Smoked Chinese pulled pork
I can never resist a good bargain and I picked up a boned shoulder of pork that was on sale. We had guests coming for dinner and I love the versatility of pork.
I really fancied pulled pork and what better opportunity than when you have guests to share it with? I find it pretty much impossible to make it only for two. Not long ago I made Chinese five spice powder. I have always bought it but making it myself was very easy and it tastes delicious, there is a recipe here. The Chinese five spice set the tone and I did an Asian inspired pulled pork. Don’t be put off by the long cooking, time, the pork takes care of itself, and requires a minimum amount of effort and delivers a maximum of flavour. It is an easy dish to prepare and simply heat up before serving.
Smoked Chinese inspired pulled pork
preparation time 30 minutes in total
cooking time 10 hours + 15-20 minutes
oven 160C or 320F
- 2 kg or 70 oz boned shoulder of pork
- 2 tbsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 dl water
- 1 tbsp salt
For the barbecue sauce
- 1 1/2 dl ketchup
- 1 tbsp HP sauce
- 1 tbsp citrus vinegar
- 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
- 1 tbps smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup
- 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
- 2 tbsp peeled and grated ginger
- 2 fine crushed garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- water as needed
For the pork; I used my cast iron pot if you don’t have an oven proof pot with a tight lid you need to wrap the pork in grease proof paper and then tight in tin foil. I mixed the Chinese five spice with smoked paprika and salt to create a dry rub and rubbed the pork with all of the spices.
I added water to the bottom of the pan, then placed the rubbed pork on top and put the lid on. I did this at night and I put the meat in the oven at midnight and cooked it for 10 hours. I did check on it after 8 hours to make sure it wasn’t dry.
The meat should be fall apart tender and easy to pull when cooked. I let it rest for an hour before working with it. I removed all the visible fat and pulled the meat.
I pulled all the meat and then used my smoking gun to add flavour. I put the meat in a bowl and covered it with cling film before adding the smoke. The cling film wasn’t all tight and I managed to fill most of the kitchen with smoke. I got enough in to the pork to add a nice and smoky flavour.
Whilst the meat is soaking up the last of the smoke start on the barbecue sauce. I didn’t have a recipe and if the sauce doesn’t turn out nice the dish won’t be great.
Heat up the pan with the cooking juices, this is key for the flavour. Add the Chinese five spice and the smoked paprika and let it cook out for a few minutes. Add the ketchup, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, the grated ginger and the crushed garlic, the citrus vinegar and the maple syrup. Taste with the soy sauce. Let simmer for a few minutes and taste.
The sauce should be thick but if it gets too thick add water, a few tablespoons at the time. Taste with the juice of the fresh lemon and when you are happy with the flavour add the lemon zest and the pulled, smoked pork.
Set the dish aside until you are ready to heat it to serve.
I needed something to cut through the rich pork and did a watercress and kale pesto. There is still kale growing in the garden and I couldn’t resist picking some. You can find the pesto recipe here.
I also did a crunchy hot and sour salad. I only used the dressing from the recipe, any crunchy veg will work a treat here and I replaced the grapefruit for an orange. Here is a link to the dressing, it is delicious. I used spring onion, cabbage, a bunch of coriander, cucumber, pepper and carrot.
I wanted something smooth with the pork and did some cauliflower mash that I sprinkled with sesame seeds before serving.
For texture and flavour I also made a batch of baked sweet potato fries, just because I like them!
The flavours and textures really came together and almost all of the food went along with a few bottles of lovely Cote du Rhone.
I thought we would have pulled pork for a week but there was only a little left. I did a pulled pork ramen for lunch the next day and it was a treat.
I actually can’t wait to cook this again. I thought it was great to wake up to the wonderful aromas of the pork, M woke up and for a confused moment he thought the house was on fire, a great way to highlight how our different minds work!
I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday, a bit late I know but I just didn’t want to miss out. Angie, The Novice Gardener, has the best foodie party around. This time she has two excellent co hosts, Jess, Cooking is my sport, and Prudy, butter basil and breadcrumbs. Head over to Angie’s, Jess’ and Prudy’s blogs and I promise you that you will be inspired, hungry and see the most amazing food pics!