Creole Barbecue Pork with Maque Choux

I first made a version of this Creole Barbecue Pork a couple of years ago, when I was blogging about my pre-wedding weight loss plan. It was The 8 Month Challenge, as it I rather grandly titled it, that first gave me the food blogging bug. Though looking back many of the early posts were little more than a daily food diary. Some with a calorie and step count added as a bit of a footnote. Others with an apology (to myself) for not sticking to the plan and overindulging on the day in question.

Although the first month or so was a bit light on public content I was sufficiently organised to keep private notes on the recipes that I liked. The recipe below being one of them, even though there’s nothing particularly special about it. You can probably tell that from the photos. Indeed, Michael kindly described them as “looking a bit like buffet food”. In fairness he does have a point. But as is often said, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

For what it lacks in beauty this Creole Barbecue Pork more than makes up in its comforting flavour. It’s not complex and it’s not challenging – it’s just really tasty. The creole spices and paprika bring a nice warmth, without making it too spicy. The sugar and tomatoes bring some sweetness, that is nicely balanced by the cider vinegar. This isn’t a sticky and gloopy barbecue sauce, rather it’s light and fresh – perfect against the tender pork. As a bonus it’s relatively low in calories for a decent sized portion. Served with some rice or a plain baked potato it would make for a healthy filling meal.

But of course, being me I couldn’t just pair it with something simple. That’s where the Maque Choux comes in! I’m going to guess that it’s something you’ve not heard of before, unless you’ve been to Louisiana. I certainly hadn’t until fairly recently. We don’t really serve sweetcorn as a side dish all that often in the UK, so it’s no surprise that Maque Choux isn’t well known here. But once you make it you’ll soon be looking for excuses to add it to any meal. I’m already planning ahead to a summer barbecue as I write this!!!

It’s little wonder it tastes so good. It combines the sweetness and crunch of the corn with that of peppers and onions, all of which are cooked in bacon fat. As has been said many times, by many people, there are few dishes that can’t be improved by the addition of bacon. Just in case that wasn’t quite enough a little splash of crème fraîche is added towards the end of cooking. It adds a bit of luxury without being too heavy, but also ties all of the other flavours together.

You can’t tell me you’re not tempted to try it now…



Creole Barbecue Pork

This lightly spiced barbecue pork has all of the comforting flavours without any of the stickiness of more traditional bbq sauce recipes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Marinating Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Pork
Servings: 4
Calories: 456kcal

Ingredients

  • 700 g Pork Shoulder Steaks cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3 tsp Smoked Paprika Pimentón
  • 1 tsp Creole or Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp English Mustard Powder
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 350 g Passata Rustica or Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 250 ml Good Quality Chicken Stock

Instructions

Marinate the Pork

  • Put the pork into a bowl. Mix together the spices, sugar, vinegar and vegetable oil then pour over the pork. Stir until the meat is well coated with the marinade, then cover and put into the fridge to marinate for an hour.

Cook the Pork

  • Heat a deep frying pan over a medium high heat. Pour the pork and marinade into the pan, then stir-fry for 5-10 minutes until the pork is browned all over.
  • Pour in the passata rustica and chicken stock, then stir until well mixed. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat until just bubbling.
  • Loosely cover the pan and cook for a further 45 mins, stirring occasionally, until the pork is cooked through and tender.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Estimated Values per Serving
Energy1,907kJ
456kcal
Fat31g
of which Saturates8g
Carbohydrates12g
of which Sugars10g
Fibre2g
Protein28g
Sodium1,527mg
Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.

Maque Choux

The ultimate sweetcorn side dish – enhanced with peppers, bacon and crème fraîche. What's not to love about that?
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Side Dishes
Servings: 4
Calories: 201kcal

Ingredients

  • 100 g Pancetta Cubes or smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 medium Onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper deseeded and chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper deseeded and chopped
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 200 ml Good Quality Chicken Stock
  • 250 g Sweetcorn
  • 2 Spring Onions sliced
  • 1 tbsp Crème fraîche

Instructions

  • Heat a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the edges are turning crisp and the fat has rendered out into the pan. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon leaving as much fat behind as possible.
  • Turn the heat up slightly and add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes until softened and starting to turn translucent.
  • Add the chopped peppers to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, followed by the salt, cayenne pepper and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and allow the liquid to reduce by half.
  • Return the cooked pancetta to the pan, along with the sweetcorn and spring onions. Stir through the other ingredients until well mixed, ensuring they’re well coated with the stock.
  • When the vegetables are heated through and the stock mostly evaporated add the crème fraîche and stir to coat the other ingredients. Cook for a further minute or so before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Estimated Values per Serving
Energy841kJ
201kcal
Fat12g
of which Saturates4g
Carbohydrates19g
of which Sugars7g
Fibre4g
Protein8g
Sodium114mg
Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.

Scott Silverthorn

Hi, I’m Scott. I love cooking food and I love eating it - both useful credentials for writing a food blog! I get a lot of joy from sharing my passion with my friends and family, so here's hoping you enjoy it too.

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