Wednesday 20 January 2010

pulled pork

Australians like to think that they are the BBQ kings and queens of the Universe. And we are. But just as we accuse Americans of being arrogant and insular, so are we about BBQ. The BBQ we know, whether it me dodgy spewpermarket snags over Heat Beads, or gohr-may seafood skewers in a Webber, the truth is BBQ is much MUCH more than that.

Pulled pork is a typical BBQ dish from Southern US, called "pulled" because it is slow cooked to the point that all the connective tissue breaks down and you can pull the pork apart by hand. It is then served in sandwiches and over rice.

In the United States, pulled pork is commonly slow-cooked by a smoking method (known as BBQ'ing), though a non-barbecue method might also be employed.

The preparation of pulled pork differs from region to region. In areas such as Tennessee, pulled pork is typically made from a mixture of the blade shoulder and arm shoulder meat and served with a tomato-based barbecue sauce. In areas such as Noth Carolina, both mixed cuts of the belly and shoulder alone are commonly used, and the pork is served with a vinegar-based sauce or with no sauce.

My pulled pork was slow cooked on the stove top for almost 7 hours. I used a 1kg chunk of pork belly roast and left the skin on.

I slow cooked it with a can of tomatoes, some capers, a fresh sliced jalapeno chilli, some sweet pickled onions (with the vinegar) and plenty of chicken stock. I used my trusty old cast iron camp oven, and had it in low heat for 6.75 hours. I then removed the skin and finely sliced it (the rubbery skin bits made a wonderful textural counterpoint to the meat and the onions) and "pulled" the roast apart with 2 forks. I actually cooked it in 2 sittings, on for 3 hours on Sunday night and then again on Monday. When I got home from work on Monday night, the hours was positively fragrant!

We ate half of it over rice with fresh cracked black pepper, and are saving the other half to use on Thursday, for a nacho topping, a la Tammi Jonas 's suggestion.


Jazz said...

Oh the pulled pork I had in Texas! Actually any Texas bbq I had was mouthwateringly delicious.

I'm ever so sorry to have to say it. Don't tell Furry.

Gastronomy Gal said...

looks so fabulous- sitting here wishing I ate it!

Robin H (in Ky) said...

Sweetie, you NEED to come to the BBQ festival in Memphis, which takes place right on the river during "Memphis in May". There is just an orgy of every kind of BBQ one can imagine, from all over everywhere. I don't comment often, but I read your blog..and love your photos. xoxo Robin

In Kentucky, barbecue also has a long and rich tradition. Mutton is the most notable specialty in Western Kentucky, where there were once large populations of sheep. However, mutton is virtually unknown in The Purchase of the extreme west, where "barbecue" without any other qualifier refers specifically to smoked pork shoulder. A vinegar- and tomato-based sauce with a mixture of spice and sweet is traditionally served with the meat, though not always used in cooking. The Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn in Owensboro is the most famous of all Kentucky BBQ places, and Owensboro hosts an International Bar-B-Q Festival every year during the second weekend in May. Western Kentucky BBQ (more specifically, Purchase BBQ) has also been transplanted to Lexington by way of Billy's BBQ near downtown, a favorite among University of Kentucky basketball and football fans. A great deal of "Kentucky barbecue" has found its way into southern Indiana, where it has earned widespread favor. Traditionally, a combination of hickory and oak is burnt.

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Tammois said...

You've inspired me, Ella! Having not actually made pulled pork myself, only enjoyed it in the South, I think I'm gonna have to experiment... Yours looks very nom! :-)

Anonymous said...

Sounds scrumptious!
Jen xx

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