This heady, sticky, and rich slow cooked pork has been trending in the food world for some time now, and for good reason. Throw it together at midday and it will be ready to devour by dinnertime. This recipe is a cheat’s version, which I have adapted from a blog called “The Londoner”. Full of novelty, there are three key ingredients: pork shoulder, barbecue sauce, and Coca Cola. So it doesn’t scream “healthy”, but it sure screams “delicious”. Pork shoulder is a cheap cut of meat. I picked out a beauty of a piece for just $7.99 per kilo. Even if you’re not a massive fan of this particular beast, you might just find that mounds of incredibly tender meat laced with the warming flavours of chili and cinnamon on soft white bread will change your opinion. Given its richness, ensure that you pair it with something tangy. I find that sliced gherkins and chargrilled capsicum, available from the supermarket deli, cut through the fattiness perfectly. If you’re not a pickle person try finely grated carrot, shredded iceberg lettuce, and a squirt of sweet chili sauce.
- 1 – 1.5 kg pork shoulder
- 1 regular-sized bottle or carton barbecue sauce
- 1 litre Coca Cola (approx)
- 3 whole dried chillies, or 5 tbs chilli sauce
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon or smoked paprika
- 6 soft bread rolls
- 1 small jar gherkins, drained and sliced
- 6 slices chargrilled capsicum
Method01 | Place the pork shoulder in a large pot, preferably cast iron, though any will do. A slow cooker can also be used – just skip step three. Pour over the barbecue sauce. For a smaller pork shoulder (around 1kg), use about 3/4 of the barbecue sauce. For a larger pork shoulder, tip the entire bottle or carton in.
02 | Pour over enough Coca Cola to cover the pork entirely. Give it a swirl and add a few chillies or some chilli sauce and your choice of cinnamon or smoked paprika.
03 | Turn the element up high and bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
04 | Cover the pot, reduce to the lowest heat possible and cook for at least six hours.
05 | Ladle most of the liquid from the pot and place in a bowl. Set aside. Drain the pork and any remaining liquid through a colander. Place the pork on a chopping board and, moving two forks in an alternating crisscross motion, finely shred the meat.
06 | Place the meat back in the pot over a low heat and add a few ladlefuls (or more) of the reserved liquid so that it remains juicy until you are ready to serve it.
07 | Slice the bread rolls in half horizontally and place a generous scoop of pulled pork on top, followed by the gherkin slices and chargrilled capsicum. Gobble up quick smart without cutlery.
Image courtesy James Stringer