Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pulled pork

Having first heard about pulled pork a year or so ago, puzzled over what the hell it was for a while and finally started searching the internet for pictures and recipes, I decided it was about time I gave it a go myself.  There are dozens of recipes out there, all somewhat similar but not quite and, if I could get my hands on some pork shoulder, I thought it'd be worth a try.  One of the things most of the recipes said was that it always serves more than you think and that it freezes really well.  Sounds ideal.  Of course, when looking at these recipes I wasn't really looking at quantities, just making sure I had most of the stuff.  When I asked for pork shoulder at the market yesterday they apologised that they only had a small piece left but, since it weighed just over 500g, about the weight I had been planning on buying, I was perfectly fine with that.  Only to get home and see that almost all the recipes I had found call for a whopping four pounds of meat (and those that don't call for six!).  No wonder people think it goes a long way - that's two kilos of meat.  I'm planning on at least four or five servings from my 500g.

Reducing the spices to suit the smaller amount of meat isn't difficult but I am a bit nervous about the slow cooker being far too big now.  But I'm going to cook it during the day so I can keep an eye on it while it's cooking.  At the moment, I've rubbed in the spices and the meat is sitting in the fridge settling.  That gives me another hour or two to decide exactly what to use for the liquid part of the cooking.  I haven't followed any one recipe exactly so far, more just read an awful lot of them and then thrown together a spice rub based on what I have on hand.

Spice rub for first attempt at pulled pork
1 teaspoon each of ground mace, BBQ powder, cumin, mustard powder, cayenne, coriander, black pepper, salt
4 teaspoons sugar

Update with the rest
I chopped a couple of onions and a small bunch of fresh garlic (the smell when I cut the garlic was wonderful) and fried them gently in some sunflower oil.  I put them into the bottom of the slow cooker, they made a decent covering of the entire bottom of it and I think less wouldn't have done (good thing I like onions, I'll have more than I need really for that amount of meat) and placed the pork on top.  Then I added about half a mug-full of cider vinegar and a bit more than that of chicken stock to the pan that I had cooked the onions and garlic in.  Let that boil and reduce for a while and then I poured it in to the jar of honey I had just used the last proper spoonful out of.  Well, a touch of honey's nice with pork and it's as good a way as any to clean a jar.  Once it was back in the pan, I added a jar of very runny tomato ketchup and a generous splashing of worcestershire sauce.  Let that all simmer for a while and before I added it to the slow cooker, I measured it.  There was about 350ml of liquid.  It covered the onions and came just a centimetre or two up the side of the meat, which is about right for braising, I reckon.  Have it on high and it should be ready in a few hours.  Between the pork and the apples I have going in the dehydrator, it's fairly delicious smelling around here at the moment.

And since I was in the kitchen anyway, I washed the salad, boiled myself some potatoes to have with some salad for lunch, washed everything up and then finally moved the jars of stuff I processed this summer and autumn out to the shelf in the hallway.  Until I clear out the big cupboards and/or find somewhere else to store stuff, this will have to do.  I rarely turn the light on in the hallway and there's no natural light, except for what comes in from other rooms, so it's about as dark as most cupboards most of the time anyway.  This isn't everything as I've already used up a good bit of stuff - this year I'd prefer to run out because I've used everything up than forget I have it and just buy things in to use.
Not an exact list but: vanilla sugar, 3 attempts at tomato ketchup, spicy tomato sauce, dried apples, dried strawberries, dried peaches, dried plums, raspberry jam, bottled peaches, bottled strawberries and lots and lots of tomatoes

1 comment:

~Carla~ said...

I miss spices.. there are spices on my "allergy" list and I miss them.. :( But i'd rather be able to breathe. lol! Your preserves all look wonderful! What a gold mine!!