Lately I’ve been on a bit of a pulled pork craze. And by that I mean I’ve made pulled pork twice this month, hoping to figure out the right amount of time to cook, the right cut of meat, the right ingredients to make succulent and tender meat. Earlier this month I tried using the slow cooker but somehow that didn’t work out as I had hoped. I must have left the pork in the cooker for more than 10 hours and it was still not pull-able - yes that is a word now. The flavours and spices were amazing but it just didn’t have that fall-off-the-bone texture. I had to put it in the oven for a few hours before it was tender enough.
I tried again last night and this time I made the pork in the oven. Slow-cooked for three and a half hours at a low heat of 140C/275F and I was able to get what I wanted – soft, buttery, meat that pulls apart easily with two forks. Heaven. The spices were simple. Cumin, coriander, garlic, cayenne pepper, little salt. The liquids were also simple. Crushed tomatoes, beer, lime juice. The brown sugar was only there to round out the flavours. And most importantly, I used pork shoulder blade – a cut with more fat.
Aromatic Slow-Cooked Pork
Pork shoulder blade, I had 1.6 kg or about 3 1/2 pounds
1 tsp salt, you can add more if you want
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp cayenne pepper
juice of one lime
1/2 cup beer, I used a Pilsner
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 140C/275F.
Mix together the salt and spices and then rub into the pork.
Let it sit for a few hours or cook right away, like I did.
In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, beer, crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, and bay leaves.
When you’re ready to cook the pork, place it in a big enough baking dish (preferably one with a lid) and pour the sauce over it, making sure it’s well coated. Cover and place in the oven. Check on the meat every hour or so, turning it so it’s evenly cooked and also exposed bits don’t dry out.
Let the pork rest a few minutes before pulling apart. Enjoy!