I’m a massive fan of meat. Every which way: oven-roasted, pan-seared, slow-cooked, fast-cooked, rare-bloody-gorgeousness and blackened charred sticky edges. Mostly, I like my meat barbequed.
On my quest for the perfect barbequed meat feast, I paid a visit to London’s most popular barbeque joint, Pitt Cue Co in Soho a week ago and inhaled the most succulent pulled pork I’d ever tasted.
So, I decided to have a go at some pulled pork in my own kitchen, but approached my recipe from a different angle – by firing up my trusty slow-cooker…
Before I embarked on my great homemade pulled pork adventure, I researched various slow-cooker pulled pork recipes online and realised that the best approach was by ‘feel’, and a top-notch homemade barbeque sauce. The best homemade barbeque sauce follows the principle of balancing salty, sweet, sharp and spice, so I gathered my arsenal of pantry sauces – worstershire sauce, Firkin hot sauce, honey, tomato paste, garlic salt, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, cumin powder and balsamic vinegar.
I popped to Waitrose and picked up a boneless pork loin roast (discounted by 50%, as my luck would have it!), chopped a big brown onion into chunky slices to line the bottom of the slow-cooker, and threw the pork in with 1.5 litres of chicken stock and a hefty glug of worstershire sauce.
I left the pork to sit and slowly melt in the slow-cooker for nine hours, before pulling the beast out, trimming away the fat and rind, then pulling the pork with two forks until shredded. I reserved a little of the stock to the side, emptied the rest from the slow-cooker and added the pulled pork back in.
Now for the fun part. I mixed the various sauces until I got the consistency of a thick barbeque sauce, about two cups worth. I have no idea of the actual quantities, I just balanced the flavours as I went. More salty, more sweet, more sharp, more spice until it was just right.
I stirred the sauce into the pulled pork little-by-little until I got a good coverage of the meat, then added a little ladle of the stock to loosen everything up. I left it to stew for a further two hours on a very low heat and the end result was outstanding.
Pulled pork isn’t right without a sharp and creamy slaw to serve on the side. Again, I didn’t follow any particular recipe, just finely sliced half a fresh red cabbage, grated two big carrots, two tart green apples with the skin on, and a brown onion into a salad bowl, stirring through some salad cream, the juice of two limes and plenty of black pepper. Ta-da! Red cabbage and apple slaw.
Eat this pork piled high on a soft burger bun with plenty of red cabbage and apple slaw and a side of little green pickles. You’ll have tons left over, so stash it in the fridge and spoon it fridge-cold onto hot buttered toast for breakfast. Yum.