I’m not quite sure what happened to me over the summer, I feel like Rip Van Winkle waking up from a long nap. Except not for 20 years, just for a couple months, and not sleeping so much as dropping all my good habits about posting here consistently and falling into lazy summertime fugue state. It was a lovely summer, I traveled to Liverpool (excellent city, strongly recommend!), hosted some friends at our house and puttered around the garden. And really, really procrastinated about posting anything here.
Now I’m trying to snap out of it and actually be a little bit productive. Luckily, these pulled pork tacos that I started working on way back in June, while appropriate for summer, are also hearty and comforting enough for crisper, cooler weather. The pulled pork takes a few hours, but you don’t have to do any work after throwing everything in a big pot and walk away. All you need to make in advance is the pickled cabbage, it’s better a couple days after you make it. You can make the cilantro sauce in 5 minutes, and then everything comes together really fast when the pork is done. It’s excellent for leftovers; pulled pork gets better after a day the fridge.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled and slightly crushed
2 tsp each paprika, cumin and crushed chili flakes
1 can (398 ml/14 oz) plum tomatoes, drained
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 pork butt roast, about 4-5 pounds
salt and pepper
Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic and onions are fragrant and golden brown. Add dry spices and stir through the oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until very fragrant.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, worcestershire, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the pork. Season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid, leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Cook until meat is falling apart, about 3 hours. Remove the meat and shred with forks.
The liquid should be thickened significantly, but if you wish to reduce it further cook over medium heat until quite thick. If there is a lot of excess fat, scoop it off the top with a spoon. Toss shredded pork with remaining liquid.