Pulled Pork with Cider Sauce

Those in the my inner circle know and accept without opposition, the title I’ve bestowed upon myself in the privacy of my kitchen. But now it’s time to share it with you. It all began many years ago when I transformed a £4 piece of pork shoulder into a tender, moist and delectable feast of sheer delight. It was then that I gave myself the title of The Pork Whisperer.

Obviously I’m having a laugh, because the truth is, the only thing you need to be good with pork shoulder is time and a packet of foil. The longer you cook the shoulder, a typically tough (and therefore cheap) piece of meat, the more it will tenderise and fall apart. Keeping it covered ensures the fat and juices stay put, and don’t evaporate, leaving you with a nasty and desiccated slab of pork.

Today, I seek to extend my porcine talents into the wonderfully tasty world of American BBQ. I’ve found the perfect marinade for ribs and chicken wings, and I have experimented with pulled pork in the past, but it’s only now, thanks to Foods of Our Lives that I finally found a recipe that is worthy of sharing.

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Of course, I’ve tweaked the recipe to my taste, and you will likely do the same. I’ve got kids, so there’s no chilli here, but do feel free to add it liberally. While I had my doubts as the liquid simmered in the pot, and reservations about the amount of vinegar, this recipe reduced to a luxurious, dark and sticky sauce that I mixed in with the pork, resulting in a BBQ dish that I can verify as a winner. I love this recipe not only because it tastes so good, but also because it uses common ingredients found your cupboard throughout the year. This is the real deal. That beautiful culinary alchemy that transforms an assembly of ordinary ingredients into something truly marvellous.

If you want it smokey, you could add liquid smoke or smoked Cornish sea salt. Likewise if you want it hot, then go ahead and add chilli and/or cayenne pepper. To prepare the meat, release it from all strings and ties, and season your pork shoulder with a generous rub of brown sugar, salt, paprika and white pepper (and chilli if you want). Put the shoulder in a baking tray on a bed of 2 sliced onions and 2 sliced apples and cover with foil. Roast on 140C for an hour before you pour in your apple cider (use half the bottle here, half on the sauce) and then roast for another few hours. During this time, you’ll scoop out the pan juices for the sauce. For the last hour, you can turn the oven up to 180C and baste regularly to get some burnished pieces.

The meal is simply not complete without this sauce. Once you’ve removed the apples, pulled the tender meat and onions into shreds, and covered it in your sauce, serve on brioche buns with creamy coleslaw and corn on the cob.

Pulled Pork BBQ Cider Sauce Recipe

1 cup pan broth
2 cups apple cider
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon paprika

Put all the ingredients into a pot and simmer until it reduces to a thicker, darker consistency (about half an hour).