All roads seem to lead to Pulled Pork in recent weeks. I seem to have lived a full and interesting life with only an inkling of its existence and suddenly I can’t escape the stuff. Not that I’m complaining.
A couple of weeks ago, while doing one of our regular forensic-style inspections of Costco (well, they do tend to stock new items almost every week so it’s important to carefully peruse each aisle in order not to miss anything interesting and/or delicious) we discovered they were stocking Tony Roma’s Pulled Pork in the freezer section. Big Jay has long been a fan of Mr Roma’s eating establishments after spending many a boozy lunch hour (or three) there during his previous-previous employment.
So of course a box of this mysterious substance was purchased and reheated in Casa DKG. Big Jay loved it. I thought it was OK. Porky goodness in a very rich BBQ sauce. More sauce than meat in this particular instance but what can you expect for nine bucks.
Last Friday night at a particularly enjoyable pre-AFL match (which was not so enjoyable) dinner at the always wonderful Micky’s in Paddington, Big Jay spied, and ordered, the Pulled Pork Burger from their comprehensive burger menu. It looked good and there were many “oohs” and “aahs” both from BJ [do you know I have only just twigged to the deep significance of my beloved’s initials… oh, nevermind] and my boss/friend Mr G who had ordered same.
If you are keeping track that is two instances of pork of the pulled variety in my orbit within a two week period, whereas previously I had managed to live my entire life without having tasted this gastronomic delight.
Sunday morning I wake up with preparations for Sunday lunch swirling through my addled brain. We were expecting guests for lunch and despite Big Jay’s request for BBQ food stuffs I was not in a BBQ-y mood. Inexplicably my mind turned to Pork. Pulled Pork. I realised that I could not survive another day on this planet without having cooked this dish in my very own kitchen on that very day. It seemed very do-able and after reading through a couple of recipes and recalculating them for a quicker process using my uber userful Fast Slow Cooker my little rancid heart was set on a mile-high Pulled Pork Burger for lunch. I could picture the crusty/fluffy roll, the thick layer of saucy pork, the salad leaves, the pickles and the big dollop of sour cream to soothe the richness.
And the dream became reality. Behold.
1.5 – 2 kg piece of Pork Scotch Fillet (the piece I bought in Costco was called Collar Butt which is probably an Americanism for what we call Scotch Fillet)
2-3 large brown onions, finely sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 small tub of tomato paste or 3-4 Tablespoons
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
3 teaspoons ground corriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 Tablespoons BBQ sauce of choice
3/4 cup of water
(I used an electric Pressure Cooker with searing ability. If you don’t have such a magical device you could use a fry pan or a stove top pressure cooker to sear the meat and cook the sauce prior to pressure cooking. Alternatively you can slow cook the entire dish on Low heat for 8 hours.)
Sear the meat on all sides on medium-high heat in a little oil. My piece of scotch fillet was too long to fit in the cooker so I cut it into two large pieces. Remove the meat and set aside. In the remaining oil cook onions and garlic, stirring often so they don’t burn. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Add all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil.
Add the meat and turn in the sauce to coat on all sides. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and set to Medium Pressure for 1 hour. If you are going to use your pressure cooker for this dish you may need to set it for 45 minutes and test the “pulling-ness” of the meat. If not quite there you will need to cook for another 20 minutes or so. Pressure cooking is a bit of an art and each pressure cooker has their own quirkiness.
Once the pressure is released you can take out the meat and shred it using two forks, thus the Pulled Pork. Behold.
While I was shredding I heated the sauce and simmered for about 10 minutes to reduce and thicken.
I placed the meat in a bowl and added a few ladel-fulls of the rich sauce and mixed through. I didn’t want it too saucy. I served the leftover sauce in a bowl with a bowl of salad greens, sliced pickles and sour cream.
Sunday afternoon heaven. Praise Porky Pig.