Chef Andy grasping a soft burger bun filled with juicy looking pulled pork.

Chef Andy's Pulled Pork Recipe

After decades of recipe testing, Chef Andy is finally ready to share the secrets to his succulent pulled pork.

The words ‘meal prep’ are pretty unsexy. The thought of a production line of plastic containers being filled with some soulless casserole to be microwaved throughout the week - no thanks. Chef Andy’s Pulled Pork, on the other hand, can (and we think should) be made in advance. Then it’s the work of mere moments to whip up some of the most sumptuous, satisfying and seductive mid-week meals. 

A few action items spread across a weekend, then squirrel away portions to be brought out just before dinner time. In a burger-bun from our bakery with onion rings and coleslaw was a smash-hit special on our menu. Still, this pulled pork happily nestles inside a taco or amongst some corn chips for a Tex-Mex inspired nachos. The low-carbers amongst us will salivate at the sight of pulled pork lettuce cups, and when time is really against you, no one’s going to say no to a little pulled pork on toast! A long list of serving suggestions is down below. 

It’s an economical cut of pork you want here. Basically, in the meat world, you either have to spend money or time. As this one takes quite a few hours to come to soft, juicy perfection, it’s thankfully easy on the wallet. Pork shoulder is ideal, the muscle fibres break down with the long cook time and pull apart beautifully. 

We’re going to be doing a little at home sous vide-ing here. Don’t worry. It might be a new method of cooking for you, but it’s possible, easy and safe - even without any fancy equipment. Follow the steps below to create your own water bath, and you’ll unlock a whole world of sous vide recipes

Pulled Pork - The Recipe


Ingredients

  • 2kg boneless free-range pork shoulder

  • 92g (1 jar) Lillie’s Q Carolina Dirt BBQ Rub

  • 1 heaped tsp Olsson’s Red Gum Smoked Salt

  • 250ml (about half a bottle) Lillie’s Q Carolina BBQ Sauce

Method 

Prepare the pork 

On Saturday morning, pat your pork with a clean kitchen towel until thoroughly dry, then slice it into 5cm thick strips. In a large bowl, mix the BBQ seasoning and salt, add the pork strips and toss to make sure every face of pork is covered in seasoning. Put the pork into a large zip lock bag. You might want to split it between two if your bag is not big enough. With the top of the bag still open, dip it into a large bowl (or filled sink) of water, but don’t submerge! This will squeeze all the air out of the bag, then just seal the top. (Who needs to buy a fancy vacuum machine!?) Dry the sealed bag, then put it into another bag, just to be extra safe, and repeat the air-squeezing process. Put it into the fridge and leave it to marinate for 24 hours.

Set up your water bath

On Sunday morning, fill your largest pot ¾ full with water. Leave enough space so it won’t overflow when you add the pork. If you have a thermometer, bring the water to 80°C, then adjust the flame to keep the water at that temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, just set barely above the lowest temperature. Near enough. 

Sous vide your pork

Put the sealed bags of pork into the water bath, put on the lid and leave it to cook for 12 hours. Lift the lid every few hours and add hot water from the tap if needed.

Shred and sauce, then serve or store

Remove the bags from the water, towel them dry then pour the pork into a large bowl. Using two spoons, break the pork apart into large shreds. Add the sauce and stir to coat. You can serve it right away, or it will keep in the fridge for seven days or in the freezer for six months. You can just put it back into the zip lock bags. When you need some, take out only what you plan to eat and warm it in a small pot, keep the rest of the pork well chilled. 

Serving Suggestions

This recipe is so incredibly versatile. Here are a few suggestions for fabulous meals that it can play a starring role in.
  • Burgers - with fried onion rings and jalapeño slaw (as was featured on our menu)
  • Tacos - in tortillas with coriander, spring onions and lime
  • On toast - a dollop of crème fraîche would be nice
  • Nachos - on tortilla chips with salsa, avocado and shredded cheese
  • Pie - either ‘pot pie’ style or completely encased in pastry
  • Enchiladas - rolled in tortillas then baked with a spicy tomato sauce and cheese
  • In lettuce cups - with avocado, herbs and sour cream
  • Benedict - sub out the ham for a fiery twist on the classic
  • In a burrito - with beans, rice, shredded lettuce and cheese
  • Pasta - with some al-dente fusilli and parmesan cheese
  • Soup - stir through a bean and tomato broth and serve with toasted tortillas
  • In a baguette - with extra jalapeños to get your nose running
  • Tex-Mex pizza - using a frozen pizza base, be shameless and open a can of pineapple
  • Loaded fries - with sliced red onion and coriander
  • Rice bowl - with black beans, chopped tomato and herbs
    Ok, we could go on forever! Let your imagination run wild.

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