’s one of those “seriously, this is so simple I bet everyone does this” recipes. But in case you don’t, enjoy! I know Mr. Fantabulous was in awe of what I had created. He’s funny when it comes to mushrooms and stuffing them. Like he loves them on steak or burgers but as a meal he’s confused. He’s kind of old school when it comes to his meals – meat, potato, vegetable and dessert. He’s definitely come a long, LONG, way but when I give him a curve ball of everything in a single meal (like this) he’s almost searching for the rest of it. Whereas I, would totally be content with this as a meal.
So while this was my lunch, these were his sides to a bacon cheese burger. Hey, whatever makes him happy; right?!
Know what makes me happy? THESE! Seriously they were better than I had even imagined! The mushrooms were so tender but firm enough that you could either bite straight into them or slice with a knife and fork if you were a delicate little flower. I, started off as a delicate little flower, but as they cooled pretty much threw those away and ate them as a finger food! The smaller ones are totally poppable while the medium-sized ones you can either bite or cut – your choice!
To me, mushrooms really have no taste, or at most they are earthy. No not dirt, but earthy. However something happens to mushrooms when you cook them or add them with other ingredients. They tend to develop this umami flavor. Remember when I spoke about Umami in this post? Umami is that 5th taste that is one that you can’t quite place your finger on but you know it’s what made the dish amazing? Well mushrooms tend to give a dish a umami flavor. It’s savory and just well-rounded. Now my pulled pork is EPIC but when I put it in these mushrooms and baked it. OH SWEET LORD! It make it just so much …more! Now that doesn’t mean I would add mushrooms to every thing else I make, no but it just balances out the dish so well and gives it that little je ne sais quoi!
But for me, I’m sticking with the shrooms! These can be eaten straight from the oven or even at room temp. I wouldn’t make these up ahead of time as mushrooms are high in water and I wouldn’t want them to turn mushy before you bake them.
How will you incorporate these into your next party or meal? I’m thinking the next cookout we have or go to, these would be perfect!Print
- 2 pounds medium size portabella caps, stems and gills removed *See note on how to clean
- 1 1/2 cups Pulled Pork
- 1/2–3/4 cup bbq sauce
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar; divided
- 3 green onions, chopped
- Olive oil for misting
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 400F, rack in the middle.
- On the tray place the mushroom caps, stem-side facing up. Place a Tbl of shredded cheese in, a tsp of bbq sauce, 1-2 Tbl of pulled pork, and one more tsp of bbq sauce The amount of ingredients you put in honestly depends on how large your caps are.
- Bake for 15 or until the mushrooms start to turn deep brown and they start to turn just slightly tender on the sides. Remove from the oven and remove the mushrooms carefully from the pan, and wipe the liquid from the pan. You do not want the bottoms to soak in the juices as they could get too soggy. Re-spray the pan with olive oil and place the partially cooked mushrooms on the pan. Top with the remaining cheese and bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. The mushrooms should be fork tender but not falling apart..
- Remove from the oven, place on a paper towel lined pan to soak up and liquid. Remove from the paper towel liner, plate and serve
To clean out the mushrooms, gently twist off or cut off the stem of each mushroom. Grab a mushroom in one hand and cradle it. Use a soup spoon in your other hand to scrape the gills off, moving in circular path, right around the portabello. The gills will come out very easily, so you don’t need a lot of pressure – in fact, push too hard and you may go right through the mushroom; so tread lightly, and if needed you can go back over it a second time. The gills are edible but for this recipe you need the space.