I have only lived in the (true) South (Texas doesn’t really count) for about a year and a half. But its fair to say I have fully embraced the cuisine here, despite it’s tendency to be fried, covered in cheese, full of butter, and generally not-so-healthy. One of the things I love most here is the barbeque (I am my father’s daughter). In North Carolina, it’s all about pulled pork that has been slow cooked in a smoker and requires little to no accoutrements. Which is probably why I love to add pulled pork to just about anything. Like pizza!
My husband and I have actually been wanting to make a pulled pork pizza for some time, but hadn’t quite settled on the right recipe until recently. For some reason, I am a firm believer in adding veggies to pizza (or anything, really), but what veggies would you put on this pizza? Then my husband threw out the idea of putting cole slaw on top. And it was settled! We had our pulled pork pizza recipe!
I started with the pizza dough. I think the most important ingredient for bubbly, chewy, but a bit crispy pizza dough is the yeast. I start with a cup of warm water, stir in honey (or sugar), then sprinkle on the yeast. The yeast will start to foam, which is how you know it is good yeast. If there is no foam, your yeast is old and your dough won’t rise (keep it in the freezer to keep it fresh).
I used my basic pizza dough recipe, however I substituted corn meal in for the whole wheat flour to make it a bit more like corn bread. To me, that seems a bit more Southern, and it worked perfectly..
I let the dough rise until it doubled in size, then punched it down and let it rise once more. That second rise is not necessary. But I find that the dough is a bit more light and airy if it rises twice. Sometimes you just don’t have that kind of time, so one rise will do.
For this pizza, we decided to use our cast iron skillet instead of a pizza stone. The cast iron is great for pizzas because it gets really hot and helps to crisp up the bottom of the pizza. Plus, it seemed appropriate for the theme of the pizza.
I like to par bake my crust, so I pressed the dough into the skillet and baked it for about 5 minutes until it started to bubble and puff up. Then I covered the dough in our favorite “Carolina-Style” barbeque sauce, Carolina Gold from Trade Joes. You could use any barbeque sauce, but I would recommend a vinegar or mustard based one to go with the pork.
You could of course stop here. But we took the pizza a step further and added “veggies” in the form of cole slaw.
For the cole slaw, I just used a bag mix from the grocery store. But if you have a great cole slaw recipe, by all means, use it. One recommendation I would make is to use less dressing than normal. You don’t want your cole slaw to be overly wet. Also, if you are serving more people or you think you may have left overs, put the cole slaw on once you have sliced and served the pizza. It may leave your slices a bit soggy.
- Pulled Pork
- 1 lb thick cut pork chops
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2/3 cup warm water (heated to about 150 degrees)
- 1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast (or use one packet)
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup corn meal
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp oil
- 1/4 cup barbeque sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups cole slaw
- In a slow cooker, place the pork chops on the bottom, top with spices, vinegar, and water. Cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, shred with two forks.
- Mix honey into water. Sprinkle yeast on top of the water. Let stand for 10 minutes or until the yeast has completely foamed up.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer with a bread hook attachment mix together flour, corn meal, and salt. . Add yeast mixture into flour and turn on stand mixer to begin kneading. Slowly drizzle in oil 1 tbsp at a time.
- Let the dough knead for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl then continue mixing for another 2-3 minutes. In the end, the dough should form a ball that is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is too dry, add more water 1 tsp at a time. If it too sticky, add more flour.
- Transfer dough to a glass or ceramic bowl and rub 1 tsp of oil over the surface of the dough to prevent it from drying out while rising. Cover with dish towel or plastic wrap and let stand for at least 2 hours, but ideally 10+ hours. (You can also place in a warm oven to speed up the process)
- Once dough has risen, punch down dough and knead into ball, folding it into itself. Let sit and rise for another 20 minutes or longer (if possible).
- Press out the dough into the cast iron skillet. Bake at 450 degrees for about 5 minutes.
- Spread barbeque sauce evenly over the surface of the crust. Top with pork and cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Broil the pizza for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
- Spoon cole slaw into the center of the pizza. Or slice, and top each slice with cole slaw before serving.