I’ve never actually followed a recipe before. I can’t cook from them. So when I was approached by ITC to share a recipe my immediate reaction was one of panic. (And glee. But panic was the overriding emotion).
How do you share a recipe for something you’ve never cooked? With 6000 people? Why, you just open the fridge and pantry and pray like mad!
Today I’m sharing my version of smokey sticky slightly salty simply super pulled pork. And when I was marinating it all I wanted to do was put on my boots and cowboy hat and pull out my (imaginary) gun from its shiny leather holster. And twirl it around and in my best Southern Accent shout “It’s a full moon tonight and you’re goin’ down ya filthy animal!”
This dish is not for the faint hearted. It’s pig, er I mean big. And bold and bloody and so damn beautiful it’s making me cry. (I think I’m crying because THERE IS NO VEGETARIAN SUBSTITUTE!!!) So without further ado let’s see how we go. A picture may be a good place to start.
Caramelise about half a cup of raw sugar till it starts to spit and smoke (it looked like the moon in my photo). Open one of those beautiful little cans of tomato purée and add it to the pot. Whack on a nice big blob of crushed garlic (fresh would be awesome but I’ve run out) and add salt to this concoction. I have to say I love my smoked garlic-herb salt only second to my husband and children. If you can get your hands on some, you too can pretend to be a good cook!
To this I add some cinnamon for family warmth, nutmeg for stability, paprika because I had an accent going on inside my head and lastly turmeric because you can take the girl out of India but you cannot take India out of the girl. If you’re cooking meat, always add turmeric. Just a pinch will do. It’s antiseptic and I’m claiming it makes all meat safer.
Plonk the pork (I used a 2.5kg shoulder) on a big X that you’ve created with two lengths of foil. Stab it with the biggest knife you’ve got. Don’t worry about it looking nice. It won’t! Coat it with that sweet smokey marinade and let it be for a couple of hours.
Wrap up the foil parcel, place it on an oven tray and leave it in a preheated oven at about 160 for 2.5-3 hours. I learn’t the foil trick from my friend Jamie. You know… the one who has a product range at Woollies! So at least I know that part of the recipe has been tested and works.
And that’s it. You could serve it warm with nachos, coleslaw, in wraps with some guacamole, as a burger… The possibilities are endless. In the words of Homer Simpson, “Ah the pig. Such a wonderful, marvelous animal.”