Slow cooked pulled pork recipe

Slow cooked pulled pork recipe

Pulled pork is basically a joint that has been cooked slowly and for such a long time that you can literally pull it apart with your fingers. It’s an American stalwart and there are lots of different recipes and methods for cooking it, but the sauce is always sticky, sweet and slightly sour and spicy.

It’s everything I love about food. The ketchup in my version adds sweetness and a delicious tomatoey tang. You need to start this a day in advance and allow lots of time for cooking.


For the pulled pork
  • 2kg (4.4 lbs) pork shoulder
  • 100g (3.5 oz) fine sea salt
  • 150g (5.3 oz) light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tbsp black pepper
  • 200g (7.1 oz) tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lemon
To serve
  • 1 cup sliced gherkins
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup coleslaw


  • Cuisine: American
  • Recipe Type: Main
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 480 mins
  • Serves: 8


  1. Start by slashing the pork shoulder all over lightly and rub it generously and vigorously with the salt and sugar. Set aside in the fridge overnight.
  2. Next day, preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/Gas 1. Wash the pork well to remove the salt and sugar and dry with kitchen paper.
  3. Mix together all the other ingredients, apart from the lemon. Rub this mixture all over the meat then whack the joint into the oven. Forget about it for 6–8 hours (the longer and slower the better!), but do baste it every now and again with any of the fat and marinade that comes from the meat. Towards the end of the cooking, squeeze the lemon all over the pork to give it a lift.
  4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a while, then literally pull the meat apart into slivers and chunks. Serve with coleslaw, plus barbecue sauce, gherkins and crusty bread.

Recipe taken from Matt Tebbutt's Guilty Pleasures (Quercus.£18.99.2013) 

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