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How to cook pulled pork sous vide

How to cook pulled pork sous vide

How to cook pulled pork sous vide

Pulled pork has been at the crest of a culinary wave in recent times, loved in particular by acolytes of the street food movement along with wings, ribs and burgers. The beauty of the dish lies in its simplicity – a muscular cut of pork cooked long and slow with a host of delicious seasonings until it becomes tender and juicy and can be ‘pulled’ into strands of meat and served in a bun.

For recreating the dish at home, sous vide equipment is a fabulous option. As well as ensuring consistent results, this method of cooking is ideal for breaking down any tough connective tissue in the meat and sealing in all of the wonderful porky flavours for a more intense finish.

Cuts and marinades

Although any muscular or ‘exercised’ cut of pork can be used, pork shoulder is ideal as it has a high level of marbling - threads of fat that will break down during the long cooking time and help keep the meat moist and flavourful.

Cooking this cut sous vide, with a barbecue marinade already added to the pouch, means that all of these porky flavours will be locked in, and your barbecue sauce will permeate deep into the meat as it cooks.

Using a boned shoulder, which you can flatten out, will give you maximum surface area for the marinade to permeate into, while keeping the bone in will provide slightly more juicy results. Alternatively, cut boneless cuts into smaller pieces for easier handling and smaller portions.

1
Fill the water bath with fresh, clean water and preheat to 70°C
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2
Now prepare the meat. Remove the excess fat from the shoulder and pat dry
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3
In a medium bowl, make a paste for the pork by combining all of the marinade ingredients, mixing well until incorporated. Evenly and liberally, coat the entire surface of the pork in the marinade
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4
Place the meat into a large food-grade cooking pouch with any excess marinade and vacuum seal, ensuring the meat is flattened out and has an even coating of marinade
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5
Place the meat in a rack and lower into the water bath - the rack will stop the pork from floating to the surface. Cook for 24 hours
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6
If eating straight away, remove the pouch from the water bath, cut open, remove the pork from the bag and allow to cool slightly in a dish. Tip the juices and marinade from the bag into a pan and warm the juices over a low heat for 5-7 minutes until thickened and sticky. Use a blowtorch to lightly char the outside of the pork - this will help to caramelise the outside, giving you a nice charred flavour. Alternatively, you can colour the outsides in a hot pan
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7
Working with a pair of forks (or clean fingers) pull the meat into shreds
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8
Once the meat is shredded to the desired thickness, add the thickened sauce and mix well to combine
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9
Serve piled into buns with some pickles and salad leaves
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