I know pulled pork sounds indulgent and naughty but it doesn’t have to be. My version uses apple juice and stock with a few spices, garlic and onion all cooked in the slow cooker for 5-6 hours till it is melt in the mouth. It has no added fat or sugar and can be served with the reduced cooking juices with a baked sweet potato or coleslaw made with yoghurt not mayonnaise.
What is so brilliant about using a slow cooker is that by the time dinner is ready, you have almost forgotten about the fact you had to do some prep 6 hours earlier. Nothing easier than a bit of chopping, slicing and dicing and turning on a machine and popping out for the afternoon to be welcomed back home with wafts of pork goodness.
I come back to this recipe time and time again, I think it is the gentle flavours and the fact one can eat it with almost anything using the pork as a base to so many other dishes. You could have it with brown rice and black beans with some Sriracha hot sauce. Or put a large pile onto a fajita wrap with bbq sauce, finely sliced cabbage, carrot and grated apple.
I have almost made this more like Sunday lunch and with the cooking juices i added them to stewed apple and made little roast potatoes and roasted root vegetables. Simple but yet very comforting and when you slow cook this cut of meat you can take out any of the extra fat when you shred it meaning it does end up being quite lean.
2 white onions, finely sliced
3 large garlic cloves
250 ml chicken or vegetable stock
100 ml apple juice
1 tbls honey or brown sugar
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 kg rolled shoulder of pork
Dry pat the pork and remove any string and rub all dry ingredients and leave for an hour in the fridge.
Finely slice the garlic and onion and arrange in a layer on the bottom of the slow cooker then remove the pork from the fridge and place on top of the onions.
Add the stock, apple juice and honey to the slow cooker, place on the lid and set to high.
Leave cooking for around 6 hours till when you press the pork with two forks it comes apart easily.
lift the pork out and shred while still hot, removing any pieces of fat. Take the cooking juices and put into a sauce pan and cook on high to reduce the liquid. Once this has become a little thicker, add a few ladles back into the pork mixture to keep it moist. The rest of the sauce can be mixed with apple or blitzed down as a gravy.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, then you can do the same thing but in a large cast iron pot with a lid and put it in the oven at 150 degrees for around 3-4 hours till the meat will fall apart. Keep an eye as it can dry up, so add a splash of water, stock or apple juice to keep the meat in a cooking juice so it will remain tender and succulent.