Some things are worth getting up early for.
The first one is a cup of tea and the second is the promise of a pulled pork pitta.
I got up at 7am on Sunday to switch the oven on to cook a shoulder of pork for our evening meal. I had already coated the meat with a dry rub the night before. Then I went back to bed with a cup of tea.
Before we start I want to point out that this is a pork shoulder as surely a pork butt would be from the…well the butt. Pork shoulder is truly the king of pork cuts. Just so you know where I stand.
Please don’t be shocked, but I put a whole load of coffee in the dry rub. I have wanted to try for a while in an attempt to get a tasty brown barky coating instead of our usual ‘no messin’ salt and pepper with crispy crackling option.
By golly it works.
Here’s the rub*
- 3 tablespoons of Finely Ground Coffee**
- 70g Demerara Sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- A good amount of freshly ground black pepper
- Dijon mustard for sticking
* this makes me smile
** It doesn’t taste of coffee it just tastes of sweet, dark, smoky deliciousness but without the smoking
The doing bit
The night before, rub a pork shoulder all over with mustard, then coat it in the dry rub.
Early on ‘the morning of the pittas’ switch the oven on to full power and put the meat on a rack with 2 cups of water in the tray underneath. Cook hard and fast for 30 minutes then turn it down to 100-120 degrees centigrade for the rest of the day…around 10 hours.
In the mean time make a stack of Dan Lepard’s perfect pittas from Short and Sweet which really are quite perfect. Make grated carrot and beetroot salads…for pitta stuffage and murderers hands.
Try to ignore the chicken who stares at you and tries to steal your carrots.
Add extra water if the meat pan starts to boil dry and turn it over a couple of times if the mood takes you. The aim is to get the thick layer of fat under the skin to eventually render out and dissappear. Then you have reached nirvana.
Allow the glistening chunk of loveliness to rest for half an hour while you eat crispy fattoush (made from a couple of skillfully over-cooked pittas, broken into shards and re-baked in the oven) dipped in a smashed white bean and garlic dip.
Ask a man to use the meat juices to make a tangy sauce while you edit the photos. I think the man skimmed the fat from the pan goo then put it in a small pan and added *some* ketchup, cider vinegar, redcurrant jelly and Worcestershire sauce.
Stir half of said sauce through the meat and let it to soak in.
Stuff your pittas with the gloriously tasty meat and salads, top with a spoonful of extra sauce and eat with a glass of prosecco in the evening sun.