Cheap Eats: Pepsi Pulled Pork and Pickled Cabbage Slaw

pork heaven 2Because alliteration is the food of love.

No, it isn’t, because this pork recipe is.  Or rather, if you’re looking to apologise/suck up/curry favour/fall in love, it’s a go-to recipe.

Unless they’re a veggie, then best not.

Why ‘Cheap Eats’? Well, pork shoulder is relatively cheap – you can pick up 1kg for around £4 now, and as ‘the other white meat’, not only is it cheaper, but also (allegedly) healthier.  So there you go; technically this is a health food as well as coming in at a low price.

This will serve 2 gannets, 4 hungry people and six for pork rolls.  Add BBQ sauce for extra deliciousness and, if you can, make 24 hours in advance and add the sauce later, reheating in the oven at 200 degrees for ten minutes.

You will need:

For the pork:
1kg pork shoulder, boneless
1 x 500ml bottle of Pepsi (full-fat: we’re going hardcore)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp thyme
200ml beef or pork stock
BBQ sauce

For the slaw:
1 x red cabbage head
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar

What to do:

Quarter the red cabbage and discard the core.  Coarsely chop the rest of the leaves.

In a jug, mix the vinegar and sugar; stir until the sugar dissolves.  Then gradually add the oil, stirring all the time.  Pour over the cabbage leaves.  Add salt and pepper, then seal with clingfilm and allow to ferment for at least two hours, tossing regularly.

Take out the pork, untie and remove any rind, but don’t throw it away because you’re not an idiot.  Of course you’re going to save it for crackling and it will be delicious.

Mix together the oil and spices and rub all over the pork.  Make sure you massage it in as if it were Ryan Gosling, because you want that meat to be tender.  Don’t get carried away though, because it isn’t him.  It’s just meat.  Place into a deep roasting tin, cover with foil and seal.  Allow to marinade for anything from 30 minutes to overnight – the longer, the better.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (gas) or 180 degrees (fan).

When it’s time, unpeel the foil and dump in the bottle of Pepsi, as much as you can fit in without it overflowing.  Reseal the tin tightly with foil and put into the oven at the high heat for thirty minutes.

After the thirty minutes is up, turn the heat down to 160 degrees (gas) or 150 degrees (fan).  Allow to cook for two hours.

After two hours, give it a check – peel back the foil and give it a poke.  Does it fall apart?  If so, it’s ready.  If not, give it a roll-over in the juice and put it straight back in for further roasting.  Check at thirty-minute intervals.

The pork is ready when it falls apart the moment you touch it with a fork.  When it’s done, lift it out of the tin and pour the juices into a jug.

When the juices have cooled slightly, skim off the fat and return to a pan.  Reduce down with a little stock and some BBQ sauce.

Add the reduced sauce to the pork, give it a mix and whack it onto a brioche bun with some slaw for what can only be described as manna from heaven.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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