Pulled Pork – stovetop style!

Anyone who spends a reasonable amount of time in the kitchen will be able to tell you that every cook has their preferences for cooking utensils.

Some people, for example, say there’s no need to spend hundreds on expensive pots and pans and that a $5 jobby from the supermarket does the job just fine.

Others are all about the famous names – “oh, it’s from Jamie Oliver? Then it *MUST* be good!”

Then there are some who are after the latest space-age technology that has flown straight in from NASA, bearing songs about triple bonded titanium which would bounce straight off a baby’s arse. Not that I condone that sort of behavior…

Last but not least, there are those who don’t really care what it is that they paid for, so long as it was expensive, not accessible to the masses and means they fit into the category of elites.

Me?

I’m all about cast-iron, baby. In my opinion, there’s nothing as versatile, non-stick or that cooks as evenly as well-maintained cast iron.

Perhaps it’s the fact that I know that my grandmother cooked almost exclusively with cast iron pots and pans back in the ‘old country’ (being under the age of 30, am I allowed to use that phrase?), and that using cast iron makes me feel closer to her now that she’s no longer here.

It might be the fact that it’s heavy sh*t and I know that it’s far too heavy for my mother or sister to use and ruin, so I feel that it’s safe from their abusive, metal scourer-wielding hands.

Or it may just be the fact that in my opinion, cast iron retains heat and cooks evenly like nobody’s business.

At any rate, my love of cast iron is deep and glee-inducing, much like the love of a fat man for cake:

(Excuse my rather woeful drawing skills. Unfortunately I was so overcome with joy at the age of 5 when I learnt how to draw stick figures that my ability has not much progressed since then…)

At any rate, when Kitchenware Direct asked me if I’d like to try out a brand-spankin’ new sexy red Le Chasseur French Oven, my tiny fingers couldn’t bang out a reply fast enough.

I mean, asking me if I want a gorgeous new cooking pot in CAST IRON is liking asking…

Asking…

(I’m trying to think of a politically-correct way of conveying this and failing miserably as my atheist soul keeps turning to the clergy)

Ah hell, let’s go with my original analogy of a fat man and cake.

When the package arrived last week, I pounced on the package so quickly that the postie almost lost an arm, and resulted in him backing away veeeery quickly as I attacked the cardboard with my teeth, trying to free my gorgeous new pot from it’s paper prison.

And once it was free, I may or may not have creeped my kid brother out by curling up with the pot on the ground and gently stroking it while whispering “My preciousssssssssssss” as a gentle hiss.

Did I mention how much I love cooking with cast iron?

Anyway, once I regained my sanity and settled down to the task of deciding what dish to christen my pot with, I was a little stumped. With it being well into the winter weather here in Australia, it only seemed right that I make something unctuous and rich, something simmered slo-o-ow to perfection. As I had been planning on making a pork roast last weekend, I thought I’d use the opportunity to try something a bit different and go with a braised pulled pork – something which would use the glory of cast iron cookware to maximum effect.

Is this authentic? Hell no.

Is this the way pulled pork is meant to be made? I’ve no clue!

Is it tasty? Hell YES!

This is the sort of cooking that you want to do in winter – cooked for 5-6 hours, it fills the house with rich aromas, and can be made in a large batch that can be frozen and reheated with ease for those cold nights after work when you just can’t be bothered cooking!

And thanks to the folks at Kitchenware Direct, I now have a sexy, brand-new Le Chasseur Round French Oven in Federation Red to give away, so one of you lucky readers can get your own cast-iron cookin’ love on! Read down to the bottom for more info on how to enter the random draw :)

French Oven Pulled Pork

Ingredients
2kg pork shoulder
2 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp mustard seeds
3 onions, thinly sliced
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
4 bay leaves
1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
2 cups water
100mL red wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup

To serve (suggestions)
Tortilla wraps (served with fresh coriander, green chilli and avocado)
Hotdog buns (with a spicy vinegar slaw)
“Sandwiches” (served in rolls with cabbage slaw and melted cheese)
Steamed long-grain rice (with freshly chopped chilli and red onion)

1. Measure out your spices and liquids and have everything ready to go, then heat a dash of oil in the French oven (you can use any heavy pot, but cast iron has the best heat distribution and retention) and saute the onions till softened.

2. Add your garlic and spices and fry till they become fragrant, then lower the heat as much as possible and place the pork on top of the onion.

3. Add your liquids (vinegar, water, tinned tomat0es, ketchup) and the sugar, then place the lid on and leave to simmer. Make sure that you turn the pork over ever 30 minutes so that it cooks evenly. Cook the pork till you can stick a knife all the way through with almost no resistance – a 2kg cut for me took about 5 1/2 hours.

Once the pork is cooked and tender, remove from the pot into a bowl, then increase the heat under the pot to reduce the liquid by 1/2.

4. Using your fingers or a pair of forks, shred the pork completely. Once the liquid in the pot has reduced to half, add the shredded pork back to it and stir through. You can now set it aside for a day or two if you’ve made it in advance or place in a ziplock bag and freeze it for up to a month – defrost overnight in the feidge, then to reheat it, put the lid on tightly and simmer for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

And now, if you’re an Australian resident and would like to enter the draw to win your very own Le Chasseur Round French Oven

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite dish to make in winter! It’s that easy :)

And to double your chances of winning this sassy new pot, just tweet the message “I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://bit.ly/lMovf6″ and you’ll receive a second entry into the draw!

Entries close at midnight, Wednesday 6th July so you’ve got plenty of time to think about what YOU’LL do with this sassy new French oven once you win it ;-)

Comments

  1. I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://bit.ly/lMovf6

  2. RosannaP says:

    I love to make pumpkin and sage cannelloni – not sure if I could do that in a french oven but I’d sure as heck try! I hope the one up for grabs is red too! One day I will have a kitchen with all red tools and pots, and it shall be glorious.

  3. that pulled pork looks delicious… perfect for cooking on a wintery day like today!

  4. I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://bit.ly/lMovf6

  5. My favourite winter dish is lamb stroganoff with extra extra extra mushrooms (equal weight of mushrooms to meat) and creamy mashed potato. And a glass of red wine.

  6. Jade Edward says:

    Possibly a bit basic, but one of my favorite winter dinners is a pesco-vegetarian roast of cinnamon-sprinkled or salt-crusted salmon, with “scruffed” roast potatoes, melt-in-your mouth pumpkin, honeyed carrots, roast capsicums, minted peas and generous lashings of gravy and wholegrain mustard.
    This also makes it’s seasonally inappropriate appearance at most family Christmas dinners!

  7. I’m not in Australia so I can’t enter :sad: but I love your photos! I found you through blogher and saw that you use a point and shoot. It’s great to see that it’s truly the talent of the photographer, not the price of the camera that makes a great photo! I have a lot of experience baking but am just starting with blogging and photography, so if you have anything you would like to procrastinate on by checking out my blog and telling me what you think, it would make my day :grin:
    http://www.jilliancupcake.wordpress.com
    Jillian Cupcake recently posted..Corn Muffins

  8. Gem Lawton says:

    My favourite dish to make in winter is a morrocan lamb and chick pea stew. Cooked down for hours, the lamb falls apart and is intensely rich with the morrocan tastes of corriander, cumin and even honey in this dish. Amazing served with cous cous or creamy mash.

  9. Lauren Keats says:

    My favourite winter meal is Beef Stroganoff. Perfect for cold weather Yum!!

  10. I just love to make Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for shin of beef with ginger and soy, but with lamb shanks instead of the beef. The sticky lamb shanks are delicious, and as an added bonus, slow-cooking in the oven makes our house so cosy! It’s great served with noodles. Your pork shoulder recipe looks delicious, and I’ll be sure to try it in the near future.

  11. Deb in Indiana says:

    Mmmm, Beef Vegetable Soup. Good beef broth and chunks of beef, canned tomatoes, various veggies, certainly including cabbage, onion, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes. My very favorite winter food. I make it often, and my daughter (22) either makes it at her apartment or comes to “visit” and make a big batch to take home! Any kind of bread completes the meal.

    I agree that cast iron cookware beats all others. I have skillets, a chicken fryer, and a dutch oven that I inherited from my grandmother — each as smooth and beautiful as a black mirror, and perfect for all kinds of frying and roasting. I don’t have any enameled iron, though, so I am very disappointed that I am ineligible for the giveaway by virtue of being in the US — on the other hand, we are getting fresh asparagus and strawberries here just now…

  12. Leeny Samuel says:

    Hoping to make the “no-knead bread” and a chilli conne carne (using some skirt steak) yum!
    “I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://bit.ly/lMovf6″

    PS: Love love love your blog!

  13. It’s a bit boring but when the weather turns cold one of the first dishes I think about making is pumpkin soup, yummy!

  14. I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://bit.ly/lMovf6

  15. piekins says:

    favourite dish to make in winter: bak kut teh (pork bone tea soup). it’s a spiced soup/stew from malaysia and singapore, usually made of pork ribs simmered in a soup with a variety of herbs and spices (star anise, cinnamon, cloves, female ginseng) and garlic. I cheat by buying the spice packets from the asian grocer though (sorry mum!!) Add wolfberries, button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu puffs and simmer away while the aroma perfumes the house… then serve with white rice and iceberg lettuce = heaven in winter!!!!

  16. No competition – dazza’s lamb shanks in red wine with my mum’s organic garlic – yum
    ’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct)

  17. I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://t.co/SLPO67R

  18. I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://t.co/bv75N03

  19. I’m going to make a beef casserole with parmesan dumplings. I’ll cook the casserole on the stovetop. And top with parmesan dumplings, transfer to the oven. All in one pot!

  20. My winter favourite in the French oven is Osso Bucco served with gremolata and polenta or mash. I can’t get the hang of the stovetop cooking for slow cooked meals – I cook all mine in the oven. Delish! PS keep up the great work with the blog. The thing I love best are the photos. Seeing the meal come together step by step through photos makes it seem more “achievable”.

  21. Le Chasseur French Oven, I gotta give it a shot.

    I love slow cooked food. I work and so does my wife, so prep is a key to some meals. We love long stews that I can start in the morning and barely watch. We are tied with two favorites for the winter. And to be honet we make them both because it also makes the apartment smell so good. Onion confit cooked all night on low in the crockpot then used for french onions soup or topping for burgers and hot dogs. Yeah, even in winter we grill it up. And second slow cooked chopped beef from a leftover brisket. Cooked for several hours with bbq sauce and onions, it makes weak thinking about it. Then we can use that chopped beef for the best breakfast ever, a butter milk biscuit half, cooked one side in a little oil, then topped with beef a fried egg, salsa verde and cheese and bacon crumbles.
    Misc_Negro recently posted..ghetto and redneckthe exact same thing

  22. Best winter dish would be Congee! It’s so versatile you can eat it as a light snack, main meal and for supper. Also can eat it with many different flavors! Just love it!!

  23. When it’s cold outside, baby it’s time for some luscious Italian inside! Slow-cooked beef pot roast in a rich red tomato sauce. When you slice it, it gently falls apart. I guess you could cook it in that beautiful red pot! Beautiful with a warm creamy polenta and green beans. Even better the next day used as a sauce for a homemade lasagna – so much better than a bolognese sauce! So much more posh than mince.
    stephofsydney recently posted..stephofsydney- Climate change is real- an open letter from the scientific community http-owly-5h5tg

  24. I’m entering (and hope to win) the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw courtesy of @Kitchenwench & @KW_Direct http://bit.ly/lMovf6

  25. My favorite winter dish is either soy sauce braised short ribs or kimchi chigae (sp). :D

  26. That is some really tasty looking pulled pork!

  27. Natalie says:

    In winter I love to make eggplant parmigiana – best dish for any season!

  28. My favorite winter dish is probably a big pot of soup. For those days when you need a really hardy one, go for 17 bean soup. Delish!

  29. Barbara says:

    Mmmm my favorite dish is kimchee chigae! Nothing like a bit of chilli to warm you up in winter!

  30. Macaroni Cheese.

    With lots of Cheese

    And the top gratin’d under the griller.

    So. Good.

  31. Stephanie says:

    I absolutely love love love braised beef curry in the winter. So so so so good <3

  32. Nothing beats having a spicy sausage ragu spooned over a creamy polenta topped with shaved parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper during winter.

  33. Anazania says:

    Waterblommetjie bredie – A traditional winter dish in the Western Cape, South Africa. Made of the flower of the indigenous Aponogeton distachyos (Cape Pond Weed). Slow cooked with onions, mutton or lamb and a few leaves of the local sorrel/suring (Oxalis pes-caprae) it makes a delicious stew.

  34. My favourite is coq a vin.
    Grab the cheapest big chicken (cheap + big = old)
    Cut it into 8ths,
    add a diced onion, a head of garlic, and cracked pepper
    Thyme, and a bay leaf and parsley (fresh from the garden)
    A bottle of merlot, a half dozen pickling onions a dozen button mushrooms.
    Reduce, and serve with mashed potato.

    Brilliant for a cold night, and I’m more than happy to share ;-)

  35. Danielle says:

    Anything with lamb shanks, shove some wine, vegies and shanks into a pot and your bound to come up with something amazing.

  36. I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://bit.ly/lMovf6

  37. I love to make Beer Stew in Winter, a great way to warm us all up, the oldest 3 children love it, hubby loves it and now that the youngest is almost 12 months he can try it this year too.. (why haven’t i made it yet?). Even better the kids love to make their own rolls to sop up the juices and its great to see their creations.

    When it comes to what i want to eat through winter its curries and satays, something with a heap of flavour (and if its just me eating them some heat too!).

  38. “I’m entering the Le Chasseur French Oven Draw @Kitchenwench (ping @KW_Direct) – http://t.co/IEtRsql″

  39. Pies, pies and more pies!

    Such a satisfying thing in winter to eat a hot pie. I like to use any left over filling, then baked in pastry and nom away. My favourite is whipping up a beef and guinness pie.

    Me + pie + left over guinness = one full boy who is ready to hibernate!

  40. Loving chicken soup with lotsa shredded chinese cabbage in winter. Filling yet not fattening.

  41. My fav winter dish is a bread and butter pudding served hot with lashings of double cream. Yum.

  42. my fav winter dish is pigs trotters in a sauce my mother makes. every winter my family make there own Italian sausages and bacon. we all help out making sausages and at the same time we have open wood ovens going with fried fresh pork sausages cooking and pasta sauce with pigs trotters simmering away in it. yum!!

  43. OH MY LORD, WANT WANT WANT the dutch oven! Need is more like it.

    FAV WINTER MEAL: French onion soup + (of course) Melted gruyere croutons. OH MY. Love making + freezing copious amounts of the broth/body, then freezing. Add a fire + a glass of wine and ahhhhhh.

  44. Braised Beef & Mash

    Time
    15 min prep, 1 hr 45 min cook
    Serves
    6

    Ingredients
    1.5kg piece beef, topside or round
    thyme and rosemary sprigs and 1 bay leaf
    3 large carrots, cut into chunks
    2 large parsnips, cut into chunks
    1 cup port or red wine
    1 cup liquid beef stock
    4 small zucchini, thickly sliced

    Method

    Preheat oven to 160 C (140 C fan forced). Season beef with salt and black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a cast-iron Le Chasseur French Oven, add beef and brown all over. Add herbs and vegetables.
    Combine red wine and stock and pour it over the beef. Cover and braise in oven for 1 hr 45 min to 2 hr or until meat is tender. Add zucchini and stand for 15 min, thinly slice beef and serve with mash and pan juices.

  45. yesterday i thought of making pulled pork for the picnic sandwiches. now i got the recipe. thanks for sharing.

  46. My favourite dish to make in winter is chicken and sweet potato curry. Also vietnamese caramelised pork with tofu puffs.

  47. I bought a piece of meat simply call a “pork roast” . To cook it had 2 methods 1 indirect heat on a bbq gril, 2 use a crick pot. I could do neither, so I played with it. Covered meat with Montreal Steak seasoning and then browned all sides well. After that fill pot half way with water and covered. Brought up to boil then turned eway down put on lid left for 90 min, flippe continued another 90 min. And Ta-dah my first pulled pork! But I stilldidnt know what cut. Thank you now I do.

  48. Chantal says:

    I love to make boeuf bourginon in winter, delicious meaty goodness mmm

Trackbacks

  1. […] maybe since I finally came to enjoy pork this winter, I can try a new recipe for it this summer: french oven pulled pork […]

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