Confession: this is not the first time that I've made Laura's pulled pork recipe. At some point during the three weeks I was riddled with glandular fever I decided that all this lying around wouldn't do at all, and pulled my disease-ridden body out of bed to make pulled pork, a fact that in itself vouches for my deliriousness.
Predictably, I was unable to eat it; in fact, the smell made my stomach turn. As I was vomming frequently at the time, this stomach turning had predictable results. This was, indeed, an ill-fated pulled pork-making venture.
Shannon, who ended up being the sole eater of the pulled pork, vouched for it's deliciousness*, which encouraged me to have another go - and YES, it was totally worth it. Please don't let the discussion of my illness put you off making delicious pork.
Second confession: I made a LOT of changes, but I don't think quite the extent that I didn't make this recipe at all (willing to hear arguments to the contrary). Here are the changes, listed in suggested order that they might affect the success of this recipe:
- I had no fennel seeds for the mop, so I used whole star anise instead (it made sense when I did it but seems kind of whimsical now).
- I had no ground ginger for the rub, so I had to leave it out.
- I couldn't find pork shoulder or belly at the supermarket, so I bought a leg instead.
- I made the pulled pork in the slow cooker, using guidance from Beth at Budget Bytes.
Annnnnd despite my thorough bastardisation of what was undoubtedly a well thought-out and tested recipe, everything turned out well! Slow cooking the pork left me with no bark (the crispy bits on the outside of the joint), but the meat itself was delicious and not horribly dry. The bits on the bottom of the joint that were sitting in the mop during the entire cooking time - these certainly had more flavoursome deliciousness. But, I think because I marinated the pork overnight, the rest of the meat had plenty of flavour too.
In conclusion: DO IT. Make some pulled pork! We ate ours with flour tortillas, and coleslaw with smoked paprika and almonds, but it was also good two days later in a market baguette with melted cheese.
Would you believe this is the best photo I could get? Pulled pork is difficult to photograph. Probably a topic about this at a food bloggers' forum somewhere.
*Writing that sentence gave me the opportunity to reflect on how amazed I am that he ate the pork when I made it while I was SO ill. He basically ate my disease. Ew.
Have you ever made pulled pork before; and what's your favourite way to cook it and eat it? I want to eat all the pork.