Pulled-Pork; Well worth the wait!

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There’s something to be said about any appliance that can hold heat like the Fornetto! It’s really amazing that you can cook an entire dinner and then start the next day’s dinner with the residual heat left over; which is exactly what I did.

Perfect pulled-pork cooked overnight only using the residual heat in the Fornetto. A great option when long, slow-cooking is required and there’s no need to monitor or control the heat.

The method is quite simple in fact. When preparing something in the Fornetto that requires a high temperature, such as pizza for example, have the pork prepared ahead of time so as that it’s ready to go in the oven when you’e done making the pizzas. Simply place it in your stew pot, cover it with cold water and season with salt, black peppercorns, bay leaves and any of your favourite herbs or spices; I like dry mustard or mustard seeds but you can use anything as long as you keep with the same flavours that are in your barbecue and “mop” sauce (we’ll talk about those shortly). Be sure to refrigerate it as you want it to go into the oven cold.

Since the cut of meat you are going to be using is very thick, be it a shoulder blade roast, Boston butt or bone-in leg roast, seasoning it at this stage of the game will ensure that flavour reaches the inside of the meat, which will be appreciated by those that don’t like to slather their pork in sauce. For pulled-pork, I prefer the leg (I use a 5 kg / 11 lbs roast that fills the stew pot perfectly) but feel free to use whichever cut you prefer.

Once anything that requires high-temperature cooking is done and your oven is still very hot (around the 350 °C (660 °F)) place a rack in the lowest position and put the chilled stew pot in the oven. Close the door and forget about it for the next eight hours. Overnight is easiest to avoid the temptation of opening and closing the door to check the progress. Trust me, it’ll be fine. If you feel the need, you can place a drip pan in the bottom in case it boils over at any point.

Here’s what you’ll end up with the next day; a small portion of the water will have evaporated and the pork will have very lightly browned on the surface.

It’s at this stage that you’ll want to remove the pork from the stew pot. This is the right time to test that the pork is tender and cooked through. Break off a small piece to make sure that it shreds easily. If not, return the pork in the stew pot to a low oven for further cooking.

Be extremely gentle and remove the pork using forks, spatulas or tongs. It often takes four hands as the pork is literally falling off the bone at this point but you want to keep it as together as possible. Heat your Fornetto to 100 °C (210 °F).

Place the pork in a roasting dish and keep it to one side while the oven is heating. Reserve the liquid from the pork for making a delicious French Canadian yellow split-pea soup with bacon and carrots, for example. Just don’t discard it as that would be a crime! 

Now, holding true to any great pulled-pork recipe, you’ll want to prepare your “mop” sauce (basting sauce) and your barbecue sauce. There’s of course controversy over what sauces should be used on pulled-pork depending on where you’re from however, these are my sauces and can of course be substituted with whichever ones you may prefer, there’s nothing written in stone here. Recipe for the mop sauce is here.

Using a cotton bottle mop or a basting brush, ensure that the “mop” sauce covers all the meat and place it in the hot oven, basting it every 20 minutes or so for about an hour and a half to two hours. Don’t move any pieces that have broken away, baste them as is and let the marinade and flavours infuse into the meat.

When the pork is back in the oven, you can decide at this point whether or not to smoke it as well. I personally love the smokey flavour so I smoke mine for the entire two hours. As I’m demonstrating a way of preparing pulled-pork using the residual heat in the Fornetto versus the long, low-temperature smoking method, I don’t want to miss out on any of the smokey flavour the oven can deliver.

You’ll know it’s done when it’s a beautiful golden brown. A side note about the ceramics; I use these a lot and I have never, ever, in all of my experience, come across dishes that absolutely nothing sticks to and that are as easy to clean. Honestly!

Place it on a chopping block and prepare to start “pulling”! Begin by removing the bone. It will slip clean away from the roast.

Using a couple of forks, simply pull the pork apart. It’ll shred all on its own!

I like using the leg roast for a very specific reason. Similar to a chicken’s light and dark meat, the leg has two different types of meat as well; soft, moist meat similar to the dark meat found on poultry and longer fibres similar to breast meat. This gives your guests the option.

Serve your pulled-pork dripping with sauce and ready for heaping onto a bun………

……or, allow your guests to decide how saucy they’d like it. Click here for my pulled-pork BBQ sauce recipe.

As a personal side note about the ceramics, I use them a lot and other than Fornetto’s I have never, ever, in all of my experience, come across dishes that absolutely nothing sticks to and that are so easy to clean. Honestly! If you don’t own any Fornetto cookware, I highly recommend their line of ceramics.

You’re in for a treat. Enjoy!

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