David experiments with new formulations while working as a chemist, and he experiments with new recipes while at home in his kitchen.
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8 hours 20 min
Who doesn't love pulled pork? It is one of those dishes that is both delicious and super versatile and can be enjoyed simply on a bap, on a pitta, in a burrito, or even in a baked potato! Another bonus is that pulled pork is literally one of the easiest things to make.
So how do you make pulled pork? Well is fairly easy if you have a slow cooker. All you have to do is simply prepare a sauce, pour it into the slow cooker, place the pork into the sauce, and cook! The longer you cook it the better, but it must be on low heat if you are cooking for more than 4 hours. The long cooking process allows the muscle fibers to break down and become succulent. It also allows the pork to be easily shredded. Yes, the cooking process may take time, but you may cook it overnight, so it's ready when you wake up or put it on in the morning and arrive home to a cooked meal after work.
Many pulled pork recipes online use cuts of pork, like pork shoulder. Pork shoulder makes excellent pulled pork as it contains a higher amount of fat. This fat adds flavour and is great at keeping the pork succulent. Although a shoulder is great, I went for a less fatty option in this recipe purely to be healthy. Pork tenderloin, also called pork filet, is a much leaner option, however, it does contain some fat. It is also super convenient to shed once cooked! The muscle fibers of this cut are mostly aligned lengthways along the meat and because of this, it makes it extremely easy to pull away fine strips of the pork when cooked.
The bbq sauce recipe detailed here is quite a healthy one and is totally natural and homemade. It has a tomato base, with spices, garlic, onion, smoked paprika and gets its sweetness from honey and its bitterness from apple cider vinegar.
Overall, the lean cut of pork combined with the homemade bbq sauce, create a healthy slow cooker pulled pork recipe.
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- 1 can (13 ounce) chopped tomato, blended
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons worchester sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder / cayenne, or more!
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon mustard, powder or sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder, optional
- Blend the canned tomatoes in a food processor until you achieve a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker.
- To this sauce, add all of the ingredients, except for the pork. Mix all of these ingredients thoroughly. At this point, you may taste add more chili or other flavours as you wish. Although do not add more salt at this stage as the pork contains salt and will add this flavour during cooking.
- After mixing, place the pork tenderloins into the sauce and brush some of the sauce over them.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on a low heat for 8 hours. Alternatively, you may cook on high heat for 4 hours. Personally I prefer to cook for longer as this leaves more time for flavours to develop and for the pork to become more succulent!
- When cooked, allow to cool slightly before shredding the pork. At this point, you may remove some of the bbq sauce to pour over the pulled pork when placed on a bap.
- Using a fork, carefully shred the pork. It is important to shred lengthways to pull off strips of the pork. You can use one knife to hold the pork in place and another to shred.
- After shredding the pork, mix the sauce and the shredded pork together.
- Place your pulled pork on a bap or even in a wrap, burrito or a salad. If you kept any of the barbecue sauce you may pour more of it over the pulled pork. Enjoy!
© 2018 David Branagan