Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThis is a recipe I have been trying to master for a long time now and I think I’ve finally cracked it! It’s so cheap to make, so easy to make & unbelievably tasty! Have I sold it to you yet? Good! Let’s get started.

Here is what you will need to make enough for approx 6-8 generously sized sandwiches.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Paprika *
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 85g Honey
  • 2 tbsp/30ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 1kg Boneless Pork Shoulder Joint (Fat on)

*If you can, use a good quality, smoked paprika – it will make all the difference.

Equipiment

  • Slow Cooker (mine is 3.3 litre)

Let’s start with the marinade.

In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic & thyme.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThen add in the honey, red wine vinegar, BBQ sauce & olive oil. Give it all a good mix and set to one side.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkPeel & slice the onion in half then place at the bottom of the slow cooker, face down.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkSlice the pork joint in half and place on top of the onions. (Leave the fat on, it adds a great deal of flavour & is easily removable once cooked.) Then pour over the marinade. Try to cover as much meat as possible – it doesn’t matter if some of it falls to the bottom.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkLastly, pop the lid on and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the meat just falls apart.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkWhen it’s ready. Turn the slow cooker off and transfer the meat to a large bowl.

Remove the fat, then using 2 forks back to back – shred the meat.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDon’t forget about those onions! Take them out, finely dice them (be careful, they’ll be a bit slippy) and add them straight back into the meat.

Then pop the whole lot back into the slow cooker along with those gorgeous juices. Give it a good mix and you are good to go!

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkIf there is a little too much juice for your liking - simply put the slow cooker on high but leave the lid off. Cook until it’s the consistency you want (it shouldn’t take too long) and stir occasionally.

Then serve warmed in crusty cobs or mini ciabattas with a generous helping of coleslaw. (Use gluten free is you are coeliac.)

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDidn’t I tell you it was easy? It’s the perfect addition to your summer BBQ. Spend 5 minutes preparing it in the morning then leave the slow cooker to do all the hard work for you. Genius! I guarantee your guests will fall in love with both you and the pork!

Considering how heavenly this is, it really is SO cheap! I had all the spices in my cupboards already and the meat cost me less than £3. Now that’s the kind of maths I like to do. Bargain!

In other news, have I told you about Stellar/James Martin’s new soft grip tools range? No?Stellar James Martin Soft Grip Tools

Stellar James Martin Soft Grip ToolsBefore the cynical among you ask, no they’re not paying me to say this. I genuinely love Stellar cookware and have used their stuff since I’ve ruled my own kitchen! It really is fantastic quality. But then, you wouldn’t expect anything less from products that come with a lifetime guarantee though would you?

This range is no exception. Their soft grip handles make them extremely comfortable & safe to use. Not to mention how robust they feel in the hand. Just picking them up – you know they’re not the usual cheap cack you get from the supermarkets and that they’re definitely going to last. I for one, will be using them all the time! If you want to know more, check out the Stellar site HERE.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this week’s post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Paprika Pork & Sweet Potato Wedges!

Paprika Pork & Sweet Potato WedgesThis is a fantastically simple yet delicious recipe that I came across on the BBC Good Food website a few years back. It’s one I’ve made on several occasions but has had a recent revival in my kitchen with the purchase of some beautiful Spanish smoked paprika! If you are going to have a go at this I do recommend investing a couple of pounds in the good stuff, it makes a huge difference to the overall flavour. As an added bonus, this dish also happens to be naturally gluten free!

Here is what you will need to serve 2 hungry people.

  • 150g Pork Tenderloin Fillet (fat trimmed)
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 150ml Pot of Natural Yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Chives (Fresh or Dried)
  • Portion of Salad, to serve

Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

OPTIONAL ADVANCED PREP

If you want your wedges to go a little crispier, peel & slice the potatoes then place them in a bowl of cold water to soak for an hour. Before cooking, drain them, pat them as dry as possible with kitchen roll then proceed as per the recipe below.

In a small bowl, mix together the oil, paprika & a generous helping of salt. Rub the marinade all over the pork fillet. If you have the time, go one step further and leave to rest for a couple of hours to allow the flavours to develop. If you don’t, it’s fine to cook straight away.

When you are ready, heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Sear the meat on all sides (including the ends) then place on a baking tray ready for the oven whilst we get on with the sweet potato wedges.

Paprika Pork & Sweet Potato Wedges

 

Paprika Pork & Sweet Potato WedgesIf you haven’t done the ‘Optional Advanced Prep’ – peel the sweet potatoes and cut into wedges. Then place them in a bowl, add 1 tsp of olive oil, a generous helping of salt and mix with your hands to coat well.

Paprika Pork & Sweet Potato WedgesLine a large baking tray with baking paper or better yet, a silicone baking mat. Then spread the wedges out over it. (If you overcrowd a baking tray they will steam instead of going crispy, not what you want!)

Paprika Pork & Sweet Potato WedgesPlace the wedges on the middle shelf and the pork on the bottom. Then cook for about 25-30 minutes until the wedges are crispy and the pork is cooked through. If necessary, turn the wedges once halfway through.

Whilst they are in the oven, make the dip. Take a small bowl and tip in the yoghurt. Stir in the garlic powder, fresh chives, salt & pepper then set aside until you are ready to plate up.

When the pork and wedges are ready, divide between two plates and serve with a side salad and a big dollop of the yoghurt dip.

Paprika Pork & Sweet Potato WedgesAnd there you go folks, a super easy, really tasty dinner for two! See how easy that was? Great food doesn’t have to take forever to make or be really complicated. It just has to taste great, and this dish does that and then some!

I love the sweet potato wedges too. It’s not something that I’d even heard of until a few years ago but now I regularly use them as a substitute for standard potatoes. They are actually healthier and take about half the amount of time to cook, bonus!

Until next time my lovelies

Miss KitchenMason

BBQ Bliss!

My new toy - a Weber BBQ!This week me and the Mr invested in a new toy, and it’s long overdue if you ask me. We treated ourselves to a new Weber charcoal BBQ! It’s the first time we’ve ever actually cooked on a charcoal BBQ. I know, go ahead. I’m a big girl I can take the insults!

Wanting to break our charcoal BBQ virginity in style, we opted to try recipes with a twist. Some smokey paprika chicken skewers with a secret ingredient, wait for it… bacon paste! AND inside out cheeseburgers with the cheese stuffed right into the centre of the burger. YES!

Here is what you will need to make 3 decent sized skewers (easily doubled or tripled):

  • 1 Slice Smokey Bacon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 30g (1-2 tbsp) Barbecue Sauce
  • 250g Chicken Mini Breast Fillets
  • 3 Metal Skewers OR Wooden Skewers, soaked

To make 2 Massive cheese stuffed burgers you will need:

  • 500g Lean Beef Steak Mince
  • 4 tsp Worcester Sauce
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard Powder
  • a Good Helping of Salt & Pepper
  • Sliced Strong Cheddar Cheese

To Serve (Optional)

  • Crusty Cobs, cut in half & toasted on the BBQ
  • 4 Slices of Bacon
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Garlic Mayonnaise

To make the Chicken Skewers

*If you are using wooden skewers, put them in a tray of cold water and let them soak for a minimum of 30 minutes*

Roughly chop the bacon slice and pop into a food processor (I use my mini one – less washing up!) Blitz until it forms a smooth paste, stop and scrape down the bowl a few times during this. Leave to one side.

Bacon Paste!Add the salt, paprika, sugar and barbecue sauce to a bowl and mix together. Add in the bacon paste and beat well until thoroughly combined to make the marinade.

Roughly dice the chicken fillets into 1″ chunks and put into the bowl with the marinade. Give it a good mix to ensure all the meat is coated then cover in cling film and keep in the fridge until needed. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that the longer you leave it, the more flavour the chicken will absorb. If you have the time, I would recommend doing this the night before you want to eat them.

Marinating the Chicken

When you are ready, push the chicken onto the skewers. (Metal or soaked wooden ones.)

Ready for the BBQThen head on over to the BBQ! You could, of course, just grill these in the oven or on a griddle pan for a few minutes each side.

Chicken Skewers on the BBQ

Nearly cooked!Turn halfway and cook until the juices run clear and the chicken has a nice char to it.

Paprika & Bacon Paste Chicken BBQ SkewersI must say, these had an amazing smokey flavour to them! For me, they summed up everything I associate with BBQ. Smokey, charred, juicy, succulent and delicious meat! Definitely one I will be making again.

To Make The Inside Out Cheeseburgers

Tip the beef mince into a large bowl and add in the worcester sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder & and generous amount of salt & pepper.

Mix with a fork until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and divide into 4 even chunks.

Take two chunks of the mince and form 2 burgers. Make dents in the middle and place a few slices of the cheese on top.

Stuffing the BurgersThen make two more burgers from the remaining chunks of mince and place on top of them. Seal them well, you don’t want any cheese escaping when you cook them. Cleaning a BBQ is bad enough as it is!

Inside Out Cheeseburgers!Cover them with cling film and store in the fridge for at least an hour. This helps them firm up and as a result, they’ll cook better. If you have longer, great. This will allow the flavours to get into the meat.

When they have firmed up, take em to the BBQ!

Inside Out Cheeseburgers on the BBQ!

Cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side until cooked through and nicely charred. (Or a griddle pan would work just as well if you can’t be bothered to get the BBQ out.)

Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving, this will help keep all the juices in the burger. As you can see from the next photo though, my impatience got the better of me!

The Inside Out Cheeseburger!Just look at it, isn’t it beautiful? I don’t know about you but I think that melted cheese makes everything better!

Once your burgers have rested a little, serve on toasted crusty cobs and top with garlic mayo, crispy bacon & caramelized onions.

Ready to Get in My Face!I seriously enjoyed this burger. It’s a bit of a beast though isn’t it?! Even I struggled to get my chops round this one – and that’s saying something!

Along my travels through the blogasphere, I came across several versions of this recipe. One that really took my fancy was stuffing the burger with mozzarella cheese & pesto. I think this will be on my BBQ to do list next time.

I feel like my charcoal BBQ virginity has been well and truly broken now and I plan on getting back on that horse VERY soon! I love the smokiness & charred flavours that a charcoal BBQ gives in comparison to any other style of cooking.

I hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Until next week.

Miss KitchenMason

BBQ Pulled Pork – Revisited And Home Made Coleslaw!

BBQ Pulled Pork & Coleslaw Baguettes

Many moons ago for one of my first ever KitchenMason blog posts, I wrote about a fantastic recipe for BBQ pulled pork. It’s one of mine & the Mr’s favourites & perfect for a lazy Sunday as there is minimal effort & minimal pot washing required! So today, as seen as we are celebrating being together for 7 years, we decided to dust off the slow cooker and have a lazy & relaxing day. (Plus, I thought my original post could do with a bit of a revamp!)

Also, I have had a mild addiction to coleslaw ever since I was a kid. I say mild, I mean monumental! There are tons of recipes for pulled pork across the internet and lots of them seem to pair it with home made coleslaw. So I thought I would too.

Without further ado, here is what you will need to make a mountain of pulled pork & a vat of coleslaw.

(Pulled Pork recipe is adapted from the Two Peas & Their Pod blog & the Coleslaw recipe comes courtesy of The Slow Roasted Italian blog.)

BBQ Pulled Pork

  • 1 Onion, medium sized
  • 110ml Ketchup
  • 85ml Cider Vinegar
  • 50g Light Brown Sugar
  • 55g Tomato Puree/Paste
  • 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika (See note 1)
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1.5k Pork Shoulder, bone in/fat trimmed (See note 2)
  • Crusty Cobs/Baguettes to serve (Gluten Free if you are coeliac)

Coleslaw

  • 1/2 Head of White Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 Carrots, grated
  • 1/2 Onion, grated
  • 250ml Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 2 tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 tbsp Cider Vinegar

Note 1: You can use normal paprika but you won’t get that lovely smokey BBQ sauce flavour you really want. It is best to get the good stuff.

Note 2: Get your butcher to cut it in half  so you know it will actually fit in your slow cooker. (Unlike me and the Mr did… all will be explained later!)

First up, chop the onion into thick-ish slices and lay in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Preparing The Pork!Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and give it a right good mix up!

Adding in the FlavourThe Start of the Best BBQ Sauce Ever!Now, this is the part where me and the Mr tripped ourselves up a bit. We totally forgot to check that the pork shoulder would actually fit into our slow cooker…

Minor Problem, It Doesn't Fit!It wasn’t for lack of trying though! But between the two of us, that thing was NOT going to split into two pieces and fit. Whoops. So do make sure to check that yours will fit and if needs be, ask your butcher to chop it into two pieces!

Anyways, I put my thinking cap on and suddenly…

Problem Solved!Problem solved! I covered it in foil and turned my oven on to 90°C/Fan 70°C. So whether you are doing it in a slow cooker or in the oven, cook for at least 6-8 hours until completely cooked through and practically falling off the bone.

Meanwhile… make the coleslaw.

Thinly slice the cabbage and grate both the carrot & onion. Place into a large bowl and leave to one side.

The Base of ColeslawIn another large bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients and whisk it up to make a thick & creamy sauce.

The SauceNow pour the sauce over the veg & mix in thoroughly until it’s all evenly coated.

Home Made Coleslaw!Store in an airtight container and pop in the fridge. Make sure you give it at least 30 minutes resting time before you eat it just to let the flavours settle.

6-8 hours later… The pork is cooked! Take it out the oven/slow cooker and remove all the meat. Using two forks back to back, shred all of it and put back into the pot to absorb all that beautiful BBQ sauce & warm through.

Serve in warmed baguettes or crusty cobs. I used some half baked baguettes this time. (Obviously use gluten free cobs if you suffer from coeliacs disease.)

BBQ Pulled Pork & Coleslaw BaguetteThis has to be one of the most simplistic foods in the world to make and one of the tastiest! The smokiness from the paprika is wonderful and the sharpness of the coleslaw cuts through it magnificently!

This has been and will remain, one of my all time favourite foods and a definite crowd pleaser.

Hope you all enjoyed the post, until next week!

Miss KitchenMason