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Sweet Spice BBQ Pulled Pork And Coleslaw

Let's talk the king of the BBQ. While most think of burgers and steak as the optimal protein for grilling, the pig is by far the most giving of the beasts that we dine on. Everyone has a favourite and a specialty that they pull out when in company. You'll need at least 10 - 12 hours for this slow tasty meal.

Ingredients

    KANSAS CITY RUB
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne (less or more to taste and preference)
    BBQ SAUCE
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, fine chopped
  • 560ml ketchup
  • 115g molasses
  • 55g dark brown sugar
  • 75ml apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp squeezable yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
    COLESLAW
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 350g mayonnaise
  • 62g Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Pinch sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    PULLED PORK
  • Pork Shoulder
  • BBQ
  • Wood chips
  • Foil
  • Pan
  • Two forks
  • Apple Juice/Cider (optional)

What you'll need

    RUB & SAUCE
  • Medium saucepan
  • Blender/ food processor
  • Jar
    COLESLAW
  • 2 large bowls
  • Knife
  • Clingfilm

Method (rub & sauce)

Melt the butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, chili powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to onions and garlic and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Place sauce in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Let it cool and transfer to a storable jar. This will keep about a month in the fridge.

Method (coleslaw)

Combine the cabbages, carrots, red onion and green onions in a large bowl.

Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar in another bowl to form a dressing then taste for sweetness.

Blend the dressing into the cabbage mixture and gently toss. Season the coleslaw with salt and black pepper to taste then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

This can be prepared the night before but for optimum crispness, don’t mix in the dressing until the day of use.

Method (pulled pork)

Now you need a pork shoulder. Bone in or out depending on what you can source. Bone in gives more flavour to the pork but ask the butcher to remove the skin leaving as much fat as possible.

Score the fat in a crisscross pattern with a knife. Now cover the shoulder with the rub, working it into all the crevasses.

Tightly wrap the shoulder in clingfilm, place on a tray and refrigerate overnight. The longer you can leave the rub on the meat the better but if you’re short on time, a couple of hours will do.

Now set up your BBQ leaving one side lit and the other side off. You don’t want direct heat under your meat. Keep a constant temperature of 121C and prepare your wood chips.

I prefer fruitwoods for pork like apple or even sweet wood like maple. Take a handful of dry chips and put them on a sheet of foil. Add to that a handful of wood chips that you have soaked for at least an hour in water or even cider if you want to get fancy. Roll up the chips into a log and pierce the foil with a knife so the smoke has a place to escape from. Make 3 or 4 of these so you can replace them as they exhaust. The dry wood will smoke quickly and the wet will smoulder giving you a longer smoke time.

So now the BBQ is ready, the pork is rubbed and has come to room temperature for around 20 minutes and smoke is billowing forth.

Place the shoulder on a rack in an aluminium pan. Pour some apple juice or cider into the bottom of the pan then place it with the shoulder on the indirect side of the grill away from the direct heat underneath. Place the smoke pack (wood chip parcels) on or close to the heat element so they can smoke away and embrace your pork shoulder. Open a beer and relax. Your only job now is to make sure that the grill stays at a constant 121C for the next 10 to 12 hours.

When you see the smoke has stopped, replace out the smoke pack and add a little more liquid (juice or cider) to the bottom of the pan. Also rotate the shoulder so that all sides have a chance to be close to and away from the heated side.

You are looking for an internal temperature of 93C. Once you reach this point, take the shoulder off, wrap it up with foil and let it sit for 20 minutes. This is when the juices redistribute throughout the shoulder.

When ready to serve use two forks to shred the meat. If it needs to be cut then you took it off too soon. It’s extremely difficult to overcook pulled pork. Mix the shredded loveliness with some of the BBQ sauce - just enough to moisten it. You can always add more later if you need to.

Serve on fresh bread buns with crispy coleslaw on top and drizzled with a sweet BBQ sauce.