Pulled pork with sage, apples & pears
This Italian-inspired dish of pulled pork made with slow-roasted pork shoulder, herbs, cider and dried fruit, will fill your home with rich and delicious aromas. The depth of sweet, fruity flavours provides the perfect winter comfort food. Serve it on creamy polenta and don’t omit the pear gremolata, it’s really special. I don’t want to try and say too much about this recipe, just make it soon! And although dried Pink Lady® Apple Wedges from Cecilia Farm’s range were part of this pulled pork recipe, you can easily use fresh Pink Lady® Apples when they are in season. Substitute the dried wedges with 3 fresh apples in the skin, cut into thick wedges. The apples will become part of the pan juices to form a beautiful sauce. Even if the apples soften after the long, slow cooking process, it will add some sweetness to the dish – always delicious with pork.
Cecilia’s Farm has a delicious range of dried fruit and nuts which are perfect for snacks, but divine in cooking too. Visit their online shop here.
Recipe developed for Cecilia’s Farm
1,5 kg pork shoulder, excess fat removed and the skin scored
30 ml (2 tbsp) wholegrain mustard
5 large leeks, cut in thick diagonal slices
150 g Cecilia’s Farm Bon Chrétien Pears, halved lengthwise
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
20-25 fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
5 thick strips of lemon rind
2 x 330 ml bottles cider
250 ml (1 cup) strong Rooibos tea
salt and pepper to taste
30 ml (2 tbsp) grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
30 ml (2 tbsp) finely grated lemon rind
60 ml (¼ cup) coarsely chopped Cecilia’s Farm Roasted & Salted Macadamias
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh sage
6 Cecilia’s Farm Bon Chrétien Pears, thinly sliced
1,5 litres (6 cups) water
375 ml (1 ½ cups) quick-cooking polenta
45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
60 ml (¼ cup) grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
1. Pork: Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Place pork in a deep oven dish and rub all over with mustard. Arrange leeks, apples, pears, thyme, sage, bay leaves and lemon rind around the pork.
2. Pour cider and tea around the meat and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil or a lid and roast for 3½-4 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to shred with a fork. Check the meat every hour or so to make sure it has enough liquid. Mix the fruit and veggies through once or twice to coat in the cooking liquid.
3. Remove the meat from the liquid to cool slightly. Remove skin and excess fat and gently shred meat with a fork.
4. Stir meat into the cooking liquid. If preferred, add another 125-250 ml (½-1 cup) Rooibos tea to the shredded meat. The mixture shouldn’t be too dry. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Pear gremolata: Mix all the ingredients together to make a fresh topping.
6. Polenta: Just before serving, place water and a pinch of salt in a large pot and heat until just before it starts to simmer. Add polenta and stir continuously for 5-10 minutes or until cooked. Stir in olive oil, cheese and season to taste.
7. Serve pork on the polenta and sprinkle gremolata over.