Pulled pork has been on top of our favourite eats ever since we started the club in 2009. Since then we’ve sampled this porky delight at venues across England and the USA. Despite this, we reckon that some of the best barbecue around is being dished up right on our doorstep, here in Wales.
The ladies at Hang Fire Smokehouse have been serving up their “southern style barbecue” for about a year now, mainly at The Canadian pub in Splott, but also at various pop up stalls and events.
We caught up with Hang Fire at two of their most recent events. Firstly their Blues, Brews & BBQ night at The Full Moon, serving up hot, smokey racks of ribs with American beers and fine grain liquor. Secondly at The Canadian pub, their last event held there (and The Sandwich Club’s unofficial works Christmas party), saw the full Hang Fire menu being devoured, including several sides of burnt ends!
Both occasions have been a true delight and it’s so exciting to finally have someone serving up great barbecue food in Cardiff, even more so given that it puts some bigger names in bigger cities to shame.
We’ll be bringing you a full write up of Hang Fire when they reopen at their new home The Landsdowne pub in February. Until then catch up with their story so far on their website here.
Good friends Martyn and Maia came to visit this week from Virginia in the USA. They’ve been there for about a year and a half now and the last time I saw them was when I was Martyn’s Best Man at their wedding out there.
Martyn and Maia obviously know we’re big foodies and sandwich fans and were kind enough to bring over with them on this trip some Virginia Gentleman VG 90 Bourbon Chipotle Hot Sauce and a set of napkins depicting the state bird, the cardinal, and the state tree and flower, the dogwood. Both items were bought from Market Street Market, which we reviewed on a previous post compiled on the same trip to the States for the wedding, and can be read here.
Here’s the sauce:
and here’s the napkins:
All of these things can only mean one thing, coming soon… THE SANDWICH CLUB DO PULLED PORK ROUND II !!!
One of my best pals is currently bumming around in Melbourne and after the sandwich clubs pulled pork effort they wanted to give it a go. I think they have outdone the clubs effort, the rub sounds incredible! From Melbourne:
@thesandwichclub has been bugging me for weeks to send him something on the sandwich experiments I’ve had over the last few weeks. I’m glad I waited, as this was the best I’ve ever made. FACT.
This is more of a recipe than a write up. Cook it as you see fit, but I’ve given the directions as I did it.
Pulled Pork Rolls – Stuffs 8 – 10 people
Total time – about 6 ½ hours (EPIC) @150/160° C. It didn’t need to be that long but it was sunny so I went for a few afternoon pints and left it. However, the longer it’s in, the more tender the meat.
The Meat – Pork Shoulder 6 pounds, roughly 2.7kg, about the same size a Shetland Ponies back. Keep it on the bone if the butcher gives you the option.
The Rub – 3 tbl spoons ground black pepper, 3 tbl spoons sea salt, 3 tbl spoons of soft brown sugar, 2 tbl spoons of ground cumin Seeds, 2 tbl spoons of ground fennel seeds, 2 tbl spoons of cayenne pepper, 2 tbl spoons of hot paprika, 2 tea spoons of olive oil
The mop – 1 cup (235ml) of cider vinegar, ½ cup of water, 1 tbl spoon of ground black pepper and salt, 2 tbl spoons of Worcestershire sauce, teaspoon of veg oil.
- Marinade the pork in the rub, preferably over night, but I would say at least 2 Hrs.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (or 175°C if you’re cooking it quicker, say 4 hrs total). Stick it in the oven in a roasting pan/dish sat in the mop (to about a 1/3 of the way up the meat, so you may not need all of it), covered with foil. I sat the pork on some fennel and garlic, it braised down nicely in the juice/mop, and went well in the roll. Try it.
- Go out and have a cycle, drink a couple of pints, maybe eat some other food. I went for sneaky egg and bacon burger in Port Melbourne. Tasty. Sorry, no photo.
- After about 4 ½ hours I drained the juice in to a pan and separated the fennel (heat the fennel back up when you serve). Then baste the meat in the juice and put it back in at 150. I left it like this for another 1 ½ hours as I went for a few more pints.
- I then basted the meat again and uncovered it for ½ an hour.
- Take the meat out and let it rest for 20 minutes, or as long as you can wait.
- Flake out the meat, serve in soft seeded rolls with the fennel and the mop drizzled on it, and anything you want. I went for a homemade coleslaw, potato salad, and a bowl of salad.
Not sure how to rate it as I made it myself and ate it at home but…..Taste 5/5, Cost 4/5 considering how much I have left over for the week. I can’t really rate the establishment, or the presentation. I don’t want to rate the company in case I offend my house mates. So I’ll just give an extra general enjoyment rating of 4/5, would have been 4 ½ if the sun was still up, and 5 if it was cooked for me. So…..all in all, 13/15.
Here at the Sandwich Club we are huge fans of pulled pork. In the USA they do pulled pork and they do it well, it’s something us Brits haven’t really got to grips with yet.
For the uninitiated, pulled pork is a very long slow way of cooking the shoulder (often referred to as the Boston butt) at a low temperature, this can be done in the oven or often on a barbecue.
For some reason there aren’t many places that do pulled pork in the UK and to the best of our knowledge no where that does it in Cardiff. One of the best we’ve come across is Bodean’s in London, we advise you to check it out.
So, we finally got round to having our first attempt at cooking our own pulled pork supplemented by our own homemade BBQ sauce.
The recipe was as follows:
First mix up your rub, we went for a simple one of chilli flakes, mustard seeds, salt and freshly ground black pepper. This then needs to be rubbed well all over the pork shoulder. Placing the pork shoulder into a baking tray we then poured over some cider and white wine vinegar and scattered over chopped onions and garlic. The shoulder then needs to be wrapped in parchment paper and foil and put into a pre-heated oven, ours was set to 170℃/Gas 3. This cooks for 3 hours before removing the paper and foil and cooking for a further hour (times will vary depending on the size of the shoulder you are using).
For the BBQ sauce we followed a recipe by James Martin. Fry onion and garlic in olive oil with chilli, fennel seeds and sugar. Add soy sauce, ketchup and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.
To serve you will need to ‘pull’ the pork by putting a fork in the shoulder and shredding the meat into small pieces using another fork. Heap into buns with the BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
There you have it, Pulled Pork!
No doubt we’ll be attempting this again, experimenting with different rubs. If you have your own pulled pork recipes we’d love to hear from you.
Is there such a thing as a novelty sandwich? Of course this depends on the individual’s perception, but in recent times supermarket shelves have been home to sandwiches which some may consider ridiculous, innovative and/or tasty.
Sometimes no explanations are needed.
The paella sandwich. Thank you Tesco. Thank you Daily Mirror.
The lasange sandwich. Again, Tesco.
The candwich. “Can your hunger”