Pulled PorkPosted: July 5, 2011
Pulled pork is an absolutely melt-in-the-mouth dish originating in the United States, where it is usually prepared by the barbecue long-and-slow method of cooking. There are an almost infinite number of ways to prepare the meat – a quick search reveals over seven million hits – and that is just for recipes online, to say nothing of the numerous very jealously guarded secret recipes hoarded by barbecue experts. Some enthusiasts prefer to use a dry spice rub and then let the joint sit for 24 hours, other might swear by a tangy, vinegar-based marinade. The end result is meat of melting tenderness that can literally be pulled apart with a spoon.
Although I’ve experimented with a number of different methods, this particular recipe is my absolute favourite because of its simplicity and the outstanding flavour of the finished dish. As if that weren’t recommendation enough, it’s an absolute breeze to prepare. The 12 hour cooking time is the only drawback, but since 95% of that time its just cooking away quite happily by itself without need for any supervision, its not exactly a hardship.
Pulled pork uses the relatively cheap shoulder cut of pork. If there’s a special offer on, I try and buy 2 or 3 1kg joints and let them all cook at the same time. There is a little work involved once the meat is cooked, but the result is 5 or 6 family meals for little more than 30-40 minutes of my time.
Start this dish the night before you’re planning to serve it.
Pulled Pork– Serves 10-12
2-3kg shoulder pork, cut into 1kg joints.
2 medium/large onions
500ml ginger ale
- Slice one onion and put it in the base of the slow cooker.
- Place the pork on top and scatter over the other sliced onion.
- Pour over the ginger ale.
- Cover and cook on low for 12 hours.
- Remove the meat and allow to drain in a sieve.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and fat (the meat will just fall apart) and discard.
- Cover the meat with foil and keep warm.
- Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and place in the fridge/freezer for 30 minutes to cool.
- As the liquid cools, any fat will rise to the surface and solidify. It can then be easily removed.
- Lift the solidified fat from the cooking liquid with a slotted spoon and discard.
- Pour the cooking liquid into a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer until it has been reduced by at least half.
- Pour over the prepared meat and serve.
Serving Suggestion: Baked potatoes and steamed vegetables, or noodles and rice with crunchy coleslaw.
Variation: Use a sweet cider, ginger beer, apple juice or lemonade. If you don’t have enough gravy, barbecue sauce makes for a tangy and equally delicious alternative.