Pulled Pork (I did it myyyyyy wayyyyyy)

Quite proud of this recipe, it’s the very first recipe of my very own where I made up the idea, quantities and timings and it’s quite complicated… well to make up but not to make. Welcome to the joy of slow cooking.

2kg of pork shoulder

For the dry rub:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
5 cloves
4 tsp soft brown sugar

Rub the pork all over with the dry rub, pat it so it doesn’t clump and then wrap tightly in tin foil and leave in the fridge overnight.

For the sauce:
500ml passata
500ml organic apple cider
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 tsp chilli flakes
3 bay leaves
t tsp salt
5 tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees, make the sauce in the bottom of the tray and put the pork on a rack so it sits above the sauce. double wrap with tin foil so the pork will be steaming in the juices (with no room for the steam to escape) and leave for at least 1 hour before checking. At this stage I even left the house and went to Columbia Road flower markets (where I spotted Russel Brand and Jemima Khan with the biggest, whitest, fluffiest dog I’ve ever seen- impressive… the dog I mean).

After 2 hours take the tin foil off and put the pork down in the juices then turning every hour until the pork has been in the oven for at least 4 hours but between 4 and 6 depending on how tough the meat is.

Remove the pork from the oven, re-wrap in tin foil and a tea towel and leave to rest for an hour before pulling with two forks. Dont miss this step, its important to let the meat sit so as the proteins in the muscles relax, allowing the juices to stay in the meat and making it all in all more tender.
Once you’ve rested and unwrapped your pork you can ‘pull’ it with two forks to give it a shredded look, add more of the sauce to taste but add as you go, you don’t want to detract from the flavour of the glorious juicy meat.

I served the pork in soft white buns with extra sauce and a couple of sides to make it a complete meal with coleslaw and potato wedges, the recipes are below:

For the coleslaw:
1/2 red cabbage
1 pear
1 apple
2 carrots
1 bulb of fennel
handful of mint and coriander
3 dollops of mayonnaise
juice of 2 limes

Cut the cabbage and fennel VERY finely so it’s shredded, red cabbage is slightly tougher and more bitter so it’s better served sweeter flavours like the apple and pear. I Julienne the apple and pear (just means I cut them into match sticks, this takes quite a while but looks amazing when its done). Roughly chop the coriander and mint, dice the onion finely and toss all ingredients in together, voila, fancy shmancy coleslaw. Have to admit, if I were to make this again I would blanch the red cabbage for 1-2 mins in boiling water, put into an ice bath and pat dry just to make it a little more tender (this would also mean the colour would be more vibrant and less susceptible to running throughout the rest of the coleslaw).

5 potatoes sizes don’t matter cut into wedges.
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp salt flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees
Ground all spices in a mortar and pestle, put sliced potatoes into a baking tray so as they’re not crowded and add oil, sprinkle over spices and use your hands to make sure the potatoes are thoroughly coated.
Whack in the oven and give them a shake every 15 mins or so just to make sure they’re not sticking to the bottom of the tray.
All done when golden brown and crunchy- this usually takes no more than 30- 40 mins but depends on the size of your wedges.

There you have a complete meal (including a few of your five a day)… my way.

SING IT NOW…
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful bite along the byway
And more, much more than this, I cooked it my way

Yes, there were times, but all too few
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, there was no doubt
I could eat it all, and I would shout…
I ate it all and I stood tall and did it myyyy wayyyyy

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