Pulled Pork is easy to prepare at home, it’s great if you have a BBQ that can slow cook, but it’s easy to do in your slow cooker or oven as well. The trick is good quality pork, (Scott’s Free Range from the South Downs) and ideally rare breed pork has a higher fat content which makes the end result juicy and succulent with lots of flavour. On the bone also gives more flavour and keeps it moist. You can cook the whole shoulder if you have room, or the bone in neck end is best for smaller quantities.
Slowly cooked over charcoal for eighthours or more, whole shoulders of pork gently break down into succulent, seasoned meat that can be shredded between two forks. It’s a BBQ classic that has been cooked for millennia from Indonesia to Saxon England. This recipe takes it’s influence from the Southern US, with a dry rub, BBQ sauce and pickles, but you can use the basic cooking technique and use Somerset cider and apple sauce if you would prefer, or head for an Asian recipe with ginger, lemongrass, soy and coconut milk.
The classic pulled pork recipe uses a dry rub on the pork, which is then slow cooked for at least eight hours at 110°c until it falls off the bone. The pork is then pulled with two forks and combined with a spicy, sticky BBQ sauce. Then fill your bap and enjoy with a crunchy slaw and corn bread. This recipe is for a conventional oven if you haven’t got a BBQ that can slow cook.
1.8kg of Pork Shoulder (neck end, bone in)
Here’s the Rub:
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 heaped tbsp paprika powder
- 3 full tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 heaped tsp onion powder
- 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
- 1 heaped tsp garlic powder
- 1 heaped tsp chilli powder
Take the pork shoulder out of the fridge and bring to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 220°c. Cover with the rub and place skin side up in enough foil to wrap around, and then into a roasting tin. Place into the oven for 40 minutes until browned on the outside. Turn the heat down to 125°c and cover with the foil and seal. Cook for a further 6-7 hours until the internal temperature is 89°c, Pour off the juices, turn the oven back to 220°c and brown with the foil off for 10 minutes to crisp up. Then pull the pork with two forks, add the liquid and season.
Take it to the Sauce:
- 120g (4 oz) ketchup.
- 2 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar.
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar.
- 1 dash hot sauce, such as Tabasco.
- 1 clove garlic, minced.
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Combine vinegar, mustard, ketchup, 1/3 cup brown sugar, garlic cloves, kosher salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and let it sit until ready to use.
You can add the BBQ sauce to the pulled pork, or let people add it to taste. As with most slow cooked meat, you can refrigerate and reheat 24 hours later and it always tastes better. White bun, coleslaw, happy days…