Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Pulled pork

Not that long ago if you threw a shitty stick down the magazine aisle in Smith's you'd render at least three different magazines containing a recipe for pulled pork unsalable due to contamination with faecal matter. The recipes were everywhere. It's probably less popular now but I thought I'd give it a go because a: I've tried it in a restaurant and the way it melted in my mouth was like pig-flavoured chocolate and b: the name gives the potential to make more double entendres than you can shake the aforementioned shitty stick at, which is ideal for a blog such as this. Combining this with elements of the dish conchinita pibil (slow-roasted pork in banana leaves with orange), originating from the Yucatan in Mexico, and it is potentially a great way to do pork. This was one of my favourite dishes while we were on holiday there.
I fused a recipe from Simon Rimmer (another great opportunity for double entendres) and one for conchinita pibil to produce my version.

Pork rub (ooer, matron)
1-1.5 kg pork shoulder (boneless, rolled. Needs to have plenty of fat in order to keep the meat moist)
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp smoked paprika
1tsp chiptole paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of half a lime
1tbsp olive oil

Cooking liquid
2 medium onions, thickly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 large orange, juiced and husks retained
200ml cider
50ml white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Dry off the pork joint with kitchen roll. You could use a hair dryer if torrential diarrhoea is your thing, but I'll stick to the paper towels personally.

Mix together the coriander, cumin. oregano, smoked paprika, garlic, chipotle and lime juice to make a paste and rub it into the pork.

Rubbed and ready for the fridge

Cover and put in the fridge and leave it overnight if possible, or for at least a couple of hours.

Put it in a roasting tin with the onions, the rest of the garlic and the orange husks.

Mix together the cider, orange juice, vinegar and Worcester sauce.

Pour the liquid over the meat, cover the tin tightly with foil and replace to the fridge for another hour or two

Remove from the fridge and put it into the oven at 140 to 150°C.

Roast for at least 3 hours like this.

Under the foil, 3 hours in

Remove the foil and turn the oven up to 220° for 15 minutes to finish the meat off.

Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes

I admit this recipe takes a frigging long time, but that's the idea: cook it long and slow so the meat stays moist and tender.

Serve the meat by tearing it apart with two forks in the cooking liquid so it stays moist and bathed in the unctuous, tangy cooking liquor.

You could serve this as a twist to the pork in a Sunday roast, but it really  as something a bit more exotic with buns and coleslaw.

Ready to serve on a bun
(with homemade coleslaw and potato wedges)

As I mention, you serve the pork by shredding it with a pair of forks. This is the somewhat disappointing reason it's called "pulled", because you pull it apart, and not because of some revolutionary cooking technique like "jerking", or even an obscene reference to Rebecca Loos. Anyway, the point is there's no need for any of that carving shit. In fact, I do wonder if the dish originated as something to cook for people who weren't allowed to have knives. I served it up with roasted butternut squash and  sweet potato wedges which meant the whole meal had a similar colour to Dale Winton (I believe the Dulux colour chart calls it "Genial Host Orange"), not that this ought to put you off.

One further tip: feel free to take the words "cumin", "paprika", "pulled", "pork" and "Rimmer" and you too can make your own schoolboy-humour cookery blog.

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