Welcome to the blue meth of the pulled pork world and today I will be your Jesse Pinkman, bitch! We’re talking spicy, sweet, soft and tender pulled pork perfection. Top it all off with a zesty lime packed coleslaw and we’re in heaven. Pulled pork always feels so indulgent but it is one of the most effortless foods to make. Pork meets rub. Rubbed pork meets low and slow oven. Four hours later and you’re about two mouthfuls away from a full blown addiction.
The beauty of pulled pork is you can mix it up anyway you like. Fancy a more smokey spiced rub? Throw in some paprika, cumin and cinnamon. Prefer it more barbecuey? Switch out the vinegar and smother that bad boy with BBQ sauce mixed with the rest of the rub. Like it if I stopped using rhetorical questions as a way of showing you all the awesome options that exist for pulled pork? Tough luck because you have to make this. It’s time to get cooking.
Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients for this recipe. Most of them are usually found lurking in the fridge, hidden under a box of polenta in the cupboard (I’m looking at you, onions), or growing by the postbox (thank you mysterious bay tree). And even if you have to go out and buy some of these things, it’s just a good excuse to make this over, and over, and over again.
This recipe really is as easy as mixing the ingredients for the rub together and smothering it all over the pork. We sit the well rubbed pork (please tell me your giggling here too) on a bed of sliced onions, which will soften and golden as the pork cooks, then douse the lot in vinegar and cider. It really is that simple.
The only other key thing here is a really, really low oven. Plenty of patience and some kick-ass slaw to throw on top. There just so happens to be a recipe for that loitering below. So let’s cut this chat and make some meth! I mean pork…
Recipe adapted from Simon Rimmer. Serves 6 hungry people
Pulled pork rub
2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon red chilli flakes
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1.8 kg (4 oz) pork shoulder, bone in preferably and skin scored
300 ml (roughly 1 1/4 cups) medium cider
180 ml (roughly 3/4 cup) cider vinegar
2 large white onions, skin removed and cut into thick rings
2 bay leaves
1 large carrot, thickly grated
1/2 red cabbage, cut into thin slices
1 large apple, cut into matchsticks
2 limes, juice only
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
2 teaspoons hot sauce
12 soft buns (baps as we call them up north)
BBQ sauce/hot sauce – optional
Ice cold beers – none optional
1. Pre-heat the oven to 140C (280F) and put on ‘Hot Weather Blues’ by Mr.Sad Head. Mix all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl and set to one side.
2. Take out a large baking tray, preferably with high sides, and place the onion slices in the bottom. Place the pork on top of the sliced onions and cover well with the rub. Make sure you get it all over the pork and really rub it in.
3. Pour over the vinegar and cider and add the bay leaves to the pan. Tear off a large piece of parchment paper and two large pieces of tin foil. Place the large piece of parchment paper over the tray and tuck over the sides. Take the two large pieces of tin foil place them on top of the parchment paper, overlapping slightly, and tuck over the sides to secure.
4. Place in the oven for 4 hours. Once done leave to cool for 5-10 minutes to allow the meat to rest.
1. Place all of the shredded vegetables in a large bowl and squeeze over the lime juice. Give the mix a quick stir. Spoon on top the creme fraiche and hot sauce as well as a small pinch of salt. Mix again.
1. Peel the skin and any fat that hasn’t rendered down off the pork and remove the bay leaves. To shred the pork take two forks and pull the meat apart. Keep going until all the pork has been shredded. Mix the pork with the pan juices and the softened onions.
2. Cut the buns in half and pile the pulled pork and onions into them. Top with plenty of crunchy slaw and hot sauce/BBQ sauce if using.
3. Serve with some ice cold beers.