A month after receiving a slow cooker for Christmas, I’m already wondering how I managed without it. I think it is the best thing since sliced bread, and I can’t believe I lived to the age of 28 and three quarters without one. All the time I’m discovering clever things you can do with it, and I’m delighted to find that it’s not just casserole-type dishes you can cook in them. You can do whole joints of meat, too! And, even better, it doesn’t matter if it’s a cheap joint, because the slow cooker does such a cracking job of cooking it that it turns out beautifully anyway.
Anyway, with our wallets suffering after being ripped off in Barcelona, and a wedding to pay for, we’re trying to be particularly frugal at the moment and have started purchasing all our fresh ingredients at Aldi. We managed to get a shoulder of pork for just £3, and I found this recipe from Chow.com for barbecue pulled pork done in the slow cooker, which used ingredients I already had in the cupboard. This, it turns out, will feed both of us for no fewer than FOUR meals – bargain! And even better, it couldn’t be easier to make. Here’s how it’s done.
You will need
– 2 onions, roughly chopped or sliced (I used red onions as we already had them in the cupboard)
– 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
– 1 cup of chicken stock (you don’t need much)
– 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon chilli powder
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (I ground my own from cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar)
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 pork shoulder, twine removed
– 2 cups BBQ sauce
– Baps and anything else you want to serve them with, e.g. salad or veg
Put the chopped onions and garlic into the bottom of the slow cooker and spread evenly to form a bed for the pork. Pour the chicken stock in – it won’t look much, and won’t cover the onions, but this is as it should be.
Then put the dry ingredients into a bowl – the sugar, chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon and salt – and mix well. Pat the pork dry with kitchen roll and then rub the powder mixture into it, on all sides.
Place the pork onto its bed of onions and put the lid on. I cooked ours for about 7 hours on the high setting.
Enjoy the fact that your house will slowly start to smell AMAZING. After the time is up, check that it’s nice and tender using a fork. Then lift the pork out onto a plate. Drain the liquid out of the slow cooker using a strainer, but keep the onions and garlic and return them to the pot. Keep the liquid you’ve drained only if you don’t want to use BBQ sauce with your pork.
Using two forks, tease apart the pork into manageable pieces. It will naturally come away in little strips like this, giving the classic pulled pork appearance. As you pull off the pork, return it to the pot with the onions. Discard any fatty bits.
In the pot, mix the pork and onions together and add the barbecue sauce (I used M&S BBQ sauce that we already had, but in future I’m going to try to make my own). Mix well. If you don’t want to use BBQ sauce, you can add a little of the drained off liquid from earlier to moisten the pork.
Serve in buttered baps, with your choice of salad or vegetables.
We found that two dessert-spoonfuls of pork was sufficient per bap, and that the shoulder of pork was enough to produce enough for four meals for the two of us. We bagged up the remaining portions and froze them ready for a quick and easy meal another day! The pork tasted amazing and it was the best thing we’ve had from the slow cooker yet. Enjoy!