Nothing smells better than a hunk of pork simmering in the slow cooker waiting to be pulled and enrobed with a barbecue sauce- the recipe here features the sweetness of honey and the sharpness of salted red onion bathed in lemon juice.
I wanted to invite our new neighbours over and was torn between preparing a very casual spag bol-type supper or going in all guns blazing with a fine dining menu.
I settled on a compromise serving my favourite smoked salmon towers recipe (check out video below) as a starter followed by homemade pulled pork to be loaded onto large tortilla wraps, hand cut sweet potato fries and homemade chunky coleslaw. Well - I meant to serve the coleslaw but completely forgot to get it out of the fridge!
Desert was a bread and butter style pudding made with pannettone soaked in a cream-based liqueur. I added more liquid than normal so the pud was more egg custardy avoiding the dryness that can occur with this type of desert.
Back to the pulled pork. Everyone has their own preference but I like mine sweet and sticky. I also like to make extra barbecue sauce to pour over the pork on serving. My Texan friend claims the secret to great pulled pork and barbecue sauce is sugar, sugar and more sugar. He's right so this recipe is probably best kept for a treat rather than a weekly meal unless you want to tweak the recipe and cut down on the sugar.
I think you could probably swap much of the sugar for a sugar substitute like stevia - let me know if you have done this successfully.
1kg pork - I used a shoulder joint but you can use chops, loin, or any cut really. Cheap is fine as the slow cooking tenderises.
1 tsp oil
2tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar is nicest)
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 medium red onion
1 tsp mustard - I used dijon but any will do.
1/2 cup ready-made barbecue sauce (I used a honey-based sauce as I like my pork sweet)
Pour 1 tsp oil into base of slow cooker then add all the rest of the ingredients. Cook on high for 2 hours then on low for 3-4 hours. (Mine was actually on for 9 hours altogether) Turn or baste occasionally so the top of the meat doesn't dry out.
Remove meat carefully from slow cooker into another container. I used a microwaveable bowl as wanted to re-heat the pork after the starter.
Using two forks "pull" the meat into shreds, as fine or as chunky as you like. Add extra barbecue sauce to taste.
For the sauce to serve on the side I combined 4 tbsps ready-made barbecue sauce, 1 tbsp sugar and 4 tbsp juice from the slow cooker.
I warmed wraps and served with the "salsa" which was simply finely sliced red onion which I had marinated in 2 tsp lemon juice (you can use lime) 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. I also put out creme fraiche which most of my guests added to their wraps.
Don't forget to put out napkins- this meal can get messy!