- For the spice rub:
- 1tbsp ground cumin
- 1tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1tbsp paprika
- 75g (3oz) dark brown muscodavo sugar
- 2tbsp sea salt
- 1tbsp coarse ground black pepper
- For the pork:
- 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 large onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
- 1 x 4.5kg (10lb) British pork shoulder, on the bone
- 2tbsp olive oil
- For the sauce:
- 250ml (9fl oz) dry cider
Preheat the oven to the highest setting. In a small bowl mix with the spice rub ingredients and set aside. Put the chopped vegetables and garlic in a large roasting tin. With a sharp knife, score the layer of fat on top of the pork shoulder just down to the flesh. Brush the meat with the oil and massage the spice rub all over the pork, pressing right into the scores.
Put the meat on top of the vegetables and place, uncovered, into the oven to cook for 20 minutes before turning the temperature down to 130 C, 110 C fan, 250 F, gas 1/2 to cook slowly for 8 to 9 hours until incredibly soft and easily pulled apart with a fork. Cooking pork this way can take from 1hr 30 minutes to 2 hours per lb to reach the perfect pulled pork texture that makes this meal so delicious.
For the sauce, pour the cider into the roasting tray for the final hour of cooking. When the pork is cooked, remove it from the roasting tray and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Drain off the excess fat from the roasting tray juices, then serve in a pouring jug alongside the meat. Bring the joint to the table as a whole to carve off hunks of tender meat or pull apart into shreds and serve in white bread rolls for a more relaxed occasion.
To ensure you get crispy crackling, ask your butcher to score the skin for you. Although any part of the pork shoulder will make delicious pulled pork when slow cooked, the hand and sprig cut has a sweeter, nuttier tasting meat if you are lucky enough to get it.