Pulled pork is entirely ubiquitous now. It seems to be available in some form or other in almost every restaurant. I’ve seen it on pizza. I’ve seen it topping burgers. I recently observed a restaurant offering a pulled pork sundae (the mind fairly boggles but some secrets are better kept).
There’s a very simple reason for this: It’s inexpensive to produce, it’s completely delicious, it’s a wonderful, warming comfort food and it’s super versatile (although I still think it’s wrong to put it on pizza). It’s also a perfect candidate for helping you make more use of that slow-cooker sulking at the back of your cupboards. I like mine spicy, tangy and tender, i.e. the way it should be.
- ~1.4 kg pork joint, bone in
- Salt and pepper
- One large white onion, sliced
- One green bell pepper, sliced
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 350ml water
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely sliced (I used rehydrated chipotle chillies)
- 3 tbsp honey
- Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, deep based frying pan and brown the pork on all sides, turning carefully with tongs. I recommend wearing an apron for this bit, as the fat will tend to spit
- Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, and add the onion, green pepper and dry spices to the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes and then add the vinegar and simmer until reduced by about half (don’t inhale, that stuff’s not as nice to breathe as it is to eat). Stir in the water and bring to the boil before pouring over the meat.
- Add the tomatoes, honey and chillies into the slow cooker and give everything a stir before setting the slow cooker to low. Cook for 8-10 hours.
- Lift the meat out of the slow cooker. Remove any fat and any bones and shred with a fork. If you want to thicken the sauce I recommend removing it and returning it to the frying pan and adding a tablespoon of cornflour dissolved in two tablespoons of water. If you stir and cook it’ll thicken. You don’t need to do this, but it’s a nice sauce to serve the pork in if you want to.
- Serve however you like, but my favourite is in tortilla wraps with anything remotely Tex-Mex-y I can find in my kitchen.
I like to serve mine in wraps with rice, refried beans and all your standard Tex-Mex style accompaniments. It’s also great in big fluffy rolls with a good dollop of coleslaw. If you must, I suppose you could put it on pizza or create some kind of sundae but I won’t be held responsible for the results.
The leftovers are great and even better the next day, as so often is the case with spicy, tomato-y stuff given a chance to infuse. It’ll also freeze fine.