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BBQ Pulled Pork



I put my had up and admit, I have come very late to the Pulled Pork party. It has been popular for a long time in North America and has gained in popularity here in the UK over the past several years.  I first had it about four years ago at my youngest son's home. He had made it in the slow cooker by pouring a can of DR Pepper over a pork roast and letting it simmer until it was falling apart.  Shredded and  mixed with BBQ sauce, it was quite good!

 I confess however, I am not a great lover of shredded meat.  It is a texture thing. I don't like long stringy strands of meat in my mouth.  Its partly texture and partly the fact that I am missing some of my back molars, which makes long strands very hard to chew.  (Even spaghetti!)


Truly authentic pulled pork is actually a barbecue dish, cooked for hours over a charcoal pit until it falls apart, ready to be easily shredded or ‘pulled’ apart to serve. Most people don't have pits to cook their meat in however, so we must resort to cooking it in the oven.  My heart longs to be able to try fire pit pulled pork, but this is the next best thing!


Rubbing your meat with a spicy mixture and letting it "marinade" in that mixture for a time prior to roasting it, is a great way to really get some fire pit flavour into the meat, and works a charm.  I do this in the refrigerator.  


You also don't want to use a really lean cut of pork.  It would dry out too much during the long slow cooking in the oven.  You want a cut that is succulent and that will fall apart beautifully.  Pork shoulder is perfect for this use.


While the pork is roasting, I make a flavourful homemade BBQ sauce into which I like to incorporate some of the pork juices that are gathered during the roasting process.  This really adds another level of flavour to the finished product, but if you are feeling lazy, you can use a bottled BBQ sauce.  I like Sweet Baby Rays.  Paul Newman's is also very good.

As you can see I tend to leave the pork a bit chunky.  I like it that way.  (See above)  Mixed with the sauce and served on soft white buns, it is absolutely wonderful.  You could also serve some coleslaw on this if you were truly wanting authenticity.  I'll give you my recipe for a great version at the end.


On the day I served these I made homemade oven chips to have with the pulled pork.  I just cut some potatoes into thick wedges/strips and tossed them together with some garlic and onion salt, pepper and paprika and a bit of oil and then stretched them onto a large oiled baking sheet and roasted them in a very hot oven for about 20 minutes.  They were great! 


*BBQ Pulled Pork*
Serves 6

Plan ahead as the pork needs to marinate in the rub for several hours  You will want to start this in the morning. This makes delicious sandwiches! 

You will need:
2 1/2 to 3 pound pork shoulder roast 

For the rub:
1 1/2 TBS sweet paprika
1/2 TBS garlic powder
1/2 TBS  soft light brown sugar, packed
1/2 TBS dry mustard powder
1/2 TBS coarse black pepper
1 1/2 TBS coarse sea salt 


For the sauce:
180ml apple cider vinegar (3/4 cup)
125g yellow mustard (NOT English, but mild American, 1/2 cup)
3 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
meat drippings  


To serve:
Soft white buns 


Mix together all of the ingredients for the rub.  Remove any rind and skin from the pork and discard. Leave a thin layer of fat.  Rub the roast all over with the rub ingredients. Place on a plate and then refrigerate for several hours uncovered.


Preheat the oven to 150*C/300*F/ gas mark 3.  Put the pork into a roasting pan with a small amount of boiling water.  Roast in the oven, turning it every now and then for about 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is basically falling apart.


While you are roasting the meat, make the sauce.  Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar over medim low heat. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes.  Set aside.


When the pork is done, remove it from the oven. Place it on a plate, lightly tent and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of water to the roasting pan drippings.  Cook over medium heat, stirring to deglaze the pan and get up any scrummy bits.  Bring to the boil and reduce by half.  Stir the mixture that is left into the BBQ sauce and reheat the sauce over low for about 5 minutes or so.


Place the pork into a bowl and pull the meat into chunks and shreds using two forks. Add half of the BBQ sauce and toss together to coat.


To serve spoon the pork mixture into white buns and pass any remaining sauce on the side. Pickles and closeslaw go very well with these.


*Creamy Coleslaw*
Serves 8 to 10
 

A deliciously cream coleslaw that has just the right amount of crunch and flavour!  There is no sogginess here!! 


10 ounces of white cabbage, trimmed, cored and very thinly cut
(about 1/2 of a medium cabbage)
5 ounces of carrots, peeled, trimmed and juilienned
(1 medium carrot)
4 inches of an English Cucumber, trimmed, seeded and cut into small dice
(Do not peel)
2 - 3 large dessertspoons of good quality mayonnaise
1 TBS of Dijon mustard
2 TBS white wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp celery salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp onion powder 


Place the vegetables into a large bowl.  Whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, sugar, celery salt, black pepper and onion powder.  Mix well.  Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat.  Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving. 


Note - the amount of mayonnaise you use depends on the cabbage, some cabbages take more mayonnaise than others.  It also depends on how creamy you like your coleslaw! 



Wether you choose to have coleslaw with these or not, or oven chips or whatever . . . I think you will agree that these BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches are quite, quite delicious!  Bon Appetit!


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Marie Rayner
5 Comments
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5 comments:

  1. Yum to all of it! I love pulled pork and homemade chips and cole slaw!

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    Replies
    1. Then you are in for a real treat Jan! Xo

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  2. Marie, pulled pork originated in and is a speciality of the southern United States and you should credit it as you would any other country's cuisine. You wouldn't refer to any British speciality as European, so you should apply the same courtesy to my country.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for any offense taken KBrown. None was meant. I have not called this British Cuisine, but American, which is not wrong. It is something which the UK is embracing at the moment so it is quite current for over here. Thanks very much for the information on its origins however!

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    2. PS - Last time I checked by the way, Europe was composed of many different countries, of which the UK was only one. We are not considered to be a part of the United States of Europe in any way either as the recent referendum is taking us out of that Economic Union. We are a country on our own composed of four smaller countries (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland), and as far as I am aware America is also country so I was not entirely wrong in referring to this as an American dish.

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