Happy new year everyone! This is what I made for our New Year’s Eve dinner last night. It might not be anything fancy, but pulled pork is a crowd pleaser. We only had one guest (my son’s friend), but for an introvert like me, that constitutes a crowd that needs to be pleased.
This is made in a slow cooker/crock pot. Ingredient quantities don’t have to be precise, adjust it to suit your crowd size/slow cooker size/personal preference.
WHAT YOU NEED:
– 1 large onion, sliced
– Pork shoulder joint (I had two joints that totalled around 2KG)
– 1 to 1 1/2 litres pure apple juice
– 1 bottle/jar good barbecue sauce of your choice
– Olive oil, salt and pepper
– Big soft bread rolls for serving
WHAT YOU DO:
1. Place the sliced onion in the slow cooker.
2. Heat a little olive oil in a pan, brown the pork shoulder joint/s on all sides, season all sides with salt and pepper and place on top of the onions.
3. While you are browning the meat, heat the apple juice in a pan, then pour the warmed apple juice over the meat and onions in the slow cooker. It doesn’t have to completely cover it, but should come near to the top. You can add some stock if you haven’t got enough juice. The reason for warming the juice is to get the cooking process starting quicker in the slow cooker – when you have a large piece of meat and cold liquid, it can take forever to really get started. That’s another reason for browning the meat too.
4. Leave to cook for about 8 hours. Longer is fine too. I did mine on high, but if you have a smaller piece of meat, you could do it on low.
You shouldn’t keep taking the lid off, but I had a sneaky peak, this is what it looked like half way through the cooking time. You’ll see I left the fat on for cooking which I think is better, and then you discard it later.
5. Remove the joints and pour away what’s left in the slow cooker. Get rid of the bulk of the fat and the shred the meat by pulling it apart with a fork. Stir some barbecue sauce into the pork. My preference is to stir a minimum amount of sauce in just to gently coat because not everybody likes it smothered. You can then serve extra sauce on the side for those who do. Return the meat to the slow cooker for about 10 minutes to keep it warm. Meantime you can warm the extra barbecue sauce for serving on the side, I think that’s nicer than leaving it cold (although I forgot this last night).
Let everyone fill their own rolls, and have whatever selection of sides you like – coleslaw, corn, potatoes (baked, fries, crisps/chips), baked beans, salad etc.
Wishing you all a 2016 full of cooking successes!