We, the Chinese, eat A LOT of pork. I think after chicken, pork is the 2nd go-to protein in a Chinese diet. Maybe. My favourite way of having pork is getting it slow-cooked. Doesn’t matter which part we are talking about. Be it the ribs, loin, belly. For me, slow roasting or braising is the way for flavourful, tender pork.
Now, coming to the shoulder roast bit. Oh this part. With some TLC and lots of time, it can turn from a slab of meat into melty, soft, tender beauty. O mean, it’s so gorgeous, you can’t even deal with it! And the secret tool for making it? Your trusty slow cooker! It allows you to walk away and come back in 8 hours to pot of crazy goodness, without having to worry about burning, drying up the meat etc. It’s a no-brainer.
I’ve made this twice so far and boy, it makes so much that I have some stashed away in the freezer for those I-don’t-feel-like-cooking days when I can just pull a bag out and throw it on a sandwich or into some stirfried noodles. I would advise you to do this before you sleep and then in the morning, it’ll be done. I woke up to the house smelling like dinner. Not a bad thing at all. 🙂
Just a quick note though. The recipe I used called for “liquid smoke”. It’s that smoky barbeque fragrance you get from a good barbeque over real wood… except this is in a bottle and in liquid form. If you cannot get it, don’t worry. I’ve done it once without and once with. The liquid smoke adds an extra dimension to the fragrance but both ways taste fantastic. I only decided to use liquid smoke because I stumbled across some at a higher end grocery supermarket and just had to get a bottle to try this recipe again. A little pricey but worth it. *thumbs up*
So to do this, you will need:
Pork Shoulder Roast, Onion, Peppercorns, Garlic, Bay Leaves, Olive Oil, Salt & Liquid Smoke
Salt the pork generously and sear all sides over high high heat with some olive oil. Make sure to get the pan and oil real hot before adding the meat to it.
Slice up the onion into 1/2 inch discs and dunk everything into your slow cooker on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours. (The pic I got was so bad, let’s pretend it never existed). After that time period, you will get this.
Miracle, isn’t it? I took the meat out into a separate bowl and scooped the remnants out. No one likes to bite into a peppercorn. I sure don’t. Hence I sieved the sauce pretty well. Make sure to press press press every ounce of juice you can from the onions and garlic. It’s all liquid gold in there.
This is what I was left with.
Notice the oil slick on top? That’s from the fat marbling in the meat. And that’s what kept the meat so moist during that long slow cooking process. But now, it’s job is done. And unless you want to clog your arteries, use a spoon to get out as much oil as you can. A little remaining is alright. It will give the meat a bit of shine. Just not too much.
Once that’s done set aside while you shred your pork. And thus the name: pulled pork. Cos you are pulling the meat apart and uh, yeah. Ok. I like mine on a chunkier side because I’m a texture person. I want to be able to gnaw and chew a little.
Pour the sauce back into the meat to keep it moist. If you feel it’s too much sauce, you can either reserve some or reduce it in a pan until it’s about how much you want it.
Now you can use this in a variety of ways:
In a sandwich
psst! post on this coming up!
(picture curtesy of: La Fuji Mama who’s the source of inspiration for this post and recipe)
My personal favourite: On It’s Own! (not showing you a pic on how I binge on these. nope!)
Try it out and let me know how yours went!
“The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.” (Psalm 145:8)
Smoky Pulled Pork
inspired by and adapted from La Fuji Mama
1 kg Pork Shoulder Roast
2 tbsp coarse salt or 1 tbsp fine salt
1 Onion, sliced into 1/2 inch discs
1 bulb Garlic, outer skin removed but kept whole
1 tbsp peppercorn
2 dried bay leaves or 1 fresh bay leaf
1 tbsp liquid smoke (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil, for searing
- Rub salt over the pork shoulder.
- Heat up the oil in a heavy based pan over high heat and sear the meat on all sides, as best you can.
- Arrange the onion discs at the bottom of slow cooker pot. Place seared meat on top and put all the other ingredients in and around.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
- Remove the meat when done and use 2 forks to shred.
- Strain the sauce. Skim the oil off if needed. Pour over the meat to moisten.