Pulled pork has to be one of my favourite things to eat right now. Soft, tender meat cooked so slowly you can literally pull it apart with a fork – I love stuffing the meat into a soft, fluffy bun. Give me some BBQ sauce and coleslaw and I am one very happy gal!
I’ve made pulled pork in both the oven and the slow cooker. The slow cooker is definitely the easiest way, since you can just throw all the ingredients in the pot and forget about it for 12 hours or even 24 if you need to. The recipe I’m sharing with you today requires a slow cooker. So if you were given/inherited one years ago which has since been gathering dust in the cupboard, I urge you to dig it out and give this recipe a go. You can thank me later ;-)
The following recipe will give you a ton of pulled pork. But if you’re family is anything like mine, that won’t be a problem. Even if you don’t feel like eating pulled pork for a few nights in a row (I’ll be giving you a few ideas for using up the leftovers at the end of this post), you can always freeze some for later use, providing your pork shoulder wasn’t already frozen before you cooked it.
Slow cooker pulled pork
About 2kg (or thereabouts) boneless pork shoulder joint
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
Few drops of Chipotle tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper
150ml fresh apple juice
Set the slow cooker to slow.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, crushed garlic, chilli powder and tabasco. Add 1 tsp salt and lots of ground pepper. Rub this mixture all over the pork.
Place the pork in the slow cooker and pour the apple juice around the joint. Place the lid on top and cook for a minimum of 12 hours. The longer the better really. I cooked mine for 20 hours and it was perfect.
20 hour slow cooked pulled pork - at this stage I can't wait to dive in!
I made brioche rolls to have with the pulled pork – I found the recipe from the July issue of BBC Good Food magazine. I couldn’t find the recipe online so I’ll share my adaptation with you :-)
3 tbsp milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter
450g strong white flour
1 tsp fast action yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Large eggs plus one beaten egg to glaze the buns
Place the water, milk and butter in a small saucepan and warm gently over a low heat until the butter has almost melted. Take off the heat and stir until the butter has completely melted. Make sure the mixture isn’t hot, you only want it warm otherwise it may kill the yeast. If it is a little on the hot side, leave to cool down for a few minutes.
Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Keep the yeast and salt at separate sides of the bowl. Roughly mix to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the warm liquid and the eggs. Use your hands to mix to a dough. It will be very sticky and wet. But don’t be tempted to add more flour. Very lightly oil your hands and work surface and knead the dough for a good 10 minutes. This is when the humble dough scraper proves to be very useful! Or if you’re lucky enough to own a food mixer, save your arms and use it! When the dough is very smooth, soft, bouncy and elastic, it’s ready. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove for 1-3 hours, until doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, knock the air out by kneading for a minute. Divide the dough into 10-12 even pieces. Roll into balls (a lightly floured surface comes in handy here) and place on lined baking trays. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave for around 45-1 hour until they have doubled in size again. While you’re waiting, Heat oven to 200C and place a baking tray at the bottom of the oven.
When the buns have proved, brush them all over with the beaten egg glaze and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Pour a cup of water into the baking tray you placed at the bottom of the oven
earlier (this will keep the buns moist while baking and give them a lovely soft crumb.) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nice and golden.
Serve with BBQ sauce and coleslaw. My slaw of choice is Nigella’s New Orleans coleslaw
Here are a few ideas for using up your leftover pulled pork.
*On a pizza
*In a ragu – add the pork to a herby tomato sauce and serve with pasta
*In a baguette or soft roll with apple sauce
*Stirred into a risotto
*Piled on top of a baked potato
The following pictures are recipes from Jamie Oliver’s new book “Save with Jamie”…first up is cajun pork tacos – these were absolutely gorgeous! It’s so worth making the pulled pork so you can make this recipe :-)
Dim sum pork buns…another stunning recipe. We loved these!
Apologies for the rather long post, but if all this doesn’t make you want to rescue your slow cooker out from the dark depths of the cupboard and make yourself some pulled pork, I’m not sure what will! ;-)
I shared this post over at A Mummy Too for #recipe of the week.