I wanted to start this recipe post with a poem, but I never got anywhere except to "Last Christmas I gave you my pork, and it melted away as we dug into it with a fork". No worries, I cook better than I rhyme. So, pulled pork!
Are you crazy? Who even has enough time to make pulled pork at home? YOU DO. It does take time to make, but you don't actually do anything for the 99% of that time. If you can handle doing nothing, you can handle pulled pork. Now, I made it for Christmas (hence the failed rhyme) but I know there are people brave enough to leave the pork in the oven for a couple of hours without even being at home, so really it just takes a bit of planning ahead.
The biggest effort you can actually make in preparing pulled pork can often be chatting with your local butcher. I usually stick to how much does it weigh? oh can I have just a kilo and a half? deboned please, not because I'm stiff but because I'm nervous since I don't speak Dutch.
So, the whole thing should go down like this:
- Make delicious basic cranberry sauce and try not to devour the whole pot
- Smear half of the remaining sauce over the pork shoulder with some other tasty stuff
- Bake the pork shoulder
- Eat it with leftover sauce and be thankful it exists
So, let's begin!
Basic cranberry sauce
You will need:
- Some 300 grams fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 1 stick of cinnamon
Put the ingredients into a pot and brig to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the temperature to medium and continue cooking until the cranberries are cracked. You want them to crack because they're full of pectin, the natural gelling agent. When the cranberries crack, it will be released into the pot and your sauce will naturally turn into jelly. Remove the cinnamon and set aside to cool.
Cranberry sauce pulled pork
You will need:
- 1-2 kg (preferably boneless) pork shoulder
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 garlic, minced
- some rosemary and/or thyme
- cranberry sauce you've already made
- 0.5 liters of some good beer
Combine honey, Worcestershire, olive oil, paprika, salt, garlic, herbs and garlic to get a homogeneous marinade. Rub it all over the pork shoulder and leave in the fridge overnight.
Spread half of your cranberry sauce over the meat and put it into a braising pan or any similar pot (I used a BK braadpan and couldn't have been happier). Pour the beer – my choice was Leffe Blond – into the pot so it covers the meat almost entirely. Bake at 150° C (300° F) five to six hours.
The meat should be so tender that you can pull it with a fork. Cranberry sauce will form a caramelized layer on its outside.
Eat with the remaining cranberry sauce and some good ol' coleslaw. Enjoy!