Slow Cooked Jackfruit BBQ [Vegan]

Published On 10 July, 2012 | BBQ, Dinner, Kosher, Slow Cooker, Vegan

Each Wednesday, after visiting the Farmers Market, my wife and a friend visit the international market to stock up on raw coconuts, whole cumin seeds, hot sauce and other exotic ingredients household staples that we store next to our marmite stash.  I always find it amazing how hard it can be to find a loaf of kosher bread in some stores, and yet I can stock up with magical, kosher certified, delights from across the globe.  Many retailers sell canned jackfruit but I went with the raw option, determined to recreate pulled BBQ beef – vegan style.  Vegan Jackfruit BBQ is delicious!

Raw jackfruitWhen you meet it, the jackfruit smells terrible.  It's large and ugly before you cook it, but if you take a bite of the raw fruit, it tastes like a little like a jelly bean… if you close your eyes and really wish for it.  The transformation from the ugly beast to the delicious, tangy, beef-like dish is unbelievable, and if this plant was native to North America, rather than South East Asia, I'd try and grow it in my back yard.  My wife is bravely posing for this photo but the recipe below uses about 1lb of jackfruit rather than the whole beast!

I did my research, and decided to treat this pretty much as I would treat beef itself.  I wanted to create that genuine BBQ flavor, without sacrificing a cow.  Believe me, since we moved to Kansas over a year ago, I have not missed an opportunity to try and perfect that BBQ taste!  Using the same spice rub I used for my grilled brisket, I had a jackfruit and a plan!

BBQ Spice Rub Recipe

  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Brown Sugar

Vegan BBQ Sauce Recipe

  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Ketchup
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 2 tablespoons of apple sauce

Combine equal amounts of paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and brown sugar.  Mix so that you can no longer tell which spice is which.

For this dish, using 1lb of raw jackfruit I used 2 teaspoon of each of the spices.  The result gave me plenty of BBQ rub that I stored in an old spice bottle and have in my spice cabinet ready for the next time I buy a brisket or  a jackfruit!  Making sure the pits have been removed from your jackfruit, sprinkle with the rub and put in the fridge overnight.

BBQ spice rub for next timeNext, you need BBQ sauce.  I took a shortcut and used 2 cups of KC masterpiece as my base and added 2 tablespoons of ketchup, four cloves of garlic, a generous splash of red wine and two tablespoons of apple sauce.

Mix the ingredients in a tupperware or similar sealable bowl.  You're going to want to place the sauce in the fridge overnight.

Once the jackfruit has been sitting in the rub overnight, set your slow cooker on low and put the jackfruit and bbq sauce in.  If you have a sweet tooth, add a splash of honey.  Cook for at least three hours on low.  If it looks like it is drying out, turn it to warm, or turn it off but leave in the crock pot.
I'll be the first to admit it, my ugly intro to this dish wasn't inspiring, but the taste of the "meat" when your done is delicious.  One tip I would leave you with – if you buy pre-cut jackfruit, put it in an airtight container before refrigeration it.  Leave me your jackfruit questions and thoughts in the comments, I will see what I can do to answer them!Using two forks, pull the jackfruit apart for that authentic BBQ look.  The end result with have a warm burst of heat from the paprika and chili powder, coupled with a sweet, tangy flavor that reminded me of roasted prunes.


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