For the last few years Australia has had an obsession with the American barbeque and pulled pork remains on trendy menus everywhere. To dine out on a single serve of pulled pork tacos, a pulled pork sandwich or burger, you can expect to pay $12 to $20 in a restaurant; a hefty price tag for something you can make at home.
Pork shoulder is my favourite cut of meat to buy. It’s generally $6.99 per kilo at the Dandenong market in Melbourne. Most pieces of pork shoulder will be around 2 to 3kgs. You can turn a pork shoulder into an excellent roast dinner by cross-hatching the skin, salting it and cooking it in a hot oven. However with a bit of seasoning and a long, slow cook, you can make pulled pork.
Making pulled pork will take about 6 hours of cooking, but requires very little labour.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius.
Take a large piece of tinfoil large enough to cover the entire surface of your pork a couple of times.
Rub the pork with a seasoning mix of a tablespoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, one tablespoon of smoked paprika and two tablespoons of brown sugar.
Wrap the pork with the tinfoil, making sure that it is covered completely.
Place the foil wrapped pork in a heavy baking dish, put in the oven and cook for 5 hours for a 2kg piece, 6 hours for a 3-4kg piece.
You want the pork to cook to the point that you can spoon the meat apart. Once cooked, pull the meat into shreds with a couple of spoons or forks. This meat can be portioned, cooled and frozen for future use.
Pulled Pork BBQ Sauce!
I never make pulled pork barbeque sauce the same way twice. It’s made of whatever pantry staples I have around. It is a great way of using odds and ends and last drips. You’re looking for a sweet, sour, salty, hot mix and this can be achieved in a lot of ways.
The last time I made barbeque sauce I remembered to write it down:
½ cup leftover plum sauce from a family Christmas gift (sweet),
½ cup of tomato ketchup (salty, sour),
a liberal splash of Worcestershire sauce (salty),
¼ cup honey (sweet),
a couple splashes of apple cider vinegar (sour),
a few splashes of soy sauce (salty)
and a squirt of sriracha chilli sauce (hot).
Just use whatever you have in your fridge and pantry and go slowly. Sauce should keep for at least a month or two in the fridge.
Pulled Pork from Frozen:
To use pulled pork that has been frozen, defrost the day you would like to use it. Already-cooked meat defrosts faster than uncooked because the cooking process removes water from the meat, so there is less ice to melt. Pan-fry the shredded meat in a splash of neutral oil until it takes on a gold hue and develops a crunchy chewy texture. Dress meat with your home made barbeque sauce to taste.
Ways with HomeMade Pulled Pork :
I generally find that one pork shoulder is enough for 2 or even 3 meals for a family of 4 or a big pulled pork lunch for 6-8 people. Accompanied by soft rolls or flour tortillas and a shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw, this pork can go a long way. Leftover pulled pork can also be used in other dishes like ragus, pies, pizza, soups, noodle dishes – you name it!