Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Pork Shoulder Slow Cooked in Beer and What to Do With It

Cooking pork in beer gives it a deep, malty flavour, and over the long hours it takes to cook it means that by the time it's ready, it's meltingly tender and ready to be scattered into rolls, rolled up in burritos or just eaten as it is, with some vegetables. I use a slow cooker for this, just because I can put it all on at lunchtime and then forget about it for the rest of the day, until the place is filled with that meaty, aromatic scent. How did I know I'd got the recipe right? My daughter came home from school and before I had even turned the key in the lock, she looked up and said "Mummy, I can smell burritos." Result!

Here's how I do it:

Pork Shoulder Slow Cooked in Beer
Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 x pork shoulder joint, about 1kg
  • 500ml beer (I use something like Black Sheep Pale Ale)
  • small handful of thyme springs
  • half a teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Good pinch of salt and black pepper

Method
  1. Set your slow cooker to HIGH. Scatter the sliced onion along the base of the slow cooker crockpot. Remove all packaging from the pork joint and place gently on top of the onions.
  2. Next, pour the beer over the meat and onions, throw in the thyme sprigs, the smoked paprika and season well with salt and pepper. Replace the lid and leave for 3-4 hours, until the meat is tender.
  3. When it's ready, lift the joint out of the slow cooker and transfer to a plate. Cut off any of the excess fat on the top of the joint and discard. Shred the tender meat with two forks and use in your recipe. A few suggestions..... 

Pulled Pork and Coleslaw Rolls
Split a mini bread roll and spread a little mayonnaise over both of the cut sides. Heap on the shredded pork and top with a spoonful of home made coleslaw. Sandwich the roll back together and eat straight away.



Burritos
It might not look like a lot, but a good burrito is filling and packs as many goodies as a 'proper' evening meal. Just scatter some cooked rice (I like to use Basmati rice if I have it, as it gives a more aromatic flavour) over a large tortilla wrap and top with the shredded pork. Sprinkle over some chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion, lettuce, guacamole, avocado and salsa and roll it up in a rectangle of foil, to keep it all together. I (and my fearless 6-year-old) love to dribble over some Cholula Hot Sauce as we eat.






What do you think? Reckon you'll make this?