Pretty Perfect Pulled Pork
…if I do say so myself!
Like everything else in this world food tends to go through trends and one that seems to have hit in the UK in a big way is pulled pork. It’s one of my favourite ways to eat pork; it’s tender, juicy and brimming with flavour. It requires patience and a little planning – you cannot get in from work at 5.30 and decide you want pulled pork for dinner…unless you plan on eating around midnight, of course! I’ve only ever really had it within Mexican cuisine (another favourite of mine!) but in the US it’s a massive barbecue staple. And over there barbecue means slow, smoky cooking…not, quick let’s burn a couple of burgers before the rain descends and ruins our lovely summery day. I love the idea of being able to barbecue and grill food all year round, it creates such a great flavour!
I, however, cheated and did not cook mine on a barbecue; my pulled pork took it’s sweet time cooking away in the oven.
What’s more, I literally could not believe how much you got from a shoulder of pork and how flipping cheap it was to buy! One of the most economical and tasty dishes I’ve ever made, I think. It went down a storm this past bonfire night with my brother proclaiming it was the best thing I’d ever cooked!
A shoulder of pork
3 tbsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp spicy paprika
2 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
White wine vinegar
1 brown onion
Barbecue sauce to drizzle over the pork!
A few hours, or possibly the night before, mix together all of your spices and salt and rub half of it into the joint of meat. Cover and then leave it to rest in fridge.
Preheat your oven to 220.
Line your baking tray with long sheets of foil – enough to be able to wrap it over the pork once it’s in the pan.
Chop your onion and scatter over the pan. Mix the remainder of your rub with a good glug of white wine vinegar and pour over the onions.
Place your meat (fat and skin side up) in the pan and put into the oven – uncovered – for forty minutes. You want the high heat to brown the meat and skin a little.
After the forty minutes turn the oven down to 150, cover the meat with the foil, creating a sort of parcel and cook for 6-7 hours.
When cooked you should be able to remove the skin and fat easily (pop this in a pan and whack in the oven on a high heat for ten minutes and you’ll have beautiful crackling!) and the meat should literally fall off the bone!
Pop all of the meat into a dish and begin to shred with two forks, sprinkle over a pinch of smoked paprika and drizzle with the juices from the pan! We served this drizzled with spicy barbecue sauce, some beautiful crispy jacket potatoes (rubbed in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary and left to bake in the oven for a good two hours!), salad and bread. It was hearty, wholesome and just what a cold November 5th required!