Last week, my friends and I whipped up a "KFC" meal - we soaked the chicken pieces in buttermilk brine, seasoned them with 11 different spices and herbs before deep-frying and baking them. The fried chicken were served with mashed potatoes (made with real potatoes and not those disgusting instant powder kinds), coleslaw and cheese fries. Except for the fries which were frozen, everything else (including the cheese sauce) were made from scratch! The whole meal was incredibly delicious and satisfying - but we made a tad too much of everything so I had to think of something to use up the leftover coleslaw - and BBQ pulled pork and toasted bread seemed just like the perfect answer.
Most pulled pork recipes call for cooking the pork for hours in the oven, but I didn't have that much time and I don't own an oven-proof pot (yet), so the only way that I can cook it is on the stove-top. I chanced upon a BBQ pulled pork recipe on Nigella's website (a community recipe, not by Nigella herself) and just by looking at the list of ingredients, somehow I knew that it'd taste good.
I made some changes to the recipe - the pork shoulder was first seared, more onion and garlic were used and some ingredients were left out or swapped. It's still very easy because everything is cooked in one pot. Because the pork is cooked on a stove top, the cooking time was reduced to 3 hours (instead of the supposed 8 or 10 hours), though I needed to keep a closer eye on the pork to make sure the sauce did not dry out during cooking. I bought a loaf instead of burger buns to go with the pulled pork as the loaf was freshly made by the supermarket bakery.
We absolutely love, love, love the combination of tender pulled pork, the sweet, salty and spicy BBQ sauce, crunchy and slightly tangy coleslaw and the crusty and soft bread loaf. X even requested for seconds after finishing his sandwich (to which I was very happy to oblige). We had some leftover pulled pork and BBQ sauce (as this recipe makes enough for 4 people), which I used to whip up a pasta dish the next day (an idea for you if you think you will have leftovers). And here's how to make the pulled pork!
|1) Season pork shoulder generously all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper.||2) Heat oil and sear pork shoulder over medium-high heat.|
|3) Until well-browned on all sides. Remove pork shoulder and set aside.||4) Add in peeled and thinly sliced onion.|
|5) When the onion has softened, add in garlic and cook for a while more.||6) Add in everything else!|
|7) Add back the pork shoulder.||8) Cook and flip occasionally for 2.5 to 3 hours.|
Stove-Top BBQ Pulled Pork
- 500 to 600 grams pork shoulder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked/hot paprika, makes the BBQ sauce a little bit spicy, adjust the amount if needed
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- Rinse and trim off any excess fats from the pork shoulder. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season generously all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat a pot that can fit the pork shoulder as snugly as possible over medium-high heat until hot. Add in oil then add in the pork shoulder. Sear on all sides until browned. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside on a plate.
- Turn the heat down to medium or medium-low. Add in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Add in garlic and cook for another 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the rest of the ingredients - ketchup, cider vinegar, mustard, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, paprika, cumin and bay leaves - and add in 1 cup of water. Stir and bring the sauce to a boil.
- Add in the pork shoulder and any juices accumulated on the plate. Top up water until the water level reaches halfway up the sides of the pork shoulder. Bring to a boil then flip the pork shoulder to coat with the sauce. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot and simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours until the pork meat falls off easily, flipping and basting the pork shoulder every 30 minutes (and topping up with water if the sauce becomes too dry).
- Remove the pork shoulder from the pot and place on a large serving dish. Let cool slightly then use 2 forks to shred the pork meat. If the sauce is not thick enough, boil to reduce until desired consistency. It's best to mix the pulled pork with some of the sauce before serving but this is optional. Serve the pulled pork with the BBQ sauce, coleslaw and toasted burgers/sandwiches.
- Place cabbage, carrot and minced onion in a large mixing bowl.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients together. Pour the mixture onto the vegetable mixture and mix well. The vegetable mixture will shrink by a lot.
- Transfer the coleslaw into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.