It is an understatement that last summer the Widdenham Toad hosted at times rather hedonistic food get-togethers. Mark and I attempted many debaucherous dishes and I shall provide some of the highlights over the coming weeks.
At least partially inspired by the movie “Chef” I was looking to create a sandwich with home made pulled pork. After some considerations the idea came up to add white truffle and some melted cheese which turned out to be an excellent decision, albeit not for your cholesterol levels. But first things first …
As usual we got our meat from Godfrey’s in Highbury. A lovely family butcher with free range sources and excellent prices. This perfectly cut and trimmed beauty was reserved through their online system and picked up on a sunny Saturday morning.
The first step was to cook the shoulder at medium heat, lid on for about 90 minutes. The aim here was to get the initial crackling going and catch the meat juices ahead of the next steps. Even at this stage I was quite weary of drying out the meat so ended up using a stainless steel pot with a very tight lid. An added benefit of doing this first is that the fatty top layer will keep the leaner parts of the cut moist while becoming increasingly simpler to separate.
I love slow cooking at low heat and no, I don’t like slow cookers! The moment when the meat finally begins to fall apart is always pure bliss. After separating the crackling and to compensate for any potential loss of liquid I added some fresh chicken stock to the pot at the 2 hour mark – not too much as you wouldn’t want to make a stew! Luckily because of the sealed pot the juices stayed very much where they should be and around 50-100ml was enough. After bubbling for 6 hours everything was still perfectly succulent and incredibly tender.
"I read somewhere that it is a good insulator" Mark S, 2014
The crackling was grilled separately towards the end of the process to give the sandwich some extra crunch. High temperature on a baking tray, done. As you can see this worked a treat and was ridiculously crispy.
Assembly was very straight forward, the only thing to note is to not go too overboard with the amount of pork as otherwise you will get soggy bread. This was also why I opted for Poilâne, a quite a sturdy slice that is resistant to becoming spongy under fatty influences.
Yes, I added some extra butter to the outside for color. At this stage calories really weren’t worth a debate. Hmmmmmmmmmmm …….