pulled pork with spicy coleslaw

January 11, 2013

One of my earliest memories of family dinners is of pork chops with mustard and veges. I think we used to have chops quite regularly (thanks Mum!) and I remember I loved them – perhaps it was because it was “OK” to suckle the meat off the bone and give my knife and fork a rest.

If I had to pick 1 meat – I’d easily choose pork because it’s so varied. Off-the-bone ham, bacon, gammon, proscuitto, pancetta, chorizo, roast pork, slow-cooked pork, chops, cutlets and crackling (anything else between the pig’s nose and tail I’d probably leave.. .unless Colin Fassnidge was offering them to me…). A couple of months ago my Naturopath suggested that I should steer clear of pork. I asked her why and not overjoyed at this suggestion I didn’t take too much notice of her answer, but it was something to do with the fact that the composition a pig’s anatomy is very similar to that of a human (I think it also has something to do with taking the body longer to digest than other meats). Anyway I thought it best not to really look too much into it, but in respect of my trusty advisor, for the last couple of months I’ve been choosing to eat other meats in favour of pork. 
 
So this meal came about as I just really craved some pork. And as it seems that every menu in Sydney has something to do with (the relatively new and still uber trendy term) ‘pulled pork’, after looking at some recipes I soon realised that it’s actually a dish I’ve been cooking for a while (it’s just slow cooked pork which is then pulled apart with forks). My pork recipe is really simple as the magic lies in what pork does when it is cooked for a long time, which allowed me to make my coleslaw a bit ‘punch-in-the-face’ spicy. 
 
It’s a nice thing to admit that I’ve been feeling really good lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been eating pretty well, had some holidays and outstanding catch-ups with good mates, or if it’s because I’ve been getting 2 hours extra fresh air each day walking to and from work, or if it’s because I’ve lost a bit of weight, or if it’s because I’ve got a new little buddy… but after a 2 month pork hiatus I felt pretty damn good after eating this meal. So I conclude that feeling good, and eating pork go hand in hand.  And pork is back on the menu.

ingredients

Pork

  • 1.5kg pork shoulder
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • Another 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes (or 1 can)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

Coleslaw

  • 1/4 white cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, roughly grated
  • 4 shallots, sliced (including green parts)
  • 1 cup shredded greens (kale, spinach, lettuce)
  • 2 heaped Tbs mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbs white vinegar*
  • just enough paprika that you can handle*
  • salt & pepper*

method

  1. Heat the oven to 150 C.
  2. Heat a heavy-based oven-proof crock-pot on the stove to medium-high (or you could use a slow cooker).
  3. Rub the pork all over with 2 Tbs of the oil.
  4. Sear the meat on all sides until caramelised, then take out of the pot and set aside.
  5. In the same pot, reduce the heat to low/medium add the other 2Tbs oil, onion, garlic, oregano and paprika cook, stirring until the onions are translucent.
  6. Add the tomatoes & vinegar and scrape and stir loosening any caramelised bits caught to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Return the pork (and juices) to the pot and top it up with water until the pork is half covered.
  8. Cover the pork with some baking paper (to keep it moist), put on lid and in the over for 4 hours, turning the pork over every hour.
  9. After 4 hours, remove the pot from the oven and let is stand for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the pork from the pot, discard the bones (the flesh will fall away quite easily), and pull the flesh apart with 2 forks (You have to be patient as it takes a while to shred all the flesh. I have uber heat-sensitve hands but I guess t would be easy to shred with your hands if you’re tough.)
  11. Meanwhile, put the pot back on the stove, bring to the boil then lower the heat and reduce the sauce by half.
  12. Once shredded, add the pork back into the sauce and stir to combine.
  13. For the coleslaw – mix all ingredients together until the sauce coats all the ingredients

My usual eating method is to fill half a bowl with the coleslaw and whack a big slap of the meat on top and eat the 2 together as is, but some might like to put a little of each between 2 mini buns, call it a ‘Slider’ and serve it as a canapé or entrée.

* When I’m lazy I replace the vinegar, paprika and S&P with a good lug of ‘Franks Red Hot, hot cayenne pepper sauce’ (which is essentially spices, vinegar, garlic and aged cayenne peppers). It’s the perfect spiciness for me.

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8 Comments

  • Reply howgoodischeese January 11, 2013 at 6:04 am

    That might be just the dish to get the old pork nay-sayers in my life over the porcine line! Thanks!

  • Reply doughaselwood January 11, 2013 at 6:14 am

    This is probably one of my favourite flavour and textural combinations which I fell in love with in California – I do love a smokey thick American BBQ sauce to go with mine as well.

    • Reply sassybites January 11, 2013 at 6:16 am

      I know it’s a great combo. Did you notice my reference to Big Red? I always think of you when I haul the gallon drum out of my fridge! 🙂

      • Reply doughaselwood January 16, 2013 at 2:30 am

        🙂 Excellent. Love the stuff.

        By the way, Pulled Pork will be a dish at our Mexican party! Thanks for the inspiration

  • Reply Liv January 11, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I love a bit of pork pulling 😉 I’ve been making hot sauce today – you’d love it!

    • Reply sassybites January 11, 2013 at 6:47 am

      I bet Steve does too! (both the pork pulling and the hot sauce, that it) 😉

  • Reply betts February 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Tomatoes or carrots?

    • Reply sassybites February 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Hi! Thanks for checking out my post! Not sure what your comment ‘tomatoes or carrots’ means?

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