By the time the day of the party arrived, I had slow roasted four 6 pound joints of pork , a mix of gigot and shoulder. Each joint was anointed with smoked paprika rub in the evening, rested overnight, put in the oven the following morning, cooked throughout the day, cooled and then, res ipsa loquitur, pulled. To be honest, it fell off the bone and didn’t require much ‘pulling’ at all. The pulled pork was stored in rectangular foil containers measuring 22cm x 15cm x 6cm with cardboard lids. These stacked nicely and ergonomically in the fridge. Barbeque Sauce was made up- four quantities of it, and stored in a rectangular tupperware box. On the afternoon of the party, I mixed pork and sauce so that the meat was just covered, not swimming in sauce, placed it in deep sided roasting dishes, covered with foil and warmed up in the slow oven of the Aga. This could be done in any oven at about 120°C for 90 minutes. Even if it’s left for a few hours extra, it will come to no harm at that temperature.
Pulled pork is usually served with soft white rolls and coleslaw. As the meat and its sauce are richly flavoured, coleslaw just provides a contrasting crunch. Nude Coleslaw is made by slicing a white cabbage on the finest setting of a mandolin, then tossing it in the minimum of salt and cider vinegar.
Colour was provided by a Fresh Tomato Salsa from Thomasina Miers’ book “Mexican Food Made Simple”. Black turtle beans were cooked according to her instructions, then dressed with a light vinaigrette and tossed with finely diced red onion and chopped coriander. Baked potatoes and soured cream completed the offerings.
At some stage, there were a few comments that “the chicken is delicious” . Since they liked it so much, and nobody present had a religious objection to pork, nothing was said. So , to anyone who has asked the birthday girl for the recipe….apologies for misleading you…but the clean plates said it all. This pulled pork is soooooooo tasty! And it takes no skill at all, just a good butcher, and the time to slow-roast it.
P.S. Arún Bakery have now set up in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7 and make a soft white roll known as the ‘Vlaa’ ( after Vlad the Baker and the Waterford ‘Blaa’) which is perfect for pulled pork.