Hello lovely readers!
I hope you are all well and ready for a tasty treat! I've been meaning to take pictures and tell you all about the making of my speciality dish for ages... last weekend I finally got round to it.
Me and the Mr cook this dish approx twice a month and we love it.
Our first taste of pulled pork was when we visited Cuba de Revolution about a year ago and sampled their delicious pulled pork sarnie laced with their speciality rum hot sauce. We went back a few times, mainly when hungover, before realising how easy it would be to recreate the dish ourselves at home without having to venture out with a sore head and an empty belly.
We've since made this dish for lots of friends and family; the dish even took centre place on a buffet table last boxing day for all the family!
Each time we cook it we switch it up a little so throughout the step by steps below i'll let you in on some of our alternatives!
1 pork shoulder joint
1 can of coke
Lots of your chosen hot and spicy seasoning/bourbon seasoning
Your choice of a nice BBQ sauce (we used a HP Smoke Honey BBQ one this time)
A nice crusty baguette or some nice soft rolls, whichever you fancy!
Prepping your pork
The first thing you need to do is choose your seasoning- we've tried tons of different ones over the past year. Asda and Tesco both do their own Hot and Spicy mix but we like to find new products when cooking!
If you look back at my Flavourly box review I linked to Taste Gourmet Spice Company after receiving a sample mulled spice mix in my box. We then spotted their stand at the BBC Good Food Show last month and picked up their Fire-Pit BBQ Rub.
This rub is INTENSE! Its got a really lovely smokey flavour that really works with this recipe. The rub is made by soaking peppercorns in bourbon then roasting and grinding them into a pepper base then combining them with lots of lovely spices to give it a kick. The rub contains half the amount of sugar and a quarter the amount of salt you normally find in other rubs on the market and we've also tried it on some yummy potato wedges.
So, now you've got your rub at the ready the first thing to do is slather your pork joint in a nice glug of olive oil. We use Filippo Berio- I always want to sing the song from the advert when I say it... ok...just me.
Then its time to get hands on! Smother your joint in the rub; we used half the pot... and I mean smother it! Make sure you get into all the nooks of the meat and cover all sides.
Once you've done this and washed your mitts then get a can of coke.. yes you read right... and pour the can over the the joint and give it another good loving rub- we like doing this as it adds a bit more sweetness and stickiness.
Now pop some foil over the top of the bowl and pop it into the fridge for a few hours so the flavours from the rub and coke can work their way into the meat.
Cooking the meat
We normally leave it to marinade for about 2 hours. Once you've got the joint out the fridge you'll see the majority of the coke has soaked into the meat and its looking lovely and dark- it already smells good enough to eat at this stage!
Preheat your oven to 150c
Pop the pork joint into a pyrex dish or a suitable dish for the oven along with any of the leftover juices from the dish
Then get it in the oven on the top shelf.
At this point you can sit back and relax for about 5 hours whilst your pork slowly cooks. We start to get really hungry at this point as it smells so bloody good. Don't get too eager though.. it needs its full 5 hours (or more if you like at a lower temperature, some recipes say 8 hours at 100c!)
After the wait your cooked pork should look like this-
Ohhh I can imagine the smells now as a write this!
Prepping your sarnie
Remove all the string from the meat and your next job is the shredding.
Remove your pork from the tin and pop in onto a chopping board, grab two forks and get stuck in, shedding the pork between the forks.
Hopefully if you've cooked it for long enough you'll have a lovely crispy dark outside with tender juicy meat underneath. The joint should fall apart when shreddding- this means you've cooked it spot on!
At this point you can put the pork to one side and follow the next steps later on if you like.
Otherwise, whilst you are shedding through the pork get your kitchen helper (the Mr) to get a pan on the hob with a small splash of oil in and add your BBQ sauce to the pan to warm, we use about 1/2 of a bottle. You can also add some more rub/seasoning to the BBQ sauce and give it a stir.
This is where we switch it up a little bit each time we cook it. Either you can serve the BBQ sauce separately in a pouring jug or slather your pulled pork in the BBQ sauce and mix then serve.
Pulled pork sarnies wouldn't be right without some hot sauce-
I'll admit it... I'm obsessed with Franks Red Hot Original- I have it on pizza, pasta,salads.. basically everything apart from my cereal! Its also the same for the Mr and his hot pepper sauce. These both work really well with the pulled pork and give it a good spicy kick.
Now get constructing your sarnie!
We chop and change the bread we use, sometimes we go for nice soft baps; this time we went for a rustic flour french stick from Tesco slathered in some nice salted butter
Pop a generous helping of the pork into the roll and then top it off with your nice warm BBQ sauce and maybe a little side salad (although all we had was tomatoes this time!).
Season with some salt and pepper and add your choice of hot sauce.
And your done!
If you want an extra kick of spice then pop some jalapeños in- even a bit of lettuce if you are feeling the need some some greens.
You can even use a slow cooker to do the pork in if you want to leave it to cook whilst out(although you won't get the crispy chewy outside) google it for some yummy ideas.
Through our many experiments with this dish we've found our favourite rub- give it a go and visit Gourmet Spice Co
We still haven't found our fav BBQ sauce though.... can you recommend any good, rich deep flavoured,sticky ones?
I hope you have enjoyed cooking with me and I've got your mouths well and truly watering!