I’ve heard the term pulled pork come up a number of times in various American TV shows so I finally decided to look the darn thing up. Trusty old Wikipedia just told me that it’s basically a method of slow-cooking or slow-roasting a chunk of pork (usually shoulder but I could only get a bit of leg at Coles the other day…) in a sweet’n’sour sauce. Once the meat is cooked, it’s shredded up and heated through again with the reduced sauce.
There are many methods to cook the pork and I believe the true authentic style pulled pork requires a smoking oven. However, many recipes suggest that slow roasting the pork in a domestic oven or using a slow cooker both yield very good results.
I’m a sucker for anything that can be thrown into the slow cooker and amuses itself for 8 hours while I get some work done at the office, so I decided pulled pork would be an awesome mid-week dinner solution. My whole family should like it. I hoped anyway. I stirred in the sauce ingredients into the slow cooker pot and lovingly massaged my pork leg all over with the sauce before letting it sauna away. By the time I got home, I had wonderfully tender bits of pork (the leg pretty much collapsed once I prodded it with my tong) which I shredded and served up to the family with some fresh turkish pide. I did up a quick coleslaw in the Thermomix (carrots, Savoy cabbage, Pink Lady apple, Kewpie mayo, salt and pepper) but forgot to not be so heavy-handed with the chopping. Let’s call it chunky coleslaw dip!
Easy and tasty. Can’t beat that!
Pulled Pork (recipe based on Good Housekeeping‘s)
1.5/2kg roasting pork (shoulder would be best but leg worked fine)
1 small onion, diced – I also added some spring onion but otherwise use a medium onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 small tin of pineapple pieces (or crushed pineapple) – This is something I decided to try :)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp sweet or mild paprika
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Hot English mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
To make: Place all ingredients (except the pork) into the slow cooker and mix together well. Taste and adjust to your liking if too sweet, too sour etc. Place pork into pot and cover well with sauce. Set the slow cooker on Low and allow to cook for at least 8 hours. Once cooked, remove the meat from pot and place on a large serving plate. Use a couple of forks to shred the meat up. This won’t be difficult! Set slow cooker on High and reduce the sauce until syrupy (I transferred sauce to a pan and reduced on stove to save time). Put shredded meat and sauce back into slow cooker and allow to heat through for 30 minutes on Low. Serve with homemade coleslaw and bread of choice. Americans often put a dash of Hot Sauce on their pork but I think the meat has enough flavour and a zesty slaw is just enough as an accompaniment.