Pulled pork, is there anything better? I love to put a fresh spin on this classic, shredded, melt in your mouth meat, serving it Mexican taco or Vietnamese Banh Mi style with a few salad options I know the kids will devour. After a few sunny winter days, I wheeled out this favourite in a bid to convince myself summer is on its way!
Typically, pulled pork is always best when cooked using a boneless shoulder roast. Having said that, I couldn’t get my hands on one. Opting for a forequarter cut instead, it just meant I’d have to fish a few large bones out when it came time to shred. This recipe is deliciously smoky with a touch of mild spice. For those who aren’t seasoned spice eaters, omit the paprika and chillies. Finally, though I’ve cooked it in the oven, I’m told you can put this all in the slow cooker and let it do its thing.
1.5kg boneless pork shoulder, rind removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 dried red chillies, halved
400g tin chopped tomatoes
½ cup malt vinegar
½ cup pure maple syrup
1½ cups beef stock
10 sprigs of thyme
sea salt and black pepper
Extras for serving – mini tortillas, coriander, red cabbage, avocado, lime, grilled corn, baby cos lettuce (pretty much whatever you fancy)
- Preheat the oven to 160°c.
- With the pork rind removed, trim the piece of meat as much as you can of any excess fat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat a heavy based oven proof casserole dish on the stove-top over high heat (medium to high heat if you’re using a French oven similar to mine). Add the oil and pork and cook for five minutes each side or until browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- To the pot, add the diced onion and garlic, cooking for four to five minutes or until lightly golden. Don’t forget to scrape those delicious encrusted pork bits off the bottom of your pan while cooking your onion and garlic. Yum!
- Return the pork to the pot and add the paprika, dried chillies, tomato, malt vinegar, maple syrup, beef stock, thyme, another sprinkle of salt and pepper and bring it to a simmer on the stove-top.
- Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for two and a half hours, turning the pork half way through the cooking time. Uncover and cook for a further thirty minutes or until the pork is easily splinted with a fork.
- Take the pork out and tear at the meat with two forks until it’s all shredded. Discard any fatty bits, they’re not too nice to eat!
- Return the shredded pork to the pan juices and stir through, squashing any garlic bits along the way and picking out the tiny thyme twigs if you think they’ll freak the kids out.
Serve the pork however you see fit – as I mentioned earlier, I like it with mini tortillas and salad for a deliciously fresh, light meal. This recipe serves about six people and full recipe credit goes to one of my favourite Aussie chefs, Donna Hay.
Make sure to browse our recipe archives for more great meal ideas and treats to try.