Forget stews at this time of year, slow cooked pork makes the ultimate summer bun.
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 120 ml apple cider vinegar
- 120 ml India pale ale
- 1 fresh sage leaf
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Half teaspoon ground cumin
- Quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (2.25 kg) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder, twine or netting removed
- 450g BBQ Sauce (see below), optional
- 6 Pretzel Buns (see below)
- Butter, for spreading
- Slow cooker
1. Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker, pour in the vinegar, beer and add the sage leaf.
2. Combine the sugar, chilli powder, salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6–8 hours on a high setting or 8–10 hours on low.
3. Meanwhile, follow the instructions below to make the pretzel buns.
4. Turn off the slow cooker and move the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium heat-proof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the sieve and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside and use a spoon to skim and discard any fat from the surface.
5. If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the pork, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and add the BBQ sauce, if using, and mix to combine. Add 60 ml of the strained liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.
6. Cut each pretzel bun in half and butter the bottom.
7. Lay a generous helping of pork onto each bun, spoon over the sauce and top with rosemary coleslaw.
8. Serve with yellow mustard.
- 340 g tomato ketchup
- 115 g golden syrup
- 125 ml apple cider vinegar
- 125 ml water
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Half teaspoon salt
- Half teaspoon ground black
Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a cup and spread over the ribs, reserving some to serve. Cover tightly again with foil and set aside for 15 minutes before serving. Serve along with the extra sauce.
- 350ml water, warmed to 40—50C (105—115F)
- 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil, for coating
- 600g plain flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil
- 55g bicarbonate of soda
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- kitchen thermometer
- electric mixer fitted with a dough hook
- baking sheet lined with parchment paper, oiled
1. Tip the warmed water into the bowl of a free-standing mixer (or a mixing bowl if you don’t have a free-standing mixer). Sprinkle the yeast on top and set aside until the mixture bubbles a little, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix together the flour, salt and sugar, then add to the yeast mixture, along with the melted butter. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on the lowest setting until everything comes together. Increase the speed and continue mixing until the dough becomes elastic and smooth, about 8–10 minutes. If you don’t have a free-standing mixer, combine the ingredients using a wooden spoon, then knead by hand on a lightly floured work surface for 10–15 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Prepare the baking sheet. Punch down the risen dough and knead briefly on a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape into round rolls. Place the rolls on the oiled parchment paper, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat an oven to 220C (425F) Gas 7. Fill a large saucepan with water, so that it reaches one-third of the way up the sides, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the baking soda, then return to a simmer. Gently lower 2–3 of the buns into the simmering water and poach for 30 seconds on each side. Remove using a slotted spoon and return to the parchment paper, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining buns.
5. Brush the buns all over with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a little salt. Using a sharp knife cut a cross in the top of each one. Bake for 20–30 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown.
Dirty Food by Carol Hilker, photograph: Peter Cassidy, publisher: Ryland Peters & Small