I’m not a massive meat fan, but since having my little one; I’ve renounced my vego status and gone back to eating all the things. My meat intake isn’t huge, but its good to try some new techniques and experience some new flavours. Apart from the bacon and christmas ham – pork is not a stand out fave for me. I wouldn’t order it on a menu if I was out, it just doesn’t get my motor running. But after a recent encounter with a friend who is all out a LCHF (low carb, high fat) diet – she told a tale of this amazing pulled pork that she makes. Frankly I couldn’t help but drool by her account of this slow cooked pork that they ate for lunch almost every day. With my husbands birthday around the corner, I offered to have a crack at this for his birthday dinner.
So I sent my dear mother to the butchers to get the perfect cut of meat for this meal. She returned with a pork scotch fillet approx 1.7kg. It was one of the biggest chunks of meat I’ve ever dealt with. The night before I prepared the rub and let it hang out in the fridge with the flavours infusing. The next morning, I sealed the meat slab and popped it in the slow cooker with the saucy bits and left it to do its thing while I went to work. By the time we came home the smell was amazing. The meat slab had shrunk considerably (at this point I was so glad my Mum had thought of this and got the bigger cut of meat).
I really liked the taste of the meat once pulled. I was a little hesitant to put it back in with the sauce and do the second cook. But – it was amazeballs after the second cook. There was definitely something about the second cook that took this meal to the next level.
To serve, I got some crunchy rolls, pickles, coleslaw, pickled red cabbage and a side of spicy corn on the cob. We just layered our own sandwiches to the achieve the perfect amount of deliciousness. This chunk of meat created four serves to feed a family of three. We keep some for the next day but froze another two batches to pull out at a later time. My husband enjoyed his birthday cook up and even the little one was eating this by the handful. A win all round!
Ambre’s Pulled Pork*
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
3 teaspoons sea salt
3 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1-1.5kg piece of pork neck or pork shoulder (preferably with the bone in)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 440g can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped, with some of the liquid
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup (or rapadura)
Grind the fennel seeds and peppercorns using a mortar and pestle (or in a blender). Add the salt, paprika, cumin, allspice and chilli powder, and mix well. Rub the spice mixture over the pork, rubbing well into the fatty bits Leave covered in the fridge for at least 2 hours (I left it overnight).
Once you’ve ‘cured’ the meat, rub the oil into it and sear in a hot frying pan until brown all over (this will add to the barbeque effect). Whack into an electric slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
Take out the pork, place it in a dish and use a fork to pull the meat into shreds. Put the shreds back into the slow cooked with the sauce and cook for another 20 minutes, uncovered, on high. Then it’s ready to eat! Enjoy.
*Recipe adapted from the i quit sugar book.