MTT: Pulled Pork

Everyone goes mental for pulled pork, don’t they? Even my mum, with whom I had a 10 minute conversation about it ending with her asking why I named a dish after my dad (Paul…. she thought I was cooking Paul’s pork) loves it, despite not knowing what on earth it is. It’s one of those dishes that pops up on the Internet and always looks so mouthwateringly desirable that you need to have it in your mouth now, if not sooner.

And then you discover that it takes a million ingredients, a BBQ and about 48 hours to cook and it gets filed away in that mental folder reserved for foods that will only be consumed when someone else cooks them (see also: lobster, fois gras, aioli). Plus, all the recipes I discovered were American and I dont have the patience to translate that many ingredients out of cups and into mls and tablespoons.

No more!

When we last went on our big supermarket shop Will picked up a big hunk of meat for me to cook, as he likes to do. It’s normally lamb but this time he came home with 2 kg of pork shoulder. It was one of the cuts that specifically allows you to create monster crackling, which unfortunately you won’t get with this recipe, but in my opinion the melt in your mouth BBQ flavoured pork is a million times better. He wanted me to roast the joint for Sunday lunch but having had pulled pork on the brain for a little while I ignored his pleas, telling him the end result would be worth it. The joint I worked with was a shoulder, though I believe in the US it’s more traditional to use a leg or some kind of rump cut.

So I poked around in our pantry and managed to come up with all the ingredients needed to make a decent BBQ sauce and banged the joint in the oven for six hours. To complete my pulled pork experience I caramelised one red onion by cooking it on the hob with a knob of butter, a tbsp of caster sugar and shake of balsamic vinegar for 10 minutes, then threw this in the Breadmaker with the ingredients for white dough. When the dough was done I shaped it into rolls, proved it in the airing cupboard (middle-class housewife alert) and cooked in a hot oven for 12 minutes.

This pork in those rolls with coleslaw (couldn’t find a cabbage for love nor money so it was shamefully pre-made from Waitrose) and a side of chunky skin-on chips is heavenly. We also had it the next day in wraps with sour cream, avocado and cheese. Also divine.

The joint I bought promised 11-12 servings, but in our house it didn’t even last 48 hours.

5.0 from 3 reviews
MTT: Pulled Pork
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
One of the brilliant bits about this recipe is that you can pretend you're a mad scientist and just chuck all the ingredients in a big pan together. Really, you know that's how it's done. I've kept the ingredients as easy as possible so they should be in your storecupboard, and don't worry if you have to omit one or two of them or find similar replacements (i.e. soy sauce for Worcestershire, syrup for honey).
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2kg pork shoulder
  • 2 onions, finely cubed
  • 150ml Jack Daniels
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 100ml malt vinegar
  • 3tbsp ketchup
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco
  • 1tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 150g sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees C. In a very large oven-proof saucepan or casserole dish, add all the ingredients aside from the pork and mix together well.
  2. Submerge the pork in the liquid and seal the top of the dish with two layers of tin foil, as well as the lid if there is one.
  3. Cook for 5 hours, turning the pork every hour and a half or so to make sure it's evenly covered in the sauce.
  4. Remove from the oven, take off the tin foil and lid and replace in the oven. Cook for one further hour. At this point I also removed the skin and fat of my joint as I wanted to include the taste of this in my sauce: if you are a bit healthier than me you can do this at the beginning before putting it in the oven for the first time.
  5. Remove from the oven and shred - you should be able to do this with a couple of forks. Drizzle the sauce over and serve.
17 Comments
  1. Now you have me salivating! I have only ever eaten this in North and South Carolina where they have’ barbecue pits’ and the porks is cooked for ever. It is divine, I am so glad that you made the effort and enjoyed your results.

  2. Oooh I’ve been hoping you’d post a’ recipe ever since you posted a pic…glad we’re not the only ones who get through a joint of meat meant for a large family!

  3. On a snowed in weekend I decided to give this receipe a try, I happened to have a joint in the freezer and searched the Internet for a dish I could make using cupboard staples, this fit the bill. It’s a fantastic, hearty and comforting dinner to beheld on a cold, snowy evening when you are all huddled around the open fire. My fear, even after 6 hrs it would still be a bit tough, but it wasn’t at all and now I’ve bagged extra brownie points from a very contented hubby who couldn’t get enough. Thanks for sharing, this is a real crowd pleaser and one i’ll be rolling out again and again.

  4. I live in chile and the bread here is awful! I made this pulled pork and the rolls a while back (delish!) and wanted to bake the rolls again but the recipe has disappeared?! Or am i just not looking properly?!

  5. we loved this… so easy… been longing for this since I sampled in nyc…

    it’s a welcome addition to my favourites

    thank you so much!

  6. This design is steller! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  7. Just returning to this recipe, which I made once and it was to die for and now, preparing to have people over for dinner on NYE 2015 I am coming back to it to make it again – so delicious and so easy to make, thank you xx

  8. Returning to this recipe again tomorrow. Just LOVE it! going to make up the sauce today and marinade the pork in it overnight in the fridge mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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