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Succulent Pulled Pork with Sticky Beetroot and Red Onion

12 JULY 2012
Dish type: Sandwich

Serves 8-12 people
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 6 hours

This succulent pork recipe, from Packington Free Range farm, is a versatile party dish.  The pork becomes so tender it can easily be pulled of the bone and piled into fresh buns. It can be prepared in advance and is a great party dish that can be put in the middle of the table for people to help themselves to.  

By using shoulder, the dish is economical both in cost and because it helps to use the whole animal rather than just the more popular cuts.

Ingredients:  

For the pork:

3-5kg pork shoulder joint
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
generous pinch sea salt & pepper
1 bottle cider
300ml stock (chicken, pork or veg)  

For the beetroot:

3 large beetroot (tennis ball size)
2 large red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 sprigs fresh thyme (chopped)  

For the dressing:

creme fraiche
pinch of lightly toasted & crushed cumin seeds
squeeze of lemon juice
salt & pepper   

Method:

Pulled pork:  

- Pre-heat oven to 240C
- Pour boiling water over skin side of meat then pat dry (this helps with creating the perfect crackling!)
- Mix all the dry pork ingredients with the olive oil and rub into the meat
- Place the meat in a roasting tray, pouring the bottle of cider into the bottom of the tray
- Put the pork in the oven for 30-40 minutes to crisp up the crackling
- Turn the oven down to 130 and cook for a further 30 minutes
- Remove the tray from the oven and add the stock to the bottom of the tray. Cook for a further 2 hours.
-After the 2 hours, remove the tray from the oven and cover with a double layer of tinfoil, return to the oven for a further 3-4 hours (depending on the size of joint) until the meat crumbles
- Take the pork out of the oven and rest for at least half an hour (under the tinfoil)  
- When the pork has rested use 2 forks to crumble the meat 

Sticky beetroot:  

- Leaving the skin on the beetroot boil for 30-40 minutes
- Peel the skin off and cut into 8 (about the same size as an orange segment)
- Slice the red onion and mix with the beetroot and all the other ingredients in a roasting dish
- Cover with foil and roast for approx 1 hour at 200C or if cooking at the same time as the pork 2-2 1/5 hours at 130C.  

Dressing:

- Mix all the dressing ingredients together, can be kept in the fridge until ready to use.

Serve in a lovely roll with the sticky beetroot & red onion, creme fraiche dressing and some rocket or watercress.  

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