Over recent months I have become aware of menus and recipes suggesting pulled pork. I have to admit to being rather slow to go and investigate further. Back in February, a freebie magazine in Asda, caught my eye and since I was about to go home for my morning coffee, I added a copy to browse through with my sticky bun.
You can imagine my horror when I turned a page and my eyes were assaulted with this:
Photo of cooked port joint taken from Asda website.
“Who hacked the joint of meat?” was my first thought, quickly closing the magazine in case mammy was looking over my shoulder. I can still feel the rap on my knuckles as my hand went to pick off the half dislodged crispy corner of a joint, just as mammy was about to carve it.
After several weeks, I decided to give it a try and for once in my life, follow the recipe in the magazine…. Well almost!
2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1 level teaspoon Mild Chilli Powder
1 level teaspoon Mustard Powder
½ teaspoon Table Salt
1 teaspoon onion granules
1 tablespoon Sunflower Oil
1.5 kg Pork Shoulder
500 ml Cider
Mix together the first six ingredients. Rub it all over the meat, but not the skin. Put it in a dish, skin-side up. Cover loosely with food wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Put the pork in a roasting tin, skin side up, and pour the cider round the meat.
Cover the tin with foil and then seal the foil to the tin edges, leaving enough room for air to circulate.
Cook in the oven for 3½ hours.
Remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 200°C and cook uncovered for a further 30 minutes.
Pull the pork into shreds – the meat will be meltingly tender now.
Since the meat was supposed to be ‘meltingly tender’ read, ready to fall apart, I decided to use the slow cooker instead of the oven. I reduced the cider by half, left out the onion granules, but added the last half of a jar of Apple chutney with flame roasted tomato & garlic – about 100-150g.
I was up late that particular night, so set the meat into the slow-cooker at midnight, on the low setting, and off I went to my bed. I left it alone until the middle of the afternoon, checking it at about 3pm. It was well cooked, so I switched off and removed the inner dish to a trivet to allow it to cool slightly.
There was more than enough for one sitting, so the first night I did as suggested – attacked one end with two forks. Once cold, I sliced the remainder with a carving knife….. I like my food to look neat.
I would try it again… in a few months, but with other spices and perhaps a different brand of cider.