Kamado Pulled Pork Shoulder & Herb Salad
Expecting a few friends and family for an informal get together? Then mouth-wateringly tender pulled pork in homemade baps with vibrant herb salad is the way to go writes Sandra Tate…The key to cooking pulled pork is to cook long and gently, at a temperature inside the ‘smoking’ end of the Kamado Joe temperature gauge. This ensures a very tender result with signature smoky flavour to the meat. Begin by making a pork rub. I made a mix of 100g sea salt, 70g muscovado sugar, 5g dried rosemary, 5g dried sage, 5g garlic granules, and 10g of pan toasted fennel seeds. Mix them all thoroughly and store in an airtight container or jar (there is sufficient here for either a very large piece of meat or for a couple of pulled pork sessions).
Have the Kamado Joe lit with the heat deflector at the lower level and the grill at top height. Once lit, lid down, set the lower vent to about 1cm open and the daisy wheel on but holes open. Once the temperature has settled to a steady 130°C we are ready to go. For a generously filled bap for 8 people, take a 2kg thick joint of pork shoulder, not string-tied, rind removed (make scratchings from this!), and rub the surface of the meat evenly with 75g of your prepared pork rub. Place the rubbed joint on the grill. Periodically check the temperature but do nothing more than that for about 6 hours.
By now the pork will have, or almost have developed a bark (darkening and drying of the surface – this is NOT burnt, but it is very intensely tasty). Once the bark is there you can wrap the joint in foil and leave for a further 1-3 hours to become even more tender. While it continues to cook, make a BBQ sauce. I made a simple, smoky flavour sauce by mixing 150g good quality tomato ketchup with 50ml balsamic vinegar, 15ml Worcestershire sauce, 50g soft brown sugar & 1 tsp of Spanish smoked paprika. Place in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring all the while, once bubbling remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove the pork shoulder from the Kamado and allow to rest in the foil for 15 minutes before transferring to an open bowl. Shred with 2 forks and dress the meat with as much of the BBQ sauce as you wish (I served the pulled pork and the sauce in a bowl as optional).
Make the refreshing herb salad by first making a dressing; mix 6 tbsp olive oil, a clove of crushed garlic & the juice of a large lemon, add salt, pepper and a thinly sliced green chilli. Place in a large salad bowl then add 500g mixed grains (sold in ready prepared packs is easiest), 400g quartered sweet small tomatoes, 250g cooked fine beans, 30g chopped flat leaf parsley, & 30g chopped fresh garden mint. Turn to mix and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Split some baps and let everyone help themselves – and expect them to come back for more!