Lightly spiced, juicy slow cooked pork in a barbecue sauce. Stuff some tortillas and Voila!
Quite a while back now, we had a group of friends round for dinner. One of the dishes me and hubby put up was pulled pork. It was a huge hit. We also did a pulled beef but the pulled pork was definitely the best. We loved it and as a result we have it quite regularly now. Especially in Winter. You’ve heard all about my love for slow cooking hearty meals in Winter in my Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff recipe.
As a general rule, for slow cooking you want to use the cheaper cuts of meat. I know! Win, win right? :). For Pulled Pork a great cut is pork neck but you’ll probably need to go to your butcher for this. In the US they call it the Pork or Boston butt. I might have giggled an eency bit just then. Pork butt. Not being immature at all. Anyway, moving on. The pork shoulder is good too. Anything with a bit of fat and a decent grain to it. Get it with the bone in if you can as this will add heaps of flavour.
This pulled pork is yummy and fall apart delicious. I’ve made pulled pork a few times and use nothing more than the juices from the cooking reduced into a sauce to top it but this time I decided to make a barbecue sauce to smother it with as well. Super juicy and perfect in tacos.
This recipe goes a really, really long way too. So you can reduce the recipe but I find the leftovers always get eaten, so I’ll continue to over-cater as is my habit 🙂
You start by brining the meat overnight. You can skip this step if you like but I find it does make a difference to the tenderness at the end of the cook.
- 1.5 kg pork neck / shoulder (bone in, skin removed)
- 2 tablespoon oil, to seal the outside - (note 1)
- 1 whole onion, chopped
For the Brine
- ½ cup salt
- ½ cup sugar
- Enough water to cover
- 2 bay leaves
For the Dry rub
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar - (note 1)
- 1 tablespoon mild paprika - (note 1)
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (or add more cayenne if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
For the Sauce
- 1/3 cup your favourite BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste - (note 1)
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon
- ½ tin crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup chicken or beef stock
- Sliced avocado
- Small tortillas or taco shells
- Tasty cheese
- Lime wedges
- The night before; Find a big zip lock plastic bag, place the pork inside, then add enough water to cover the pork. Add the salt, sugar, and bay leaves. Seal the bag and give it a good shake around. Leave it in the fridge overnight.
- Next morning; This pulled pork takes around 7 hours to cook in a slow cooker so start 7.5 hours before you want to serve.
- Take the pork out of the bag and discard all other contents.
- Use paper towels to pat the pork very dry. Mix together the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and then rub them all over the pork. Don’t leave any behind and make sure to really press it down onto the meat.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and then add the pork. Move around to just seal each side. Not too long as you don’t want to burn all the spices.
- To a slow cooker, first add the onion, then the pork on top. Cook on low for 7 hours.
- When the 7 hours are up, take the pork out and place on a board to the side while you make the sauce.
- Skim any fat off the surface of the juices left in the slow cooker. Add the juices, the cooked onion and all the sauce ingredients to a saucepan and bring to the boil stirring. Turn down to a simmer and reduce by about half.
- While the sauce is reducing, use 2 forks to gently pull apart the pork into strips.
- When the sauce has finished, pour it back into the slow cooker (to save on washing up) along with all the pork and give it a good mix up. You can keep it warm in the slow cooker or serve straight away.
- Add some coleslaw, cheese, pork and avocado to a warm tortilla and devour
- I use an Australian standard 20ml Tablespoon