Oven cooked pulled pork

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A fatty piece of pork shoulder cooked low and slow is one of the most elemental cooking experiences you can have. Meat cooked this way in a pit smoker is wonderful but, let’s face it, usually unattainable for the home cook. But with smokey paprika, dark sugar and a long wait you can get yourself pretty close with nothing more than a conventional oven.

Serves 6

1.3kg boneless pork shoulder
1 tbsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika

Remove the pork from the fridge about an hour before cooking to let it come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

Pat the shoulder dry on all sides with a paper towel. Mix the dry ingredients in a pestle and mortar and grind until well combined. Rub the spice mix into the pork making sure all sides are covered.

Line a roasting tin with sheets of foil big enough to fold over the top of the pork. Place the pork in the tin and roast uncovered for 40 minutes to crisp up.

Take it out, turn the oven down to 125 degrees and wrap the pork tightly in the foil. Cook in the oven for 7 hours until the meat is soft.

Uncover the pork and give it a final blast at 220 degrees for 10 minutes. Take out, cover with a tent of foil, and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Pull the meat with two forks, stir in any meat juices from the pan and your oven pulled pork is finally ready to serve!

Tips

Make sure you buy pork shoulder with a nice cap of fat on it. You want the cap to sit on top of the meat throughout the cooking to naturally baste it.

If you want reheat this the next day just pop it in an oven proof dish, cover with foil and heat in an oven at 125 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes.

Image via Flickr