I’ll admit to being very curious about pulled pork before I tried making it. I wondered what the fuss was all about seeing it splashed across so many blogs. Whilst I’d tasted it a couple of times from cafés I thought this week I would enter the fray and try my hand at making it myself. First up let me state for the record this was actually ridiculously easy to make, is no added fat (winner!) and very, very tasty (an opinion seconded by Mr G). It may have been the first attempt at this style of cooking, but it will not be my last.
To find my starting point I googled quite a few different recipes until I found one that wasn’t too complicated and had ingredients that appealed to me. For those of you seeing the recipes that ask you to brown your meat, cook 6 different ingredients independently, rub spices into a just browned meat (!?!?) and cook the recipe with 6 different processes, trust me when I say whilst that may make for a yummy result, it doesn’t have to be that difficult to get a delicious and easy to produce pulled pork. My recipe was based upon Kelly Senyei’s of Just A Taste and makes a great starting point.
For technique in pulling your pork, we discussed and experimented a little with different methods and can testify that you want to pull with the grain of the meat for a fairy floss style texture and a light and fluffy mix. If you go sideways to the grain the meat may be easier to do, look neater and pull in larger pieces, but we found it to be tougher in texture.
When you’ve got your end dish of pork it won’t look particularly pretty but what it lacks in appearance it will more than make up for in character. I’m already contemplating a version with apple and cinnamon and can’t wait to break out the slow cooker again to give it a try.
This recipe is equally delicious hot and cold so don’t be scared to have left overs.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Balsamic, Honey and Allspice
based on Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork by Kelly Senyei
- approx 1 1/2kg deboned pork shoulder or leg
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup lingonsylt (any jam here will do – raspberry, blackberry or plum)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (you could just use water)
- 5 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/2 large or 1 small brown onion finely diced
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tbl sp. cornflour
- 2-3 tbl sp. water
Clean up your piece of pork removing as much of the fat as you can. Place into the slow cooker.
In a bowl combine the honey, balsamic vinegar, hoisin sauce, jam, stock (or water), garlic, onion and spices. Combine until well mixed and then pour over the meat. Turn your slow cooker on low and cook for 8-9 hours.
Once the meat has cooked remove from the slow cooker and place in a large metal bowl keeping the juices of the marinade. Pull the pork whilst it is still hot using a fork and going with the grain.
Once the pork is done, take the remaining sauce from the slow cooker and place in a saucepan over a medium heat on your stove. Combine the cornflour and 2-3 tbl spoons of water to create a slurry and then add to the marinade mixture. Stir and cook until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. This should take about 3 minutes.
Pour the sauce back over the meat and stir through until the meat is well coated.
Serve hot or cold on slightly toasted rolls with a fresh coleslaw or add to an Asian style salad (recipe to come).
Happy Slow Cooking & Happy Eating,