Cooking a pork collar joint to make pulled pork is a delicious and exciting alternative to the traditional cuts used for this popular dish. With its marbling, tenderness, and rich flavour, the pork collar joint is sure to impress your family and friends. So, next time you're in the mood for pulled pork, give the pork collar joint a try and enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth results.
Are you a fan of tender, juicy, and tasty pulled pork? Look no further than the versatile and delicious pork collar joint. While most people are familiar with using pork shoulder or pork butt for pulled pork, the pork collar joint offers a unique twist on this classic dish. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cooking a pork collar joint to make mouth-watering pulled pork.
Before we dive into the cooking process, let's first understand what a pork collar joint is. The pork collar joint comes from the neck area of the pig and is known for its marbling, tenderness, and rich flavour. It is a lesser-known cut of meat but is gaining popularity among food enthusiasts and chefs alike.
To start, you will need a boneless pork collar joint, our whole ones, from North Yorkshire pork, are about 2-2.5kg. Season the joint generously with your favourite dry rub or marinade. Classic flavours like paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper work wonders for enhancing the taste of the pork.
The key to achieving tender pulled pork is slow cooking. Preheat your oven to 135°C or set up your slow cooker or BBQ. If using an oven, place the seasoned pork collar joint in a roasting pan or casserole. Add a small amount of liquid, such as apple cider or chicken broth, to keep the meat moist during the cooking process. Cover the pan tightly with foil or a lid.
Cook the pork collar joint for approximately 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 88°C. This slow cooking method will allow the collagen in the meat to break down, resulting in a pull-apart texture that is perfect for pulled pork.
Once the pork collar joint is cooked to perfection, remove it from the oven or slow cooker and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a moist and tasty end result.
Using two forks, shred the pork collar joint into smaller pieces. The meat should effortlessly fall apart, showcasing its succulent texture. You can also remove any excess fat or connective tissue during this process.
Now that your pork collar joint has been transformed into succulent pulled pork, it's time to serve and enjoy! Pulled pork is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Serve it on a toasted bun with your favourite barbecue sauce for a classic pulled pork sandwich or use it as a topping for nachos, tacos, or loaded baked potatoes. The possibilities are endless!
Beer: A cold, refreshing beer is a classic choice to accompany pulled pork. Consider opting for a beer style that balances the richness of the meat with its own flavors. For instance, an amber ale, brown ale, or a hoppy IPA can be great choices. Alternatively, if you prefer lighter flavors, a wheat beer or a pilsner can work well too.
Bourbon: The smoky, caramel notes of bourbon can enhance the smokiness of the pulled pork. The sweetness and complexity of the bourbon can provide a nice contrast to the savoury flavours of the dish.
Cider: The crisp, fruity flavours of cider can complement pulled pork nicely. Opt for a dry or semi-dry cider with a good balance of acidity. The natural sweetness of the cider can balance out the richness of the meat and add a refreshing element to the meal.
Red Wine: If you prefer wine, a medium-bodied red wine like Zinfandel or Syrah can complement the flavors of pulled pork. Look for wines with fruit-forward profiles and moderate tannins. The fruity notes can pair well with the smoky and savory aspects of the dish.