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"Barbeque" pork

pork shoulder2

The British press seem to be going crazy at the moment for Southern barbecue - delicious meat slow-cooked in a smoke pit until it's falling apart. We don't have a smoke pit - we don't even have enough outdoor space for a normal grill barbecue - but I have been reading so many descriptions of Southern barbecue that I've been getting cravings. So I decided to do my best to recreate it in a normal kitchen. You can't ever get quite the same glorious smokiness, but I thought this turned out pretty well. I can't pretend it's a dish to rustle up in a few minutes, but the bulk of the work is at the beginning. Start it off at lunchtime and you'll have an easy time finishing it off for dinner.



Serves 4 as dinner


1kg pork shoulder, in one piece

250g small green peppers (like the Padrón peppers used in Spain - Germans call them Bratpaprika)

4 large onions

250ml chicken stock


For the sauce

3 tbsp hoisan sauce

3 tbsp ketchup

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 cloves garlic

1 large green bell pepper
1 large red bell pepper
1 large dried poblano pepper
1 tsp dried powdered chipotle peppers
optional: chipotle in adobe sauce, to taste

oil for frying


To serve

8 Mexican tortillas

2 limes


Get an overhead grill really hot, cut the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds and stalk. Skin side up, grill until the skins are black. Heat the oven to 220°C.


Meanwhile, peel the onions and cut them into large chunks and fry rapidly in the oil over a high heat without stirring too much, until dark-coloured in places. Remove half of the onions and reserve for later. Pour a little hot water over the poblano pepper so it softens.


Peel the black skin off the grilled peppers and add it to the pan. Cut the peppers into strips and add those too, along with the fennel seeds, the chillis, roughly chopped (reserve the soaking water), the hoi san sauce and the ketchup. If you are using the chipotle in adobe, add it now. It tends to be quite hot; even a teaspoon can make it pretty spicy, so be cautious. Stir to combine and add half the chicken stock and the soaking water. Simmer for about five minutes, remove from the heat and blend. Put a large ridged griddle pan on the hob and get it really hot.


Crush the garlic with a little salt and rub it over the pork. Put the meat into the frying pan, turning so it gets a light coating of the sauce all over and leaves a little of the garlic behind. On the hot griddle, sear the pork on all sides to leave black lines. Be warned, it will smoke and spit.


Put the pork in a deep oven-proof dish, pour over the remaining chicken stock and cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil. Stick it in the oven and turn the heat down to 150°C. Roast for around 4 hours until falling-apart tender and let rest for around half an hour.


Start gently reheating the barbeque sauce and also heat a little oil in a frying pan over a high heat and rapidly fry the small green peppers until blistered in places. Pull the pork into chunks with your fingers. Add the pork, its cooking liquid, the small green peppers and reserved onions to the sauce and stir gently together so you have a warm and sloppy brown sauce with chunks of meat and vegetables in.


Put on the table for everyone to wrap in warm tortillas and squeeze over a bit of lime juice before eating messily with their fingers.


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