Pulled pork is all the rage these days. It is the ultimate comfort food and pretty versatile too! Not only is it cheap and super DUPER easy to prepare, but it also makes your house smell GLORIOUS while it’s slow cooking away. Although it does take a while to cook, it requires no supervision and actually only requires you to be in the kitchen for a really short amount of time. More playtime/hungover naptime for you!
I got my butcher to hack off a 2.5kg chunk of pork shoulder, bone in and skin on. You can ask for the skin to be removed, but it almost falls off once the meat has been cooking for 8 hours anyway.
I marinated my meat in the brine mix for 48 hours in a ziplock bag in the fridge. The brine ensures that the meat won’t dry out during the slow cooking process. It literally took 2 minutes to make and can be adjusted to suit any taste – if you favour some spices over the others, just throw them in. Really. There is nothing elegant about this at all.
Pulled Pork Shoulder
For the dry spice rub:
4 tablespoons Five Spice
2 tablespoons Peppercorns
4 tablespoons Rock salt
1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
2 tablespoons Chilli Flakes
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
For the brine:
1/2 Brown sugar
1 cup Apple cider Vinegar
5 Star anise
6 Bay Leaves
1 Cinnamon stick
3 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons rock salt
2 cups cold water
2.5kg pork shoulder, bone in
celery sticks, to elevate pork from the base of tray or dutch oven
1/2 onion, cut into chunks
1 bulb fennel and 3 green apples apples(optional)
Use a food processor or mortar and pestle to blend together all dry ingredients.
Put all brine ingredients in a large ziplock bag with half of the dry rub mix and the meat. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to cook the meat, drain from the brine mix and pat dry with a paper towel. Cover the surface of the meat with the remaining dry rub and brown the meat in a large pan before placing on a baking tray or in a dutch oven on a bed of celery and onion. (I also added some apple and fennel at this stage in preparation for my pasties later in the week, but this is definitely optional). This elevates the meat and prevents the bottom from overcooking, drying out, or burning.
Cover tightly with a lid or aluminium foil, and place in an oven – preheated to 110 degrees – for between 6-7 hours.
Remove from the oven when the meat flakes off easily, and let it cool for an hour.
Using a fork/chopsticks/the hands yo’ mama gave you, pull it (put your back into it), discarding the skin and any excess fatty bits.
You should end up with a large stack of delicious pulled pork, approximately 7.25743 times the size of this:
You could even pair it with some kimchi and put it into a bao or mantou for a cheeky Asian twist on your usual pulled pork slider. Or slip it in one of the coconut bao that we made back in our first post. Good one.
I have HEAPS of leftover meaty bits, so stay tuned for my Pulled Pork, Apple and Fennel Cornish Pasties recipe later in the week!