Pulled pork is everywhere these days. And for good reason– I mean, I love the stuff as much as the next person! But as delicious as it is, let’s be real: neither my bank account nor my general health can afford to cook this as often as the internet would tell me to.
(Did I mention I’m not actually a vegan? You’ll find lots of amazing vegan recipes here, but I’d better warn you now that this is not a vegan blog.)
(Did I make a mistake starting off talking about pulled pork when today is actually about lentils? Bear with me; I promise you won’t regret it.)
Running a vegan kitchen at work, I found myself enticed into the world of slow cooker pulled… somethings. I spent a while last winter trying to puzzle out the perfect vegan option to grant us entry into the world of the messy, heavenly, juicy sandwich. Chickpeas came in a close second, but lentils live at the perfect intersection of texture and taste to really suit a homemade barbecue sauce.
Here’s the kicker: they’re already tiny, so no shredding required! You literally just chuck all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, switch it on low, and walk away as the flavours explode behind you. You are every badass Hollywood hero ever, walking unscathed from the chaos. Okay, maybe that’s a little much, but what I’m saying is that this is so easy to make.
Note: the “almost-vegan” aspect of this is the Worcestershire sauce, which is made with anchovies. Use a vegan Worcestershire if you can find one, or just omit it to achieve a fully vegan-friendly dish.
Give it a stir every few hours if you’re around and bored, but otherwise just come back 8-10 hours later to find all of the liquid absorbed and the lentils beginning to fall apart, and you are in business.
Remember this guy? Yesterday’s Sweet and Sour Vegan Slaw is so ready to be the tangy, crunchy textural counterpoint your lentils are longing for. Just find a roll or two (or bake them while your lentils are simmering, if you’re feeling fancy), pile on a healthy spoonful of barbecue lentils and a good bit of slaw, and boom. Dinner.
Today’s photos provided by the incredibly-talented D.J. McMillan, my kitchen right-hand-lady and the keeper of my sanity these past few months… thanks, Deej!
Slow Cooker Almost-Vegan Barbecue Lentil Sandwiches
1 cube vegetable stock
3/4 cup (180g) ketchup
1/2 cup (120ml) apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup (30ml) Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup (30ml) soy sauce
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp mild chili powder (use more or non-mild chili powder to add a kick!)
1 tbsp ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced (or use 1/4 tsp garlic powder and avoid any prep work!)
2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
2 cups water
Dump all ingredients in a slow cooker, give it a stir, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.