In life, there are a few universal truths, undeniable facts of science and nature, one of those is the fact that farts are funny. The just are. Crop dusting, bottom burps, trouser cough, anal acoustics, gas attack, hole flappage, gluteal tuba, sphincter song, the one cheek sneak, air bagel, if you’re not already snickering like a six year old then Urban Dictionary has another 251 clangers for you, and if you’re still not cracking a smile after that you need to check your pulse – and also maybe this is not the blog for you….
So what’s this got to do with making delicious pulled pork I hear you ask? Meat farts.
Carnivorous feasts are known to induce flatulence. After this meal there were three living examples seated around our table who could serve testimony to this fact. Fortunately, as we’re currently living in Tropical Texas (or Townsville as it’s more commonly known) we were dining outside so could enjoy the benefit of natural air conditioning. We’d also had significant serious discussion over dinner about the aforementioned comedy value of gas and agreed heartily that anyone who failed to find entertainment in rectal expulsions was probably not the kind of person we’d want to be friends with so we found ourselves in good, if aromatic company.
So, if you like pulled pork I’m pretty certain you’ll like this recipe. And if you like a game of pull my finger I reckon you’ll bloody love it.
Get this stuff
1.5 kg or so of pork shoulder or pork roast, bone in or out, doesn’t matter, the short story is that you want a fuck off big slab of pig
2 C stock or water
1 onion finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 T olive oil
1 T rice malt syrup
2 t smoked paprika
2 t oregano
2 t cumin
1/2 t chilli flakes depending on how spicy you like your life
4 T liquid smoke – I used Wright’s brand I found at a local foodie haven. While the smoke isn’t essential if you can’t get it, it’s worth trying to hunt some down for the amazing rich depth of genuine barbequey flavour it adds
Lots of freshly ground salt and pepper to season well
Do this with it
This was my first attempt at pulled pork in the slow cooker so I was going by feel a bit but, the way I see it slow cookers were designed for the completely culinarily inept. I mean, how can you possibly fuck up ‘turn on, insert ingredients, walk away’? And that’s pretty much what I did here.
Address your slab of swine with a sharp knife and remove the skin and most of the visible fat from the outside. Give the meat a bloody good seasoning with salt and pepper – I cannot overemphasise the importance of humble old salt and pepper when cooking meat. These two simple spices work wonders to enhance and draw out flavour, try eating a piece of steak without them and you’ll see what I mean.
Take all the other ingredients listed above and throw them in the slow cooker, cut the lime and orange in half, squeeze the juice in then throw halves into the mix. What you’ve just prepared here is a delicious flavour bath for your piggy to wallow in aaaaallll day long.
I whacked this all together in the morning then left it cooking on low all day which was for around 10 hours but anywhere over 8 hours in the slow joe should do the trick. By the time evening rolled around the house smelled like a Rashuns factory. Yes, I’m talking about those fucking filthy, radioactive orange chips we all used to eat as kids. They were so laden with artifical flavours, colours and e-numbers the fuckers should probably make you glow in the dark… but damn they were tasty weren’t they? I appreciate this is a uniquely NZ reference so if you’re not a kiwi kid you’ll most likely be doing confused face but trust me, despite the filth factor of these so called ‘snacks’ their rich smoky aroma was (and still is) pretty damn alluring.
Now by the time my meaty little porker had spent all day bathing in these tasty juices it was literally falling apart which is about what you want from pulled pork. Now is when you make the change from big slab of meat to juicy, shredded magic.
Take the meat out of the cooker and remove the bone if you have one which will leave you with a large, love me tender, juicy piece of pork. Now to shred.
Grab a couple of forks and, as the name would suggest, literally pull the meat apart so you end up with a pile of finely shredded meat. A fine shred is better because we’re going to use the cooking liquid to create a juicy sauce & the more surface area you have the more flavour the meat will soak up. Load the meat into a large heavy based frypan in an even layer then pour over enough liquid to just cover it. Make sure you get lots of the chopped onion and garlicky bits in there too to add some extra oomph, but not the orange or lime halves, a lump of stewed citrus won’t be so flash. Turn up the heat, bring it to a bubbling simmer and leave it for about 10 minutes or so for the liquid to reduce so you end up with meat that’s moist but not sloppy.
And that’s it.
I served this a Mexican style feast of roll your own carnitas with loads of fresh guacamole, spicy tomato salsa, green salad and tortillas – not home made, I mean I could have but life’s too short for that level of admin in my opinion! Although we made a pretty impressive dent in it there was plenty of leftovers to keep us going for a few days in pulled pork sandwiches, san choy bau style lettuce wraps and straight out of the fridge on a fork.