“Deep in the heart of Texas”. A song, yes, but also the home to a regional flavour. There are many variances of pulled pork, from smoked to barbecued to slow cooked, all typically using the harder pieces of the pig to cook. You could cook anywhere from a whole pig down to a shoulder. This recipe calls for the shoulder.
Having been without a stove for several weeks now, it has been an interesting time on the home cooking front. From vegetables freshly steamed in the steamer, to slow cooked meats in the slow cooker (as our kitchen is under renovation). It’s a time of year typically not for barbecues, but needs must be met.
Recently, I took to the slow cooker with a shoulder of pork. Yes, you guessed it, slow cooked pulled pork. Having always been a fan of slow cooked food, this recipe brings the flavour of Texas to your kitchen and is super easy to prepare and enjoy around the table.
While the pork was cooking, the aromas were beyond enticing. I found my mouth was constantly excited in anticipation for something it was surely going to relish. From the heat of the chili, to the tartness of the vinegar, it was a feast ready to be devoured.
4 lb pork shoulder roast
1 cup barbeque sauce
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tablespoons chilli powder
1 large Spanish onion (diced)
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon White Pepper
Pour the two tablespoons of Extra-virgin olive oil into the bottom of the slow cooker. Then set your shoulder of pork on top (this will stop the meat from sticking to the bottom of your pot). Turn the slow cooker on to the high setting.
Add to this the remaining ingredients. Cook on high until you see the liquid start to boil, usually one hour. Then turn to low and leave for a further seven hours.
Once the meat has cooked, remove from the slow cooker and, using a knife and fork, pull it apart. You will find that it falls to pieces extremely easily. The remaining ingredients in your slow cooker can now be poured through a sieve, leaving a solid pile of onion separated from the juice. In a large mixing bowl, add the pulled pork and onion together and, using a large spoon, blend. Pour a little of the juice over and blend once more.
The exciting thing now is what to do with it? For best results, have some bread rolls to hand, butter on both sides then toast until brown. Fill the bread with the pulled pork, pour over some of the remaining juice and take a bite. The tang will hit you, the flavour will explode inside you, and you will, for a split second, be off to eating heaven.
Enjoy with your family, your friends and, most of all, have fun.
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus.