Pulled pork seems to be this Autumn’s ‘it’ recipe, covered by most every foodie magazine over the last month or two and helped no doubt by the increasing popularity of street food, of which the pulled pork van is usually the shining star. But Hubby was making this long before it became trendy, bringing his recipe from the motherland of BBQ with him when he washed up on these shores. What elevates Hubby’s version for me though is the home-made BBQ sauce that he makes from the leftover cooking liquid, which is hands down better than anything store bought that I’ve ever tasted.

Hubby serves it in the traditional way, on a bun with lashings of coleslaw and french fries and spears of dill pickle on the side, but it’s also delicious in a wrap (great leftover lunch!) or on mash or as a quesedilla filling. I think I’ve even seen it suggested as a baked potato topping, and why not!

Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off, it really is as easy as throwing everything in a pot and then leaving it to do its thing through the afternoon, at the end of which you’ll have a succulent slow cooked joint that will just fall apart. Perfect Autumn fodder, I promise you 🙂

And now, over to Hubby!

Pulled Pork "Sammiches"
Serves 4
An easy slow cook approach to Carolina BBQ, all in one happy pot.
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Stuff you’ll need, for the pork…
  1. 3 cups chicken stock (though beef works too)
  2. 2 onions, roughly chopped
  3. 3-4 carrots, roughly chopped
  4. 3-4 ribs celery, de-veined and roughly chopped
  5. 2-3 gloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  6. 2-3 bay leaves
  7. 1kg pork shoulder
Optional:
  1. 2 tsp onion granules
  2. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  3. 2-3 tsp mesquite liquid smoke (hard to find, but Lupe Pinto’s in Bruntsfield sells this. Or try Amazon!)
  4. 1/2 – 1 bottle favoured beer, add it to the stock
Stuff you’ll need, for the BBQ sauce…
  1. 2 cups reserved vegetables from the pork
  2. 6 ounces (170 mls) reserved cooking liquid from the pork
  3. 2 tsp garlic, finely chopped or minced
  4. 2 tsp very finely chopped ginger (or cheat and use powdered ginger at 1tsp, I do)
  5. 2 tsp cumin
  6. 2 cups ketchup
  7. 1/2 cup brown sugar (as a starter, more to taste, I do prefer a sweeter BBQ)
  8. 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  9. 6 tablespoons cider vinegar (seems like a lot, but mixed in through the pork it isn’t)
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
Optional:
  1. 1/2 – 1 Tbsp Red Hot or Tabasco sauce
  2. 2-3 tsp mesquite liquid smoke
Stuff you’ll need, for serving:
  1. Good sized burger buns or white baps
  2. Coleslaw
Other stuff you’ll need…
  1. Good slow-cooker, or large stewpot with lid
  2. Tray for cooling and shredding the pork
  3. Good size mixing bowl
  4. A liquidiser or food processor
Slow cook!
  1. Begin my browning the pork on all sides (even the fatty side), as this will help to seal in the juices. Keep the strings on the pork as well as it will hold it together while it’s slow cooking.
  2. If you’re using a slowcooker, just put everything in the pot, cover, set to low heat and either leave overnight to tend to in the morning, or leave it all day whilst you’re at work, and come home to dinner ready-made!
  3. If you’re doing this on the hob however, once you’ve browned the pork, simply toss everything into a large stockpot, mix it about, and then bring it up to a gentle boil.
  4. Don’t worry about trimming the pork shoulder or cutting fat, it’s much easier to do later once it’s all warm and falling apart, plus the fat adds a great flavour to the cooking liquid.
  5. Once boiling, cover, reduce temperate to lowest heat, and simmer. This should take about 4-5 hours on the hob before it’s ready to fall apart. Stir the pot and rotate the pork every hour or so, but keep covered. You’ll know when it’s done.
  6. Remove the pork to a baking tray or deep baking dish for cooling, and reserve the cooked vegetables and cooking liquid for your BBQ sauce.
  7. You won’t need to cool the pork completely, just enough to handle it without burning. At this point you can pull off or cut off the excess fat — don’t be afraid to take the pork shoulder completely apart. Any connective tissue will have nicely gelatinised by this point, but you don’t want too much fat in the pork, so remove as much as you like.
  8. Now, divide the pork into workable chunks, and shred in the baking pan with two forks, pulling the fibres apart finely. This both increases the volume of the meat as well as making it ready to soak up all of the lovely BBQ sauce. You can use your fingers for a more “rustic” shredding, instead, if you like.
  9. Once it’s shredded, drizzle over a ladle or two of the cooking liquid, mix, cover, and set aside.
  10. Now for the BBQ sauce…
  11. In your liquidiser/food processor, combine the reserved vegetables, cooking liquid, garlic and ginger, and process until smooth, and about the thickness and consistency of ketchup. Add the remaining ingredients and process until thoroughly mixed. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. The proportions are to taste, but this will, on its own, be a sweet, slightly tangy sauce. Mixing it with the pork results in a really rich, tangy sauce. Some like it sweeter, some like it with less cider, let your taste buds guide you.
  13. Toss the pulled pork with about 2 cups of the sauce, and set aside. If it looks like it needs more sauce, add away. The remainder is just used for dipping on the side anyway.
  14. You can prep all of this in advance and just reheat in a wok or stewpot, adding a -little- water to reheat it when it’s time to serve.
  15. Serve it with the coleslaw on top of a goodly pile of the pork on toasted buns. We serve this in the States with chips and spears of gherkin (The Polish kind, with Dill, not the sweeter British ones).
Hubby says...
  1. You can use a pork loin roast but the yield will be much lower. A shoulder will comfortably feed four. If you get this at the supermarket the size should be ok, so go for a weighty one. Careful asking for this at a butcher as they’ll often give you the whole shoulder + shank, which is frankly massive.
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