by Jo Pratt
Photos: Georgia Glynn Smith
There is nothing better than firing up the barbecue during the summer months – it’s such a sociable form of cooking. Whether it’s with friends or family, everyone gathers around and enjoys the aromas and flavours the barbecue creates.
Whichever type of barbecue you have, charcoal or gas, big or small, it’s amazing just how versatile they can be when it comes to what can be cooked. However, more often than not, we turn to the old-time favourites … quick-cooking bangers, steak, burgers and corn-on-the-cob etc. So, how about you try cooking something that can be left to cook low ’n slow while you enjoy the company of your friends/family, a couple of drinks and the wonderful outdoors.
This pulled pork is a real crowd pleaser. Its juicy, sweetly spiced and mildly smoked meat is delicious served with salads, roasted veggies, baked potatoes or simply sandwiched into a brioche burger bun. After cooking for five hours, the pork effortlessly pulls apart. It will require a little advance planning as you’ll need to cure the meat overnight in salt and sugar. This isn’t a last minute kind of dish, but the end result is worth the wait.
As for something sweet to finish with, since you have the barbecue all set and fired up, simply add a few more coals to increase the heat a little, then cook these fantastically sweet, fruity, nutty stuffed apple parcels.
Have fun, happy barbecuing and enjoy the summer!
MAPLE AND MUSTARD PULLED PORK
TAKES 5 hours cooking plus overnight salting
TO SERVE Brioche buns , Sliced gherkins, Coleslaw
• 2kg piece boned pork shoulder, rind/skin removed
• 75g sea salt
• 75g dark brown sugar
• 2 tbsp English mustard powder
• 75g wholegrain mustard
• 75g maple syrup
• 150ml orange juice
1/ The day before you plan to cook the pork, put it in a non-metallic dish or a large food bag. Mix together the sea salt and brown sugar and rub all over the pork. Leave in the fridge overnight to draw out excess water, tenderise and evenly season the meat.
2/ The following day, wipe the sugary salt off the pork and sit it in a roasting tray. Mix together the English mustard powder and cayenne pepper, scatter all over the pork and bring to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
3/ In the meantime, light your barbecue for low ’n slow indirect cooking. Keep at a fairly consistent low heat, around 140°C.
4/ Mix together the wholegrain mustard and maple syrup. Spread over the pork, making sure it covers the meat. Pour the orange juice and 200ml water into the bottom of the tin and put into the barbeque. Cover with the lid and cook for five hours, regulating the air vents and adding more coal throughout if need be. Baste the pork with any juices a couple of times. If it starts to colour too much towards the end, cover loosely with foil. If the base of the pan starts to become too dry, add a splash of water.
5/ Remove from the barbeque and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes, loosely covered with foil.
6/ Transfer the pork to a serving plate or board. Shred the meat into strips with two forks. Skim any fat from the juices in the pan and serve to pour over the pork.
Serve in brioche buns with gherkins and coleslaw.
if you don’t want to cook for the full five hours on the barbecue, you can cook for half of the time in an oven set at 140°C/gas 1, then cook on the barbecue for the remaining two and a half hours.
TO SERVE Ice cream, clotted cream or Greek yoghurt
• 4 large cox or royal gala apples
• 50g sultanas, raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries
• 50ml dark rum or apple juice
• 75g soft brown sugar
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• Finely grated zest of ½ orange
• 50g pecan nuts or walnuts, chopped
• 25g butter
1/ Prepare the barbecue so it is burning at about 170°C.
2/ Remove the core from the apples using a corer or small knife, to create a cavity through the middle of each apple. Sit each apple on a sheet of foil large enough to wrap the apples well.
3/ Mix together the dried fruit, rum or apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and nuts. Stuff generously into the apples, letting any excess spill over. Top the apples with a dot of butter and wrap each one tightly so they are well sealed.
4/ Place the apples in the barbecue, sitting on the grill. Cover with the lid and cook for 35-40 minutes, until soft to touch. Rotate a couple of times for even cooking.
5/ Leave to cool for 5 minutes before unwrapping and topping with ice cream, clotted cream or Greek yoghurt.