Make a big batch of this bourbon and coke pulled pork to see you through the week – you can serve it in so many different ways!
Reading ‘bourbon and coke pulled pork‘ you would be forgiven for thinking I was perhaps drinking one too many cocktails before embarking on this recipe. The truth is that bourbon and coke – and coffee which is used as a rub on the pork – lend a lot of flavour to this extremely tender and delicious pulled pork. Making a big batch is a no brainer since the pork can be served in so many ways throughout the week: on tacos, in wraps, over rice or mash, or on tostadas as I have done here.
I have made this recipe with rolled pork shoulder or pork shoulder steaks. Both work well – I prefer the pork shoulder as you can cut it into thicker chunks, but I remove the thick layer of fat that encases it. The pork is rubbed with ground coffee, a little sugar, chilli powder, and garlic granules then seared on all sides before cooking low and slow in the oven. You can also cook it in a slow cooker if you prefer but I kinda like the oven method – it is ready in about 2 1/2 hours.
The sweetcorn salsa was made with tinned sweetcorn which is all I had available at the time. However it was a big hit with my kids which is nothing short of miraculous considering they can be hugely fussy. In fact, this pulled pork was one of my most successful family meals recently, the children actually requested it. And before you ask, the alcohol in the bourbon is cooked off before serving. I also added quick onion pickles for a pop of colour – I am quite addicted to them.
Bourbon and coke pulled pork tostadas with quick corn salsa
- 2 kg | 4 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- 50 g | 1/3 cup cornflour cornstarch
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground coffee not instant
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp ancho chilli powder
- freshly ground pepper - a few turns of the mill
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 60 g | 2oz tomato paste
- 1 onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 can coke not diet! 330ml | 11fl oz
- 125 ml | 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 80 ml | 1/3 cup bourbon
- few sprigs fresh thyme
- <b>For the tostadas</b>
- small tortillas or circles cut out of large tortillas
- 1 tsbp butter - more if you are making a big batch
- 1 tbsp sundflower oil - more if you are making a big batch
- <b>Onion pickles</b>
- 2 small red onions peeled and sliced into thin rounds
- 125 ml | 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- <b>Quick sweetcorn salsa</b>
- * double if serving a big crowd
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small can sweetcorn drained
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 1/2 small red onion peeled and finely diced
- 100 g | 3 1/2 oz feta cheese crumbled
- 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander cilantro
- juice of 1/2 lime
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Set the shelf on the lower part of the oven.
- Remove the thick layer of fat from the pork shoulder. Cut into thick chunks and pat dry with some kitchen paper.
- Mix the cornflour, sugar, coffee, salt, garlic granules, cayenne, and chilli powder together. Add to a bowl and then toss the pork to coat on all sides.
- Heat the oil in a lidded casserole dish (dutch oven) and then sear the pork on all sides - 3-4 minutes. You might need to do this in batches – if the meat is too crowded in the pot it will not brown properly.
- Remove the pork and set aside.
- Turn the heat up and pour the bourbon into the pot to deglaze – take care it doesn't ignite if you are using a gas stove! Scrape any browned bits using a wooden spoon.
- Add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, coke, and stock and stir everything well to combine.
- Return the pork to the pot, add the thyme, cover, and cook for 2 1/2 hours, or until the pork is fork tender.
- Remove the pork from the pot into a bowl or platter and use two forks to shred. Add 2-3 ladlefuls of the cooking sauce, or enough to keep the meat moist.
- Make the onion pickles: put the onion sin a jar with the sugar and vinegar. Mix and let stand for an hour or longer (keep in the fridge).
- Make the salsa: heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and pan fry the sweetcorn over high heat until it starts colouring and almost popping. Set aside to cool.
- Mixed the cooled sweetcorn with the rest of the salsa ingredients and season to taste.
- Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan and pan fry the tortillas for a couple of minutes, flipping over once, until lightly coloured and crisp. You can fry them in batches and drain on kitchen paper until ready to serve.
- Top the tostadas with a generous amount of pulled pork then add the salsa and onion pickles. Eat immediately.