When I moved to Australia 8 months ago I did not foresee my palate-lag. I arrived 4 days before Thanksgiving and promptly made a big traditional dinner. Never mind the fact that it was 80°F, humid, and the food sat in our stomachs like a heavy brick. Throughout the Australian summer I made chili and soup, the warm and hearty dishes I typically craved in December and January. Now that we are in the middle our our southern winter I can’t stop myself from daydreaming and craving barbecues and fresh fruits. This little dish is my attempt to get over my palate-lag with the BBQ taste made inside on the stove top, perfect for a winter supper.

Severin Rosen, Still Life with Strawberries, (c. 1848-1870)
40.6 x 50.8 cm, oil on fabric, Private collection

Severin Rosen was a German immigrant who is known as one of the major mid-nineteenth century American still life painters. Rosen’s work featured very similar subject matter, typically fruits, sometimes flowers, arranged on a tabletop with a dark background. Some paintings were so similar that they were almost duplicates with only a few elements of the composition altered. The strawberries on a footed platter is a common motif found on several canvases. His controlled brushstrokes created a smooth finish which along with the balance of light and dark, hearkened back to 17th century Dutch still life paintings (1).

Barbecue sauce has two different theories as to its origin. Some people say that it dates back to the 15th century when Christopher Columbus brought a sauce back from the New World and other say it originated during the American colonialist era (2). Louis Mall Co produced the very first commercial version in St. Louis that was made unusual through the addition of anchovies (3). Regional variations include the East Carolina Sauce, Lexington Dip, South Carolina Mustard Sauce with a slew of variations in between. In my recipe I nodded to Australia with my inclusion of worcestershire sauce.

{Strawberry BBQ Pulled Pork}

adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

1 medium boneless pork shoulder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 TB vegetable oil
4 cups strawberries, quartered
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
8 buns

Trim the pork and remove fat (if left on the sauce will be very greasy). Season the pork with salt and pepper and place in a large cast iron pot that has been heated with oil. Brown the pork on all of the sides.

Add half of the strawberries, the ketchup, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover with lid and let cook for 2 hours until the pork is tender.

Remove the pork and skim the fat from the sauce and add remaining chopped strawberries. Cover pork with tin foil while you bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to two cups. Shred the pork with two forks and add half of the sauce.

Serve pork on the bun topped with some of the reserved strawberry BBQ sauce.