Regular readers will know—I’m upfront about my addiction to a certain fizzy drink. I have, however, never cooked with it before*.
Fair enough. Why would I? I’ve seen recipes that use the regular version for glazing ham or even chocolate cakes. I did try something this weekend though, using the sugar-free kind. I love pulled pork—it’s the most flavoursome thing you can do with the meat. It’s cheap, easy and a crowd-pleaser. I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s tried it and didn’t love it.
Most recipes quote quite a bit of sugar in the sauces for pulled pork. My version uses a big fat zero, unless you include the natural sugars in onions and tomatoes. Try it and see!
Slow Cooker Sugar-Free Pulled Pork
- 1.5-2kg pork shoulder
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 can diet cola
- 3 tbsp hot smoked paprika
- One small onion, finely chopped
- 100ml cider vinegar
- 1tbsp rape seed or olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Salt and pepper
Cut the skin off the pork shoulder. Slice into strips and put it in the fridge. This will make your crackling.
Heat a wok or large frying pan and add the pork shoulder. Sear all over. Place in your slow cooker and top with boiling water. Mix in two tablespoons of the paprika and cook on slow for 10 to 12 hours.
Half an hour before the pork finishes cooking, heat your oven to 200 degrees. Mix the pork strips with a little salt and half a tablespoon of the paprika. Place on a wire rack over a tray and cook at the top of the oven.
Make the sauce 15 to 20 minutes before you want to serve your pork. Blend the onion, tomatoes and garlic together and add half a tablespoon of paprika. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the tomato mix with the vinegar and the diet cola. Bring to the boil turn to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce should be a little thicker, and smooth.
Remove the pork from the slow cooker, place in a rectangular dish and use two large forks to shred. Add the sauce and mix well. You’ll need plenty of salt and pepper.
Serve with the crackling and home-made coleslaw.
About 5g carbs per portion.
*Partly thanks to those conspiracy theories that went round in the 90s about Gulf War Syndrome.