Pulled pork buns with fennel and gooseberry ketchup

Pulled pork buns with fennel and gooseberry ketchup
  • Serves icon Makes 8
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, plus optional overnight marinating. oven time 3 hours 30 min, simmering time 20 min

Porchetta gets slow cooked in this pulled pork bun recipe making it a great make-ahead choice for a weekend dinner party. The tartness of a gooseberry is a surprisingly good partner to rich, fatty meats, creating plenty of sweet and tangy contrast. Here we’ve whizzed it into a ketchup with a fresh hit of fennel, to be slathered on buns and piled high with marinated pulled pork.

Gooseberry works surprisingly well in savoury dishes. We think you’ll love this gooseberry focaccia.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
634kcals
Fat
34g (11g saturated)
Protein
40g
Carbohydrates
36g (14g sugars)
Fibre
2.1g
Salt
0.8g
Calories
634kcals
Fat
34g (11g saturated)
Protein
40g
Carbohydrates
36g (14g sugars)
Fibre
2.1g
Salt
0.8g

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg boneless pork shoulder joint
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp rock salt
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1½ fennel bulbs
  • 500ml dry cider
  • Dash vegetable oil
  • 200g gooseberries
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 8 brioche buns
  • 8 tsp mayonnaise (optional)

Method

  1. Pat the pork shoulder dry and put it on a deep tray. Grind the fennel seeds, salt and peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, then mix with the garlic and lemon zest. Rub this mixture all over the flesh of the pork, avoiding the skin. Cut half a fennel into wedges and arrange them underneath the pork. If possible, leave the pork uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry out.
  2. Heat the oven to 220°C fan/gas 9. Put the tray in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, then pour in the cider, cover with foil and reduce the heat to 160°C fan/gas 4. Cook for another 3 hours or until the meat is falling apart.
  3. Meanwhile, make the ketchup. Finely chop half the remaining fennel and fry in a splash of oil until soft (about 4 minutes). Add the gooseberries, most of the lemon juice, sugar and 50ml water, bring to a simmer, then gently cook for 20 minutes until the berries have completely collapsed. Transfer to a blender and whizz into a smooth ketchup. It will taste sour, but when paired with the fatty pork, it works perfectly.
  4. Finely slice the remaining fennel, using a mandoline if you have one, then dress in the remaining lemon juice and season.
  5. When the pork is ready, remove the crackling and roughly chop into shards. Shred the meat using 2 forks, finely chop the roasted fennel below it and mix together in a bowl. Reduce any remaining liquid in the pan for 5 minutes, then stir it into the pork.
  6. To serve, toast the brioche buns, then spread one side with mayonnaise (if using) and the other with the ketchup. Add a pile of pork, some shards of crackling and a handful of fennel slaw, then put the lid on.

delicious. tips

  1. Leaving meat uncovered in the fridge overnight dries it out a little – which is exactly what you want when it comes to crackling. Moisture in and on the skin will be removed, helping to create extra crunchy crackling. The fat present in the meat and below the skin is more than enough to prevent the meat itself becoming dry.

  2. The pork can be cooked in advance and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

  3. Got a glut of gooseberries? Make a bigger batch of the ketchup – it’ll keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen for use later in the year.

Recipe By

Pollyanna Coupland

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