Sunday, 13 October 2013

Recipe: Slow (very slow) cooked pork shoulder

OK, to my guests have come and gone and the pork was a hit (they had seconds!) so this is what I did.  I know it looks a bit long winded but it isn't really, most of the time it is just cooking!
Photo borrowed from Google Images.
I started last night after Strictly.  Into my slow cooker went two onions, chunked, four small carrots sliced long ways (slightly wizened and needed using up), a pork stock cube and about 1/3 can dry cider (it happened to be fizzy but that didn't matter).  Then on top I crammed in the pork shoulder.  All I can remember is that it was over 1k and under 2k, probably nearer to the 2k than the 1k.
Then I set it to low and left it until around 8:00 this morning (the house smelled delicious when I woke up this morning).

Then out came the pork and I took off the skin and most of the external fat.  I poured out the stock and veg (into a strainer) and, to replace it, in went one very large bramley apple, peeled, cored and sliced, four ripe plums and two star anise (or is it star anises?) which were quite old so perhaps one would be enough usually.  Then onto that went another third of cider and then the pork on top.  On went the lid and it cooked on low until around 12:30.  The pork absorbed just a tang of fruit and spice.

While that was cooking I strained the stock, left it to cool so I could take off the fat and then made gravy by simply adding bisto - it was a very flavoursome stock and had jellied really well.  Surprisingly, there was very little fat but what there was helped to roast the potatoes.

About half an hour before eating I took out the pork and kept it warm in a covered roaster.  I pushed the apple and plum mix through a sieve to make a smooth, spicy sauce (edit: and I added some sugar to taste).  Just before serving I turned the oven (the range oven, not the slow cooker) right up and popped in the pork, uncovered so that the outside got some colour.  Then I roughly sliced it (it was falling apart so didn't take any effort), spooned over some gravy and served it on a platter surrounded by roasted potatoes with the gravy and spiced fruit sauce on the side.

Thank you to P and N for liking it so much.  Once I think of a name, I will dedicate it to you!  :-)

And it was quite frugal too although in no way cheaper than chips.  The pork was half price which helped and there's enough left over for one good meal or two more modest meals.

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