Thursday, 6 August 2015

Recipe corner: North Carolina style pulled pork

Picture taken from
I don't really know what North Carolina style means.

Let me rephrase that - clearly it means that it originates from a particular state of America.  I just don't know what distinguishes North Carolina style from, say, South Carolina style, or Texas style or...Louisiana style (mines intimate knowledge of Triple D episodes for appropriate state names).

What I do know is that this recipe, from a recent Waitrose "Kitchen" magazine, is incredibly tasty.  The rich pork cut with the sour heat of the "mop" is just sublime.  We had it, shredded and stuffed into bread buns on Sunday evening and enjoyed it so much that we ate the exact same thing on Monday.  We both noted that the Monday version was even better than the original - clearly, a day in the fridge "chilling" (ha ha) with the mop enhanced the flavours still further.

Add slaw to the buns if you so wish.  Make potato salad as a side dish, or mac and cheese (I'm going to try this combo next) or the fabulous slow cooked beans that I will be posting next.  Just make sure you get it made.

Note that the recipe suggests dry brining the pork overnight.  We didn't actually do this - the pork only got a couple of hours in the end, but I'll definitely be doing it for longer next time in the hope that it gets even better.


1.2kg pork shoulder (with skin)
Tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper

150ml cider vinegar
2 tsp soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Serves 6, 12 pro points per portion

Rub the pork with the salt and pepper, cover with foil and leave to chill - overnight if possible, if not, a couple of hours will do.

Preheat the oven to 160.  Place the pork in a roasting tin and roast for two hours, still covered in the foil tent.  After the two hours is up, uncover, baste with the juices then tuck it back up and roast for a further two hours.

At some point during the pork's long sojourn in the oven, you can make the mop.  Just place all the ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat and warm through until the sugar has melted.

At the end of the second stretch of two hours, uncover the pork and turn your oven up to its highest temperature.  Cook the pork for a further ten minutes during which time the skin should crisp up.  Remove from the oven.  Take off the skin and replace it, on a baking tray, for a further ten minutes or so to continue drying out.  Meanwhile, leave the pork itself to rest for half an hour or so.

Now for the pulling part - just take two forks and shred the beautiful tender meat, incorporating any cooking juices as you do so.  Then pour over the mop and stir through.  Break your crackling into shards and strew over the top.  Salivate.  A lot.


  1. Aaaah, love pulled pork! In case you're curious, here are two pretty decent explanation of differing barbecue styles (some people do bbq roadtrips to sample them all).

    1. That's so kind, thank you! I love the idea of a barbecue roadtrip :)

  2. Mmm, I'm coming on that BBQ road trip with you! I love pulled pork (although hate crackling or any scrap of fat) AND mac and cheese (which I have only recently discovered) but making pulled pork scares me. Maybe I need to feel the fear and do it anyway!