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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pull my Pork

Oh dear, I seem to have lashings of delicious pulled pork leftover from Mum's party, whatever shall I do? I think I'd best have something to eat whilst I consider this dilemma..

After my sister told me that she had put leftover pulled pork to delicious use by making some nachos with leftover corn chips (from the platters I forgot to photograph), cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and avocados turned into guacamole, I thought I might continue this theme and make some pork enchiladas for dinner. It was a pretty hot, muggy day (yay! Summer is coming!) when I was mulling this over though, and instead I decided to freshen up this idea and make a Mexican themed kinda san choy bow dish instead.

Mexicana san choy bow?

I guess I should start at the start and let you know how I made these lashings of pulled pork to begin with. I'd been eyeing off a few pulled pork recipes over the past few months, waiting patiently for the opportunity to make one of them. I knew that this opportunity would somehow involve my sister, given her love of the pig and his many delicious incarnations, so when we thought we needed another 'manly' dish for the party, I jumped at the chance to get pork pulling.

The piggy process

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
From Rosa's Yummy Yums, adapted from Cook's Illustrated

(note: I followed this recipe and had heaps of spice rub leftover, even after using two big leg roasts, so I'd recommend either making less, or keeping some aside so you don't contaminate it when you're rubbing the pork in case you don't need to use it all)
1 Tb ground black pepper
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tb chilli powder
2 Tb ground cumin
2 Tb dark brown sugar
1 Tb dried oregano
4 Tb paprika
2 Tb table salt
1 Tb granulated sugar
1 Tb ground white pepper
Pork of your choice - the recipe says to use a 3-4kg bone-in pork shoulder, but Rosa used pork neck with success. I actually used two decent sized bone-in leg roasts (they only just fit in the slow cooker!)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional - I didn't use)
Few cups of BBQ sauce (see recipe below)

1. Mix all spices in a small bowl.
2. Massage spice rub into meat (you might want to use some gloves!). Wrap meat tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I left mine overnight, and the recipe says you can leave it up to 3 days if you want.

That's a one-a spicy pork-a roast!

3. Unwrap roast and place it in slow cooker. Add liquid smoke, if using, and 1/4 cup water (we used around 1/2 cup). Turn slow cooker to low and cook 8-10 hours, until meat is fork tender.

Falling off the bone goodness

4. Transfer roast to cutting board, and discard liquid left in the slow cooker. Pull the pork by tearing it into shreds with two forks. Discard the fat.

Pull it now, pull it good, pull that pork just like you should

5. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and add enough BBQ sauce to coat it all, then heat for 30-60 minutes or until hot (you can leave it in there longer, just keep the slow cooker on).
6. Serve however you like - we've discovered it's great in buns, nachos and lettuce cups :)

Hot tasty buns!

BBQ Sauce
From taste.com.au

Note: I tripled this recipe and it was the perfect amount of sauce for the two big leg roasts

2 Tb olive oil
1 small onion, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves
300g can peeled tomatoes, drained
2 Tb tomato puree
1 Tb brown sugar
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb sweet chilli sauce
2 Tb white wine vinegar
1 Tb Dijon mustard

1. Place the oil in a saucepan over low heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened slightly. Add all the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until thickened slightly. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Overall notes:
  • The pork was super spicy when it was cooked, but the BBQ sauce really took away most of the heat, so don't be too alarmed when you taste it out of the slow cooker and it's a little tongue-burny (you will not be able to resist eating some when you remove it to pull it. It just looks too delicious).
  • I'm sure that shop bought BBQ sauce would be fine to use, but make sure you get something half decent.
We didn't manage to use all the pork before our guests started getting too full, so we had quite a lot leftover. Oh deary me, what a terrible, terrible shame. We ate some in a delicious leftovers lunch the next day, and there was still enough left to leave a big container with my sister and brother-in-law, and bring a couple of containers home with me. One of these containers got used in my clash of cultures dish, and the other waits tantalisingly in the freezer.

Mexicana San Choy Bow

Mexicana San Choy Bow

Leftover slow cooker pulled pork
Sour cream
Cos lettuce leaves, washed, dried and sliced into cups
Grilled vegetable salsa (such as this recipe)
Guacamole (such as this recipe)

Bung it all on a plate and enjoy, spooning a bit of everything into a lettuce cup, rolling it up, making sure you have the plate sitting underneath to catch any spillages, and chomping it down. I'd recommend matching these with a summery cerveza or some sangria.

Come to think of it, this isn't such a clash of cultures, as I'm reminded of the ceviche lettuce cups I made for Easter lunch. Anyway, it was incredibly tasty and prompted my housemate to declare me the best housemate ever. Hey, it may have just been the pork talking, but I'll take such declarations however I can get them. I may even share the other container of leftover pork with her, though that may have been her dastardly plan all along!


Velva November 16, 2009 at 1:44 AM  

I love pulled pork! My family loves it too. This is a great recipe. I like to add a bottle of beer to the slow cooker when making pulled pork, seems to bring the flavor up another notch.
Nice blog post!

Stacy November 16, 2009 at 5:32 AM  

This is great...I love the step by step instructions with pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous November 16, 2009 at 7:20 AM  

I heard so much about pulled pork but yet to make it at home. Your pictures really made me drool! It's only 10am in the morning and I am already thinking of pork :)

SK November 16, 2009 at 8:31 AM  

So much pork.
Agree with Stacy . . loev the step by step photos!!

Arwen from Hoglet K November 16, 2009 at 8:34 AM  

Your clash of cultures sounds great - it's always more fun when you get to wrap your own food. Sounds like your housemate is cunning at getting well fed too!

penny aka jeroxie November 16, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

I can eat pulled pork on its own. Or just dip in a n sweet & sour sauce.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef November 16, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

Velva - thank you! Great idea about the beer, I'll have to try that next time!

Stacy - thanks :) I find step by step pictures are always helpful, but I'm normally off in my own little world in the kitchen and totally forget to take them. Luckily my sister was around during this cooking to take some for me!

Ellie - Oh you should try it yourself, it totally rocks! Hehe it's never too early to think of pork ;)

SK - Mmmmmmmmmmm pork. Thanks!!

Arwen - Thanks! I agree, I like having a little process to follow at the table, like with fajitas. I think I like it cos it slows down my eating, somewhat, but it doesn't seem to make me eat any less :D Yes, she's like a fox.

penny - Mmmmm yes I found myself just getting forkfuls of it and eating it straight. So good.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge November 16, 2009 at 12:02 PM  

oh I'm a piggy lover too! That pork looks so tasty, sadly I think if I made so much there wouldnt be any left over, yes I would be in the corner slightly sick, but still I would be happy eating my heart content of pork!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 16, 2009 at 12:51 PM  

I love pulled pork although it's always best to ignore the nutritional information :P It looks delicious and yes there's always so much left over! :lol:

Evelyne@Cheap Ethnic Eatz November 16, 2009 at 11:11 PM  

Loved pulled pork, especially in Cuban restaurants. Never thought of making it so thanks so much for the recipe!

Pam November 17, 2009 at 12:04 AM  

Pulled pork is the best! Yours looks mouth watering good.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 17, 2009 at 3:19 AM  

OK - I am SOOOOOO making these pork dishes really soon!!!! It's perfect weather for it and who doesn't love pulled pork?

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta November 17, 2009 at 3:49 AM  

your pork looks fit to be tied, or pulled! Haha. Sometimes the slow processes really are the most rewarding. Cheers!

Betty @ The Hungry Girl November 17, 2009 at 8:33 AM  

Oh the pulled pork looks awesome. I don't think I'd ever be game enough to try it though. Love the Mexican san choy bow! That is brilliant!

CheapAppetite November 17, 2009 at 4:45 PM  

I love bbq pull pork. Using the leftover to top nacho or make enchilada is genius:) Make me hungry in the middle of the night. I guess I have to eat something before I go to bed. lol

Cajun Chef Ryan November 17, 2009 at 11:43 PM  

Now this looks like a great way to enjoy an already wonderful BBQ dish.

Karen Harris November 18, 2009 at 5:59 AM  

Found your site while reading Velva's. Love it! Great choice of recipes especially the Bakewell Tart. On my last trip to the UK I discovered a great recipe for a traditional Victoria Sponge. I guess I'll be making those until someone stops me. Sometimes the old standbys are the best. The pulled pork recipe looks delicious.

Chef Fresco November 18, 2009 at 10:00 AM  

That looks like a lot of work, but looks totally worth it! Yum!!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef November 18, 2009 at 11:31 AM  

Maria - oh there was so much, I have been through the in-the-corner-slightly-sick phrase multiple times, hehe

Lorraine - sometimes you just have to pretend that calories don't exist ;) Luckily in this case, it was made for Mum's birthday and we all know that birthday food is nutritionally perfect!

Evelyne - me too :) You're welcome!

Pam - thank you! Struggling not to just reheat the leftovers now and get stuck in with a fork :D

Mardi - yay, please do! Any weather is perfect pork weather :D

CaptnRachel - haha! I hope it also looks fit to be eaten until you're bursting at the seams, which seemed to be a recurring theme with me. I'm going to pop one of these days.

Betty - thanks a lot! Ooh go on, be brave, you'd rock it out I'm sure!

CheapAppetite - thanks :D Oh man I know, these food blogs are torture sometimes, I don't know why I continue to read them late at night when it really isn't feasible to go and roast a chicken or eat a massive burger.

Cajun Chef Ryan - thank you :)

Karen Harris - excellent, thanks for stopping by! I haven't had a nice sponge cake for ages, they really are fantastic when they are well done. With lashings of strawberries inside, yum! Thank you :)

Chef Fresco - it's not too much work when you can reward yourself through the process with little morsels of pork :D thanks!

Cocina Savant November 18, 2009 at 11:48 AM  

An excellent use for a slow cooker. Pulled pork and guacamole is an interesting combination. Thanks for the ideas.

3 hungry tummies November 18, 2009 at 9:37 PM  

Mouthwatering! I love how you named it Mexican san choi bao haha!

Trissa November 19, 2009 at 3:58 AM  

OOOhh - I just love it. The mexican san choy bow does sound like an excellent idea... Isn't it great when you have left overs and are able to make so many different dishes from it?

MaryMoh November 19, 2009 at 4:10 PM  

This looks very interesting and delicious. I love the idea of pulled pork. What agreat way to make sandwiches. Great party item. Love the Mexican sanchoy pao too...mmmm. Thanks for sharing.

Mae November 20, 2009 at 3:26 AM  

Oh, my, the pic of the pork in the spice rub? I really hate that I brought a light lunch to work now cause I'd like to eat my computer screen...

A cupcake or two November 20, 2009 at 4:17 PM  

Wow I have heard about pulled pork but I have never tried it. It looks amazing and I love your photos of the step by step process. Anything slow cooked is a winner for me.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef November 21, 2009 at 10:20 PM  

Cocina Savant - thanks, and you're welcome! :)

3 hungry tummies - hehe, thanks very much :D

Trissa - Thanks! Yes, for sure, it makes all the effort you went to to make the original dish even more worthwhile. Sometimes the leftovers dish is even better than the original dish (which is true in this case I think!)

MaryMoh - thank you! Yep, this one is going into my party food repertoire for sure, though maybe not for very small parties :)

Mae - hehe, sorry!! Please don't, I don't want your dentist abusing me. Anyway, you've well and truly got me back with your hash browns. And persimmon cheesecake cups. Sigh.

A cupcake or two - Thanks :D I have to agree, now that I am getting more knowledgeable about slow cooking. I'm cooking something slowly tomorrow too, and already imagining the taste. Watch this space :)

Iron Chef Shellie November 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

Pork me that's a lot of pork!!

Thanks for the delicious leftover ideas though!

Panamahat November 25, 2009 at 6:28 PM  


Conor @ HoldtheBeef November 30, 2009 at 11:54 AM  

Iron Chef Shellie - pork yeah, baby!

Panamahat - :D

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About Me

My love of cooking is surpassed only by my love of eating, though I never quite recovered from the beef I was served at college. I'll try almost anything once, but it takes a very special piece of offal or beef to get me to try it again.

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