Despite writing my own blog, editing another well established food blog (Kitchen Bitching), and being extremely passionate about cooking, I’m terribly fussy when it comes to food; and even more so when meat is thrown into the equation.
My entire culinary repertoire used to revolve around chicken, until I was taken out for my first fillet steak, sampled a venison casserole, and discovered that minced steak could taste amazing when coupled with half a bottle of red wine and turned into a damn tasty cottage pie. But when it comes to pork, I’ve always remained stubbornly opposed to its unappealing pallor. Until now.
A friend of mine (intent on extending my palette, and fully aware of my aversion to pork) sent me a link to a recipe for pulled pork by the very talented Simon Rimmer, along with a hearty endorsement of the finished product. I had to admit, it looked good. So, in the interests of being able to blog about more than just cakes and chicken, I bought my very first piece of pork and got stuck in (the initial preparation is very hands-on).
As I was only cooking for three I halved all of the ingredients, but I’ve listed the original quantities in case you want to make the full amount.
- Olive oil, for greasing
- 2kg pork shoulder
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 200ml white wine vinegar
- 250ml cider
- 3 onions, finely sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
Make the magic happen
1. Preheat oven to 170C
2. Oil a baking tray and place the pork shoulder on top
3. Mix together the chilli, mustard and salt and pepper, then rub the mixture into the pork shoulder, making sure you get into all of the nooks and crannies (this is the hands-on part)
4. When suitably rubbed in, pour the vinegar and cider over the pork and scatter with the onion and garlic
5. Cover the whole thing with parchment paper, then wrap in foil and pop into the oven for three hours
6. To achieve the glorious crispy outside, remove the parchment and foil, then roast for another hour (or longer if, like me, you like things really well done)
7. Use two forks to ‘pull’ the pork by shredding the meat into small pieces
8. Serve on a crusty white bap with a dollop of coleslaw and a good squeeze of barbecue sauce
The pork was an absolute success, and the whole thing (bap, sauce and all) tasted gorgeous. In fact, my mum said it was the best pork she’d ever tasted, and the first time it had been cooked properly in our house (my dad, the chef, was less than impressed at this).
So, whether you’re a pork fan or a sceptic like me, I urge you to give this recipe a go. You’ll be very glad you did.
Love Emma xx