Recipe : Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Let's just be honest with ourselves for a sec yeah? It is COLD. I think some of us are a little bit in denial of the sudden weather change that seems to have crept in very sneakily over the last few weeks. Just today I left the house in a really light cardigan and had to go back in to the house and put on a coat. Of course my little man was totally snug as a bug in his pram, but I was prepared to freeze, ignorant of the fact that sunshine does not necessarily mean warmth. Lesson learned. I've dug out the hats and scarves, and it's now a given that boots will be an essential part of my daily wardrobe.

                                                              Snug As A Bug

In this delightfully cool weather, it's important to keep ourselves warm and toasty. I don't know about you, but I'm craving comforting wholesome dinners - stews, curries, soups and casseroles. That kind of thing. For this reason I really wanted a slow cooker because I had heard so many good things about them. A few friends swear by them and had told me about how they would prepare dinner in the morning, and after a bit of chopping they could literally lob a load of things in the slow cooker and leave it on low for 6-8 hours and dinner was ready and waiting come dinner time. This really appealed to me. Thankfully it appealed to my boyfriend too, and he bought us one. That was 5 weeks ago and I've already used the slow cooker an average of 2-3 times per week. And not just because it's quick and easy, but because the food comes out delicious! The other huge benefit, in my opinion, is that there is only one dish to wash up after the cooking process. I've made curries, spagetti bollognaise (never tasted one as nice, genuinely), stew, sausage and chorizo casserole, beef straganoff, sweet and sour chicken, a full roast chicken, chicken thighs and Asian vegetables, and most recently - pulled pork. 

Pulled pork is super trendy these days. You'll see it in most places, themed with trendy words like "slaw" and on fancy brioche buns. We decided to give it a bash ourselves and this is how it went. The recipe is from this website. It turned out really nice, but I would change the dry rub a little bit the next time I make it. I would omit the cinamon and add in Smoked Paprika. It was really lovely though, very tasty, and we got two days of dinner and one lunch out of it. 

OK, so this is what you will need.

- 1 shoulder of Pork. I bought ours in the butchers on Moore Street, of all places. 
- 2 large onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 chicken stock cube 
- 1 cup of boiling water 
- tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- teaspoon of salt 
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinamon 
- 1 tablespoon of chilli powder 

to serve 

- 2 cups of BBQ sauce 
- coleslaw of your choice
- pickles (optional)
- brioche bun or any bun/bread of your choice 

Thinly slice your onions and garlic and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the stock cube to the cup of boiling water, stir and add to the dish on top of the bed of onions and garlic. 

In a bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, and pat it on to the shoulder of pork. This is the "dry rub" that you hear so often mentioned on tv shows like Man Vs Food.

Place the shoulder of pork in to the slow cooker directly on top of the bed of onions and garlic. Pop the lid on and set it to 'low' and just forget about it for 6-8 hours. The longer the better though.

And this is what you'll find waiting for you after eight hours. Now THEY are caramelised onions. Your entire house will smell like this yummy food - one of the good/bad things about a slow cooker. It's a bit bizarre to smell your dinner and to want it straight after your breakfast. 

Take the shoulder of pork and place it on to a chopping board. The bone in it will literally slide out. We couldn't even get it as far as the chopping board before the bone fell out. Remove the top layer of fat (which is very important for the cooking process for flavour, so leave it on while it's cooking). Grab a fork and simply 'pull' the pork apart. It will be juicy, tender and simply divine. 

Place the pork in to a blow and add in the BBQ sauce. This is optional but I personally don't think it would be the same without it. As I said above, I found the cinnamin flavour a bit intense and wouldn't use that spice in the dry rub next time, so I felt I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much without the BBQ sauce mixed in. We used a lovely BBQ marinade like this. Combine with the pork and add more or less, depending on what consistency you would like. I wanted mine to be moist but not too wet. You can also add the onions which are exceptionally gooey at this stage.


The finished product. Gorgeous. We happened to get brioche buns in Aldi that week, but you can generally always get them in Marks & Spencer. I served mine with pickles (from LIDL, the jarred ones), a slice of cheese (processed crappy cheese actually works best for meltiness) and a tablespoon of coleslaw. 'Twas a dinner with a bit of attitude to be fair.

Little man watched on from his bouncer as I assembled the buns. And as you can see, I was sporting a particularly sexy fluffy sock and PJ combo. Sure look, we can't all be Nigella.

Over and out! 

Tracey x

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