Have you ever had one of those moments when you open the fridge and realise that not one but several items are past the ‘best by’ date? I have to admit I am guilty of that especially since starting a new job and spending much less time in the kitchen.
I hate wasting food and hate wasting money even more so in an effort to never be in that situation again we have installed a blackboard in the kitchen.
All major items are listed in order of expiry date and the kids take great pleasure in crossing things off as we eat them. Such a simple thing and yet remarkably effective not just as food saver but as a meal planner as well. I am mentally kicking myself for not doing this a lot sooner!
Whenever there’s food items needing to be used there and then I usually employ the “stick everything in the slow cooker” method of emergency rescue, or, with fruit and vegetables “stick everything in the Vitamix”.
This was how this slow cooker pulled pork came to be. The pork shoulder was already half a day past the ‘best by’ date, there were leftover brioche rolls about to go stale and a red cabbage that had seen much better days.
I left the pork in the slow cooker on ‘low’ overnight and it turned out to be the tenderest and most delicious pulled pork I have made so far! Minimum effort and amazing result – I’d love for more meals to be like that.
Slow cooker 'dump and start' pulled pork
For the red cabbage slaw
- 1/2 medium red cabbage
- 2 carrots , peeled
- 1 small firm apple (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 1/2 tbsp light olive oil (or mayonnaise - see method)
- pinch chilli flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pulled pork
- 900 g | 2lbs pork shoulder
- 400 g | 14oz can of crushed pineapple in natural juice
- 2 onions , peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves , crushed
- 1 bell pepper (any colour), roughly chopped
- 2 red chillies , deseeded and roughly chopped
- 80 ml / 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp Tabasco
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) diluted in a little cold water
- Add chopped vegetables and pineapple (reserve the juice) in the slow cooker.
- Season the pork with salt and pepper and nestle among the other ingredients fat side up.
- Mix together the soy sauce, pineapple juice, ketchup, honey, brown sugar, oil, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice and Tabasco and pour over the pork.
- Cook on the low setting 6-8 hours (overnight is fine). Remove the pork from the slow cooker, discard the fat and shred using two forks. Cover and set aside.
- Strain contents of the slow cooker into a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the cornflour. Leave the sauce to simmer away until slightly thickened then pour most of it over the pork.
- Serve on brioche buns topped with the red cabbage slow.
Make the red cabbage slaw
- Shred the cabbage, carrots and apple in a food processor or grate them with a box grater.
- Place in a bowl together with the remaining ingredients and toss together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If you prefer your slaw with mayonnaise then skip the olive oil and add a few tablespoons of light mayo instead.