No-one in my house will now eat processed meats. Sounds fair enough, but in fact it’s a pain when it comes to making packed lunches. No more easy peasy slices of ham or roast beef, oh no, it has to be ‘proper’ cooked meat. What this means is that every weekend, I have to roast a chicken, boil a gammon or do some pulled pork in the slow cooker to create ‘acceptable’ sandwich fillings for my lot. What’s that I hear you cry? “Spoilt rotten?” Yes, I think you might be right.
Until recently, I’d been using the same recipe for pulled pork and while it was lovely, I’m always on the lookout for something new to try. I found just that in Dhruv Baker’s SPICE book (which I can recommend very highly indeed thank you!). Being me, I improvised and amended a tiny bit, but only so I could use the slow cooker, which is just the best invention for tender, falling off the bone meats in my view.
There’s a Mexican edge to this dish, with a splash of tequila in the marinade and I have no doubt it would be lovely as Dhruv suggests, with corn tortillas, slices of avocado, plenty of coriander and some pickled red onions, but, truth be told, it doesn’t get a chance to be in anything other than a few wholemeal baps which are very quickly scoffed by two giant sons. One of these days I’ll make it when there’s a chance I might actually get to try some myself and I’ll be much more sophisticated and authentic in my treatment of it than those two philistines!
Anyway, here’s my version, adapted for the slow cooker, so you can stick it on in the morning before you leave for work and arrive home to the beautiful spiced aroma of Pork Pibil after a long day at work. Enjoy.
Serves 6-8 | 10 mins prep, 3 HRS Marinading plus 6 Hrs cooking
spice mix – makes enough for two batches
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp dried red chillis
- 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground allspice
Pork and Marinade
- 1.25kg pork shoulder on the bone, fat removed
- 50ml white wine vinegar
- Juice of two oranges
- Juice of two lemons
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 25ml tequila
- 1tsp salt
- Start with the spice mix. Grind the whole spices to a fine powder either in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder, then add the paprika, cinnamon and allspice. Mix well and decant half into another container for next time.
- Rub your pork joint all over with the spice mix – preferably in the slow cooker so none gets wasted. Make up the marinade and pour the mix over the pork. Put on a lid and leave for up to three hours (or do this the night before and leave overnight in the fridge). I have one of those slow cookers that has a delay timer, so I set the cooking time for 6hrs on high and delay it by 3hrs to allow time for marinading. If you marinade overnight, just transfer to the slow cooker the next morning and set the timer for either 6hrs on high or 8 hrs on low, and let it cook while you work/play/whatever takes your fancy.
- If you’re around while it’s cooking, turn it a couple of times over the 6 hrs to make sure the juices penetrate all the way ’round, but don’t worry if you’re not – it’ll be fine
- When it’s cooked, remove from the slow cooker to another dish, take out any bones (they should come away really easily) and use two forks to shred to pieces.