The concept of pulled pork is very simple. We start with a very cheap cut of meat that is fairly tough. The meat is generously spiced until it has real attitude and we then slow-cook it in a potjie until it’s so soft we can just pull it apart. Pulled pork is not really a meal for two. The size of the meat and time it takes to prepare means that when it’s pulled pork, it’s a party! This recipe is incredibly easy, especially if you follow it. Phone you butcher ahead of time and ask him to prepare a 2 kg piece of deboned pork shoulder. For a competent butcher this is a piece of cake and it’s not a particularly expensive cut of meat either. Failing this, 2 kg of pork shoulder on the bone will work just as well. Supermarkets generally sell pieces of pork meat of roughly this size. Your weapon of choice here is a no. 2 or no. 3 three-legged potjie or a no. 10 flat-bottomed one. You make the dressing sauce ahead of time and you’ll also do most of the work for the pork a few hours in advance. By the time your party guests arrive, all you need to do is occasionally add a few coals under the potjie and of course, serve up a great meal.
WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 10)
TO PREPARE THE MEAT
- 2 kg pork shoulder (or other piece of pork meat)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tot paprika
- 1 tot brown sugar
FOR THE POTJIE
- 1 tot olive oil
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 3 cups liquid (see step 6)
FOR THE RANCH SAUCE
- 1 bottle buttermilk (2 cups)
- 1 tub sour cream
- 3 tots chives (freshly chopped)
- 1 tot Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
WHAT TO DO
- To make the sauce you shake the bottle of buttermilk before opening its top. Now throw that and all the other ingredients for the sauce in a bowl or jug and mix well. Cover whatever the sauce is in and put in in your fridge until you’re ready to serve the meal.
- Prepare the meat by mixing all the spices together then rub the spice blend into the pork shoulder.
- Get some flames under the potjie, add the oil and onion, and fry the onion for a few minutes.
- Now add the garlic and the whole chunk of pork to the potjie.
- Brown the pork shoulder on all sides. You can take as long as you like to do this but aim for 10 minutes.
- Your cooking liquid should be 3 cups in total – 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of beer, cider, white wine, red wine, apple juice or ginger ale. Add all 3 cups to the potjie and let the potjie heat up to a gentle simmer. Now close the lid. The potjie should bubble very slowly for 3 to 4 hours until the meat is very soft and starts to fall apart by itself. Every half hour or so you can lift the lid and flip the meat over. If at any time the potjie is running dry, add a bit more cooking liquid, using any of the options.
- When the pork is done, remove from the fire and let it rest somewhere to relax a bit. Use two forks to pull apart and shred the pork. Taste a piece and congratulate yourself. Now mix all the pulled pork with all the remaining liquid in the potjie.
- Your guests can build their own creations by piling a generous helping of pulled pork meat onto a roll, and topping it with ranch sauce, slices of gherkin and slices of onion.
Make the rolls with 10 soft burger rolls, 4 big gherkins (sliced into thin strips with a vegetable peeler), and 1 red onion (thinly sliced).