OMG BBQ Pulled Pork
This week's recipe is definitely of the "tastes better than it looks" variety. Despite the time it takes to cook, it's actually really really easy to make, and well worth the wait! I adapted this from a BBC GoodFood recipe - without changing it too much. The changes I did make were down to ingredient availability rather than any specific preference.
Now, this takes a while, so go on! Get started!
800g pork loin joint (skinless)
3tbsp coconut oil
3 1/2tsp smoked paprika
3 1/2tsp mustard powder
2 1/2tsp onion salt
1tsp garlic salt
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2tsp garlic puree
100ml cider vinegar
85g dark soft brown sugar
2tsp hot chilli powder
1tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2tsp chipotle paste
2tbsp tomato puree
75ml black treacle
Pulled Pork is one of my favourite foods, and would work particularly well served in a brioche bun, with some sweet potato chips on the side, following a Crispy Fried Ricotta Gnocchi with Garlic & Chilli starter!
This recipe should comfortably fill 8 buns.
1. Heat the oven to 150ºC (or 130ºC if fan-assisted. From now on we shall call this state of being fan-cy.)
2. Rub the pork all over with 2tbsp of the coconut oil, and then sear on all sides, until golden brown, in a very hot pan.
3. Rest the meat on a wire rack in a roasting tin. Mix 2tsp each of the mustard powder, and paprika, and 1tsp each of the onion salt and garlic salt. Rub it well into the seared pork.
4. Pour 1 cup of water into the roasting tin, cover very tightly with foil and pop it briefly in the oven... for 5 hours. Yes. Five.
5. After about 4 1/2 hours, get started on the sauce. BBC GoodFood describe it as Homemade Chipotle Molasses BBQ Sauce, and it is nothing short of tremendous!
6. Heat the remaining 1tbsp of coconut oil in a large saucepan.
7. Add the onion and garlic puree, being careful that the oil is not too hot, otherwise you'll have burned onions and volcanic garlic puree. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions soften.
8. Add the cider vinegar, brown sugar, chilli powder, and the remaining mustard powder and smoked paprika, along with the Worcestershire sauce, chipotle paste, tomato puree, passata and treacle. Stir it all in until it combines smoothly.
9. Bring to the boil, then turn it down to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, before removing from the heat and leaving it to cool.
10. After the five hours is up, bring the pork out of the oven and pop it in a large dish. It should be almost falling apart, and should shred easily between two forks. Do this, with great joy and abandon. Possibly some psychotic glee, accompanied by maniacal laughter. Taste a bit. Then another bit. Then another bit.
11. Add four table spoons of the BBQ sauce, and mix it right through, shredding a bit more as you go. Repeat this step another three times. Taste taste taste.
11.5 - yes, I made a revelation between drafts! Stick the meat under the grill for a few minutes to caramelise a little. Well worth it!
12. Have a taste of the sauce on its own, as it packs quite a kick for a BBQ sauce. I love heat and spice, so if you're like me, pop a table-spoon's worth on the bottom half of each bun, and then pile the pulled pork on top. You may also want to pop another table spoon of the sauce on top. If you prefer it a little tamer, the pork is fine on its own!
And there you have it. Tidy!
Morrisons take top spot again this week, with an expensive-looking £21.30. There are a lot of spices and individual ingredients in the sauce, which really rack up the price if you have to buy them all out right, but after 3 months of weekly recipes, many of these things are now cupboard staples for me, so this doesn't reflect the true cost. More on this later!
Tesco landed a credible second place spot at £22.24 followed by ASDA in third place at £23.43. As is so often the case, Sainsbury's were quite comfortably last at £26.54.
The coconut oil made all the difference, again. Taking this cost out of the equation, ASDA would've won very comfortably indeed. They really need to up their game in that regard. I can't understand why they don't sell the KTC brand, when they carry so many other KTC lines.
Despite an unusually strong offering in several ingredients, Sainsbury's still would've finished last. They did look more competitive than usual, though.
Well. I feel honour-bound to confess that this week, we had our very first irrecoverable TidyMunch kitchen disaster. I'd intended to follow the BBC GoodFood recipe to also include the Brioche buns, but have re-affirmed to myself that despite last week's Dark Chocolate & Apricot Tart success, I'm no baker! It was an unmitigated disaster, so I tweaked the recipe by popping out to Sainsbury's for some ordinary burger buns, as pictured above. It's unusual for me to leave myself short of time for a second attempt if the first doesn't work out, but lessons well and truly learned this time!
The original recipe includes a product called Liquid Smoke, which I'd really like to try, but none of the big four supermarkets had it. This saddened me greatly. However, that said, I think the recipe stands up well on its own! If you do decide to use it though, just add 1tbsp to the spice mix for the pork, and brush it on rather than rubbing it in. You can also add 1tbsp to the sauce recipe.
I think this could also be amazing if wood chips were included during the slow cooking, but I'm not entirely sure of the logistics of making this happen whilst avoiding fire!
Vegetarians... You're on your own for this one, I've no clue!
As for the fat-fighters, there's a lot of naughtiness in the sauce... but you can have as much or as little as you choose!
The beauty of pulled pork is that it's a filling. It doesn't need to fill buns. I'm about to be brave and try it in an omelette (brave or stupid?) but it would work well in enchiladas or burritos, or even as a simple baked potato filling. You could also use it to top a pizza (or fold it in a calzone) . I'm tempted to just pop to the kitchen now, and eat it cold, with a fork, directly from the bowl. Bathed in the light of the still-open fridge door. But I won't.
The original recipe uses a 2.5kg boneless shoulder joint, but I just didn't have that many people to feed, and couldn't find a smaller shoulder one. I didn't adjust the cooking time, but the loin joint didn't dry out too much, so result. There weren't any juices left over, though, which the original recipe does incorporate.
There's a Brazilian tweak in Cabana The Cookbook which I'm very intrigued to try (and their buns look easier, too!)