I love the rich, fatty, moreishness (sure, thats a real word) of a slow roast pork joint, especially when the weather starts to cool down (read; where the hell did summer go London?). Sure, it’s a bit indulgent, but you have to indulge yourself now and then.
The spice rub we use here really lifts the pork nicely, and the result is fairly versatile in how and what it can be served with. Our absolute fave option is to make faux tacos using lettuce cups and all the trimmings (yum).
This recipe freezes really well because of the liquid content, and so once cooked, can be kept in the freezer for a decent length of time and quickly reheated. If the boy comes across pork on special he will buy a sizeable* joint, make this recipe and then freeze into portions appropriate for two, ready for a quick dinner from the freezer.
Spiced Pulled Pork
- 2-3kg high welfare pork shoulder (preferably bone in)
- 2 red or brown onions
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Halve the onions, remove the skin, and cut into wedges lengthways (I find each onion makes about 10 wedges).
Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of a large oven safe pot (that has a lid) or crockpot. If you don’t have something large enough, you can use an oven tray (and tinfoil when it comes time to cover).
Grind the whole spices in a mortar and pestle, then mix in the remaining ingredients except for the chicken stock.
Pat the pork dry with paper towels and then rub the spice mixture over the meat. Place the pork on top of the onions and put in the oven, uncovered.
After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 160c, add the chicken stock and cover. Cook for 4.5-5 hours.
Remove the pork from the oven. Transfer the pork to a chopping board or plate to cool.
Pour the liquid out of the pot/roasting dish and into a last bowl. There should be a layer of oil sitting on top of the cooking liquid. Skim off 1-2 tablespoons into the pan/roasting dish and discard most of the rest of the oil (don’t worry about trying to get it all).
Using 2 forks, shred the pork, discarding any particularly large bits of fat.
Heat the pan/roasting dish over a hob and then add back the pork. Cook, string frequently, in the pan for a few minutes to get a little colour on some of the pork. Add back all the cooking liquid, including the onions, and then return to the oven, uncovered for 20 minutes.
There are lots of ways to serve this, but for ‘make your own at the table’ lettuce cups, serve along with the salsa and guacamole from our nachos recipe, as well as whole leaves from an iceberg lettuce, corn kernels which have been baked in the oven to make them chewy, and (if you aren’t anti dairy) paprika yoghurt (2Tbsp natural yoghurt, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, mixed).
Now – tuck in and get your hands dirty!
*And when I say sizeable I mean seriously huge. Walking home from Tesco with a joint of meat almost bigger than you is no laughing matter. Except for everyone around you.