So my old mate Brett, AKA Bretty B, sends me a message asking what the hell pulled pork is. I explained that my understanding of pulled pork is that it is a slow cooked piece of pork, with some kind of juicy marinade, that ends up being so damn heart meltingly tender that you can shred it up with a fork for easy consumption. Brett was excited to say the least, but he was afraid that he would not be able to find it in the country town he now calls home. I suggested that he should make his own and he was very receptive to the idea. We spoke of a few flavours, but in the end he was down for the Chinese styles… even if it was because he is a devoted student of kung fu.
“Share with me the culinary skills that will make my peers weep with flavours of pure porky goodness”, said Brett.
So Chinese pulled pork it was!
Well. It was for him anyway. I kinda just made the recipe up on the fly and I thought it about time I tried it out for myself… just to double check I’ve got the minimals. As it turned out I do have the minimals, and even if it did taste like shit and/or I did need to change the recipe I would still be sitting here right now telling you that I did anyway. Smiley face.
I like the way a smiley face or indeed any form of emoji can be used to replace full stops these days. I truly think it is genius, but that is irrelevant.
We had our pork in home made gua bao (steamed bun things) with coriander slaw, pickled radish and cucumber, mayo and chilli. It was pretty effing good PS.
PULLED PORK with CHINESE FLAVOURS (serves as many as you do or don’t want to share it with)
2kg pork shoulder
¼ cup light soy sauce
¼ cup oyster sauce
1 brown onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thumbsized knob ginger, finely sliced
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder (or a couple of star anise, a cinnamon stick, a cardamom pod and 2 cloves will do the trick)
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ cup Chinese black vinegar
¼ cup shao-xing Chinese cooking wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups chicken stock or water
• Mix everything, except pork and stock/water, to make a marinade
• Rub that shit all over the pork and put it in the fridge to do its thing. Over night is ideal but at least 3-4 is good. If you don’t marinate it it will still work out A-OK. Yes, you may stop your blubbing now
• Whack the pork and all the sexy marinade juices in an oven dish and cover that bad boy. A stock/water and cook at 150C for 3-4 hours, or until the meat will push away from the bone very easily… a slow cooker would also do the job here (get it on first thing in the morning for dinner that evening)
• Pull the meat out of the juices and into a bowl for the shredding action. All going according to plan the meat will be so tender it will yield under the pressure of the tongs or your tough-guy hands and you will end up with many smaller chunks
• Let it cool a little, but while it is still warm shred the meat up with two forks, or a fork and some tongs, or your fingers if you really want me to love you
• Strain juices and pour over pork
• Eat this one with rice, or in a sandwich, or how ever you want to really… it is your pork after all!