I’ve been thinking about pulled pork a lot lately; it is the perfect winter dish combining ease, comfort, and a whole lot of flavour. With a Mexican themed family dinner to inspire me, I finally walked down the road to pick up a pork roast.
I slid the well covered roast into the oven at 11:00 am, but still wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do for a sauce. I didn’t want to use classic barbecue sauce, either purchased or homemade. I wanted the sauce to be simple and have the same flavours as the meat. Tomato based seemed a given, we are after all, talking about pulled pork.
What I finally settle on is to use the slow cooked, almost charred vegetables that have been in the oven with the pork all day long. I bump them up with some more fresh tomato, a little apple cider vinegar, sugar to balance the acidity and tomato paste to thicken it.
Not-Exactly Barbecue Sauce enough for a 2kg pork roast.
3 roma tomatoes that have been roasting all day with the roast
2 medium onions that have been roasting all day with the roast
1 fresh roma tomato, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Drippings from the pan
When the roast is almost cooked enough – it should be very tender and start to pull apart when you put a fork in the meat and twist – remove the vegetables and pan drippings from around the meat.
Put the meat back in the oven, still covered to cook for another half hour.
Start the sauce by heating a large pan over medium heat. Poach, rather than sauté the minced garlic in a generous glug of olive oil.
Once the garlic begins to brown add the fresh tomato. Sauté for 3 – 5 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes and onions, the tomato paste, the apple cider vinegar, the sugar and the drippings from the pan.
Cook this down until you have a sauce that is not as thick as commercial barbecue sauce but no longer liquid. Adjust seasoning at this point. You will probably not need any salt at this point because the rub on the roast is quite salty.
Check that the roast is done – it should now pull apart very easily when you insert a fork and twist. Place the cooked roast directly into the pan with the sauce. Begin pulling the meat apart with a for in each hand. Continue to pull the pork until it is in small shreds and completely coasted in sauce.
For ways to keep eating your pulled pork all week long see “Keeping it Fresh.“