Cooking up a Mother’s Day family feast for the mum in your life is easy with this delicious slow cooked pulled pork recipe.
I don’t cook pork that often. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of cooked pig in my diet – it’s just usually in ham, bacon, or sausage form. And I don’t know why I don’t as I quite like pork. So I was glad when I was asked to make a special roast pork Mother’s Day feast.
We were sent a lovely hamper of ingredients – amusingly presented to me as a ‘Mums Day Off’ pack. My wife is the breadwinner of the house, and is more likely to spend a day off in the kitchen, while I – a stay-at-home parent – am the one who wouldn’t mind a ‘day off’ from normal cooking and other domestic/family duties.
But engaging with the spirit of the task, I happily set about creating a Pulled Pork Mother’s Day family feast. If you’re hipster parents (or children) this dish is perfect – slow cooked pulled pork is seemingly the only way trendy youngsters eat pork these days. So given I don’t know how to cook pulled pork, I was glad of the challenge.
I was pretty happy with my first attempt at making slow cooked pulled pork. The prep was pretty minimal, the cooking a suitably laid back affair, and while the final timings took a little mental arithmetic to get right, it was no big deal to do so.
While my wife liked it, my daughter was the biggest fan. As well as the spicy pulled pork, my daughter loved the griddled plums, couldn’t get enough of the fruit compote (with everything), and most miraculously of all these potatoes broke her lifelong disgust of them (at age 4).
We’ve come back for leftovers on subsequent days, and I also found myself picking at the pork (and the crackling) throughout the next few days. We also made pulled pork sandwiches, refried with rice, and even with beans on toast!
The joint really went a long way, so it is great for a family meal.
Sweet Spiced Slow Cooked Pulled Pork, with Plum Compote
Serves 6, with leftovers
Cooking time: 6+ hours
1.6kg (3lb 4oz) shoulder of pork (remove the rind and set aside)
2 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ginger
11/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
For the compote:
175g plums, stoned and chopped
175g cooking apples, cored, peeled and chopped
25g (1oz) butter
25g (1oz) light brown sugar
1kg (2lb 4oz) new potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
12 plums, halved
500g (1lb 2 oz) purple sprouting broccoli
A knob of butter
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (fan 200°C), Gas Mark 7. Line a roasting tin with foil, large enough to cover the pork later. Remove the string from the pork, and carefully trim the rind from the joint (*see crackling tip, below). Set aside. Unroll the pork joint and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place in the roasting tin.
2. Mix the salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger and sugar together in a bowl. Rub all over the pork and put it in the oven for 30 minutes so the pork brown beautifully. Reduce the oven to 150°C (fan 130°C), Gas Mark 2. Pour 300ml (1/2 pint) hot water into the foil, then wrap the foil around the joint and seal tightly.
NB: Instead of wrapping in foil, I used a cast iron dish with a lid – I covered the pork with foil, then more foil on the top of the pan placing the lid on top of that to seal it in.
Cook for at least 5 hours or until tender. (Your cooked pork joint will eventually be sitting in a vat of liquid – mostly fat!)
3. Increase the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C), Gas Mark 7. Uncover the pork then put it back in the oven to crisp for 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven, cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes. Then shred with two forks.
NB: There are a lot of timings to get right for serving the finished meal. Read through the below, and work back from your intended serving time.
4. At least 40 minutes before the pork is ready, parboil the potatoes. Drain well. Drizzle the olive oil into a roasting tin, then add the potatoes and season well. Roast for the remaining time the pork is in the oven, first on the low temperature then on the high temperature until they’re golden.
5. For the compote, put all the ingredients into a pan with 25ml (1oz) water, cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down low and cook for around 5 minutes until the fruit has cooked down and softened. Season with a pinch of salt and give everything a good stir.
6. Brush the plum halves with oil and griddle the cut-side only.
7. Steam the broccoli until just tender, drain then toss with butter and season.
8. Serve the pork, potatoes, griddled plums, buttered broccoli with the compote.
*For the crackling
Place the rind in a shallow roasting tin and pour over boiling water. Leave for a few minutes, then pour off the water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Rub with a little oil and salt. Cook in a hot oven for 30 or so minutes until crackled. Roughly chop the crackling into small pieces to serve.
For this and more slow cooked pulled pork recipes, please head to the Love Pork website. This is a sponsored post.