We see all kinds of variations of pulled pork these days. Some are bland, some are spicy, some overpowered with BBQ sauce. We have never had unpleasant pulled pork because it is so easy to make. Essentially any meat, when placed in a pot with a liquid, will over time simply fall apart in its cooking liquid. The goal in making pulled pork is the same. You just need to add seasoning and spices so your pork is flavorful. The recipe below will get you started. So, without further adieu, Let’s Get Cooking! ~ Chef Bruce
Prep Time: 15 minutes * Cook time: 2 to 3 hours * Difficulty level: Easy
Equipment: Enameled cast iron pot with tight fitting lid, or any other stock pot where your food does not burn when cooking. You may use your slow cooker instead.
- One pork butt or pork shoulder (approximately 3 lbs)
- 12 Belizean spice berries, or whole allspice
- 1 Tblsp Belizean Recado*, Mexican Adobo Sauce or Achiote Paste (dissolved in 1/4 cup water). * Neither of these are spicy. (* SEE NOTE BELOW!)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional – I really like the aroma that seeps into the pork))
- 1/2 small onion or two scallions
- 1/2 tsp black ground pepper
- 1 Serrano pepper sliced in half (optional- for those who like a little zing, like I do)
- Water to just barely cover the pork
Cooking Method (it’s not complicated):
- Place pork in pot with all ingredients
- Bring to a boil
- Place lid on pot and turn down flame so the water just simmers
- Cook unit you are able to separate the pork with a fork
- Estimated cooking time is 2 to 3 hours
- When pork is cooked, turn off the flame, keep the lid on and allow the pork and liquid to come to room temperature. This may take an hour or so. (Note: The pork will absorb some of the liquid if you allow the pork to cool this way. The pork will be juicier and more flavorful).
Preparing the Pulled Pork:
- Place the cooled pork in a mixing bowl. Place a 2nd empty mixing bowl next to the mixing bowl with the pork. (Be sure to save the liquid in which you cooked the pork).
- Using your fingers, separate the fat away from the meat, placing the meat into the 2nd mixing bowl.
- Discard the fat (ok, I eat the fat on toast because it tastes so darn good, but that’s just me)
- Before serving the pork, you need to use your fingers to separate the pork into shreds which makes chewing the pork easier. If you want to save time, you may use a chef knife to chop the pork into smaller pieces.
- I always use some of the cooking liquid to add more flavor and moisture to the pulled pork. For one pork butt, add approximately 12 ounces of the cooking liquid to the pulled pork.
How to serve:
Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce on a puffy roll, or open-faced on bread. Try it topped with spicy chili mayo or your favorite melted cheese.You can even make it into Healthy Lettuce Wraps, especially If you don’t do gluten or carbs. As for me, I prefer pulled pork on a toasty roll with tangy BBQ Sauce, seasoned potato wedges, creamy cabbage slaw and hot sauce. (of course!) 🙂 ~ BW
This Recipe is delicious, and is always a big hit with friends & family.
Perfect on a cold winter day! Hope you decide to give it a try.
Cheers, and Happy Eating!
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* NOTE! ~ If you prefer yours a bit spicier, or you don’t have the Recado or achiote paste, you may substitute 1/4 cup of “La Costena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce” (canned, and available in the Mexican Aisle of most super markets)
Where to buy Red Recado: If you cannot fly to Belize to purchase Recado, see the website below, which sells it (I stock up each time I visit Belize – Recado lasts forever in the pantry when double zip-locked). CLICK HERE TO BUY RED RECADO
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