I’ve done this once before but I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, and the previous attempt was also in the oven with a fairly hefty 4.5kg bone-in shoulder, whereas this one was a meagre 2kg bone-out jobby from Tesco.
You get a lot of pork for 2kg, I tell you. We made this on New Year’s Eve as part of a gourmet 3 course meal in, as I was still recovering from the devil’s illness – tonsillitis. I managed to have it three times over December and January and I’m still not 100% yet, fortunately Christmas Day itself was illness free!
Anyway. A 2kg pork shoulder is plenty for two hungry people – it would feed four easily with leftovers. We have LOTS of pork in the freezer, but that’s only a good thing really isn’t it?
I’ll leave my coleslaw recipe for another day but it really does pay to make this stuff yourself. It is SO easy, and tastes way nicer than what you get in shops. I typically slice cabbage, red onion and grated carrot and toss in a bit of lemon juice, mayonnaise, creme fraiche or yoghurt and a dash of mustard. Serve on white baps with sweet potato fries or salad as a side.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Shoulder
2kg pulled pork shoulder, off the bone
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar (or you can switch out for honey)
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt
Look for meat with a decent layer of fat on the top, this is what makes it juicy and tender. Rub your meat all over with the spices and place in cling-film overnight in the fridge, or for at least 4 hours.
In the morning, take the pork out of the fridge for half an hour or so to get to room temperature. Sear all edges of the meat on a high heat and then place in slow cooker with the bay leaf. You don’t need to add any water, the meat will create lovely juices as it gets hot.
Set your slow cooker to low and leave for around 7.5 hours. Pulled pork *can* get overcooked, it will become too stringy and tough, so you do need to keep an eye on it.
Take the pork out when you feel it’s ready (you can test by scraping it a little of the meat to see if it “pulls”) and cover in foil to rest for an least another hour. This lets all the juices go back into the meat and makes it super tender.
Before serving, remove the fat layer and discard, and then literally “pull” the meat from the shoulder, if it is ready it will all fall apart quite easily, you can do this with just a normal fork and a sharp knife to trim the fatty bits off.
Serve and enjoy! The meat freezes well on the day and you can reuse it in anything- soups, risottos, tacos!