Baby Led WeaningNot a Cooking Blog
Slow Cooked Orange Pulled Pork - A Guest PostTuesday, 25 August 2015
The fam and I are currently off on our world tour, which left me with a bit of a conundrum: Do I give you all a rest from my inane drivel, or do I make judicious use of the schedule function?
I sort of did both, and I am over the moon that Genie from Bunny Eats Design has agreed to share one of her super tasty recipes with you. She may not be a mum but she's got it dialled when it comes to what sort of food makes kids tick.
I also reckon this would make a great dish for early Baby Led Weaning when junior hasn't got the chompers to get through tougher cuts of meat.
I was delighted when Tasha contacted me about writing a guest post for her. The Maybe Diaries is one of the few “Mummy blogs” I read.
I don’t have kids but I was a child once and my parents never made us a separate children's meal. My family are Cantonese, and the Cantonese are a people of adventurous, curious appetites. We ate whatever they ate, even if it was whole fish with fins and bones intact, tongue stew, raw oysters or sushi. I know that lots of kids love sushi today, but I can assure you, back in the late '80s and early '90s, Kiwi kids (and some adults) thought eating seaweed, raw fish and cold rice was weird.
Today I'm sharing a recipe that I love to make and appeals to kids of all ages. The combination of savoury and sweet as well as the ability to customise each plate easily works well with different tastes and appetites.
I use my slow cooker’s removable ceramic crock and glass cover as a container to marinate the meat overnight. Feel free to use a different container if you don’t have the fridge space.
Slow Cooked Orange Pulled Pork
- 2kg (approx 4.5lb) pork shoulder, skin removed (see crackling notes below)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 oranges
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 pinch chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soft tortillas, bread rolls, salad greens, coleslaw or potato salad
- Sour cream, mayo or guacamole
- (or all of the above)
- Using a sharp knife, remove the peel from the oranges. Cut each orange in half, squeeze the juice into the slow cooker and add the halves into the slow cooker, cut side down.
- Add soy sauce, brown sugar, chilli flakes (if using), garlic and bay leaves to the to the the ceramic crock. Mix.
- Add the trimmed pork and turn the meat in the marinade to coat all sides of the pork. Pop on the lid on the ceramic crock and place the crock into the fridge to marinate overnight.
- Take the ceramic crock out of the fridge and place into your slow cooker for 20 minutes before turning it on. Peel and slice 1 onion. Add to slow cooker.
- Cook pork for 8 hours on low. Turn pork once (if possible) during the cooking process for more even cooking.
- When pork is cooked, remove and discard all mention of bone and the 3 bay leaves. Ladle out as much liquid as you can into a saucepan and boil, uncovered until reduced by at least half. In the meantime, shred the meat while still inside the slow cooker by gently pulling it apart with 2 forks. Add the reduced sauce back to the slow cooker and mix the shredded pork into the sauce. Taste and add salt and pepper to your own preference.
- Serve with your choice of soft tortillas, bread rolls, salad, sour cream, mayo or guacamole. I also make sure there’s a bottle of hot sauce on the table. Keep tea towels or napkins in easy reach.
I once thought you could only crackle the skin on pork belly but you can actually work magic on any pork skin. I used to throw out pork shoulder skin, now I know better!
Save your pork skin and follow these instructions:
- Once the pork skin is removed, place on a chopping board, fat side down (skin side up). Using a sharp knife, carefully make vertical or diagonal cuts 5mm or ¼ inch apart along the skin, cutting all the way through the skin but not all the way through the fat. This will enable the skin to crisp up nicely and make it easy to cut later (or break apart once cooled).
- Cover with a generous sprinkling of coarse sea salt, rub salt into cuts and place the skin on an oven proof tray (I used a square cake tin) and refrigerate overnight uncovered. This will dry out the skin further.
- An hour before serving, pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Bake pork crackling for 20-30 minutes until crunchy and golden (even bordering on black in the tiniest of places).
- Remove from oven allow to cool enough to cut or break apart. Adds a lovely crunch to a pulled pork tortilla!
Tip: The more fat clinging to the skin, the more chewy your pork crackling will be. Too little fat and your crackling will be dry and hard – like a potato chip. I like a little bit of that lovely gelatinous fat so remove the skin accordingly.