Baked BBQ Pulled Pork Egg Rolls
At my last job, there was a barbecue joint in our complex. It wasn’t the type of place that you can roll on up to during lunch and get a plate to go. This guy had a kind of store front where you could buy fresh packed or frozen ribs, pulled pork, beans, and his sauce and take home with you to heat up for you/your family, but did a lot of catering. Apparently barbecue for weddings is big out here, or something. I don’t know. His stuff is damn good, though. Due to the fact that he knew I worked in the same complex, I got a good deal when I bought from him. Last 4th of July, I went in to buy a pack of pulled pork, a small container of beans, and a rack of ribs. He gave me two racks and discounted the price deeply. We ended up only making one of the ribs and the beans, so the other rack and the pulled pork went into the freezer. And continued to get pushed further and further back with each new thing we bought and put on the “meat shelf”. Until this weekend.
I picked up Aida Mollenkamp’s “Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook” earlier this week and I really enjoyed reading through it. She includes some helpful information that I will definitely remember for future endeavors. Besides being a good, informative read, it lit a fire under my butt to start de-cluttering my kitchen. Our fridge and freezers are disaster zones. The basement freezer is full of who knows what. The fridge upstairs is packed full of The Fellow™ beer and other random items stored willy nilly; groceries get shoved wherever they fit when I get home from the store. I don’t have time to organize and alphabetize things. The upstairs freezer… oh, let’s not even talk about that. Suffice it to say, the amount of food I ended up tossing because it was far past an expiration date, succumbed to freezer burn, or was some failed experiment that I couldn’t bear to throw away at the time so it ended up in the freezer instead, was disheartening – to say the least – and made me feel like wasteful wench.
Items I found in the upstairs freezer that I completely forgot existed were the rack of ribs and pulled pork that, despite their awkward shapes. I could have easily fired up the grill and thrown the ribs on for a delicious near-burnt delicacy of pig parts slathered in barbecue sauce, but I decided I wanted a challenge. I needed to be more adventurous. Insofar as, something I haven’t done before.
That something ended up being baked egg rolls. With pig parts slathered in sauce. And other things I found in the fridge that needed to be used up.
The end result turned in to this awesome mix of spicy and salty with a hint of sweet. I like my barbecue sauce with a kick. Sweet sauces can get the eff out of my kitchen. I picked up a bottle of Weber Kick’N Spicy BBQ Sauce a couple weeks back for who knows what reason. I’ve yet to make a batch of sauce from scratch that I liked, so until I find a winning combination of flavors, store bought is my only way to go. Especially since barbecue sauce isn’t something we use in or alongside many dishes these days. I’m quite pleased with Weber’s stuff. I would recommend it to someone who’s looking to try something new and doesn’t have the time or energy to make their own. Alternatively, if you have a sauce recipe you make that you swear by, do share.
The wonderful thing about this particular dish is that the ingredients are interchangeable. If you don’t like zucchini, you don’t need to use it! If you don’t have bell peppers on hand, find something else to stuff them full! This particular concoction included pulled pork, kidney beans, orange and yellow bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, corn, and a touch of barbecue sauce to hold it all together, with a quick external olive oil bath for good measure (and crispiness) while they bake.
Baked BBQ Pulled Pork Egg Rolls
8 egg roll wrappers
1 pound pulled pork
1/2 cup Weber’s Kick’N Spicy BBQ Sauce
3/4 cup carrot, shredded
3/4 cup zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup bell peppers, shredded or thinly sliced
1 cup corn
1 1/2 cups kidney beans
1. Heat oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
2. Set out an egg roll wrapper diagonally on a flat work surface. Brush the center of the wrap with barbecue sauce with light flourishes toward the edges. Don’t saturate the wrap, but don’t skimp either.
3. Arrange the pulled pork in a line in the center, extending from about 3/4″ from the west and east edges of the wrap. Add shredded carrot, zucchini, and bell peppers. Sprinkle with corn and beans. Be sure to distribute the ingredients fairly evenly, with a slight emphasis on the center more than the edges. (You’ll learn why as you start to roll)
4. Fold the southern tip of the wrap north and tuck the edge under the ingredients. Bring in the west and east sides to fold into the center, making sure to be mindful the corners the folds create are locked in tightly; otherwise ingredients can slip out. Roll the wrap north toward the remaining open end. Wet the very tip and press firmly against the bulk of the egg roll, sealing the pocket. Do this for the other 7.
5. Arrange all 8 egg rolls on the prepared baking sheet. Don’t let them touch each other. Brush olive oil on the tops lightly, and put in to oven for 10 minutes. The bottoms will start to crisp. Flip them over and let the other side crisp up for another 7-10 minutes.
Serve with a side of barbecue sauce for dipping or brush tops with a bit of barbecue sauce.
Contents are VERY hot and will take quite a few minutes to cool.