To me the pulled pork sandwich is quintessentially American. A sandwich so perfect in its simplicity (slow cooked pork shoulder, coleslaw and bun) that its southern roots have crept steadily and across the continent. It seems every time I watch the Food Network I’m witnessing yet another new presenter munching their way through the “best pulled pork sandwich in America”. I’m not complaining I’m just envious because I’m destined to live a life devoid of juicy pork sandwiches or so I thought. Turns out my local butcher sells pork shoulders, something the entire universe already knows but after years of supermarket shopping I forgot that meat isn’t naturally pre sliced into convenient cuts and packaged in neat little containers. The raw meat aisle is as close to the farmyard as I’ve gotten in recent years unfortunately.
After a brief trip to the butcher, pork shoulder in hand I set about making my first ever pulled pork sandwich. It’s so simple I wonder why it never crossed the pond or why I never made one for that matter.
Pork shoulder (usually about 6-7lbs)
Coleslaw (M&S brand)
Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 Farenheit)
Scoring the skin is the tough part. I advise using a Stanley knife and cutting a diamond pattern deep into the fatty layer, a sharp knife still requires serious effort. Season the skin generously with salt.
Pour 1 pint of water into the roasting pan and cover the joint with foil.
Place in the oven for 3 hours
Remove foil, turn up the oven to 200 and cook for a further 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Note: These cooking times are guidelines only as the shape of a joint will affect cooking time more than weight (thanks Alton Brown). The only true way to know if your meat is done is to use a digital thermometer. Once the internal temperature reaches 85 celsius you will be able to pull it apart using a spoon.