Slow cooked BBQ pulled pork

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This recipe is a really easy alongside being an exceptionally tasty addition to the ever growing reel of the Gecko recipe archive. It can be done in a crock pot in the oven but I used a slow cooker. Two of my recommended cuts of pork are a shoulder or leg joint. Feel free to adapt the rub or marinade to your taste by cranking up the spice a bit or lowering it to your particular preference! I did this one Friday at work with the intention of feeding 3 of us and had so much left over I ended up supplying lunch for 8 people and getting a great reaction from all of them. I served it on wholemeal buns with pickled red onions and a garlic mayonnaise.

Smokey BBQ pork

Dry rub:

2 Tbspn cayenne pepper
2 Tbspn dried oregano
2 tbspn garlic
2 tbspn smoked paprika
1 tspn chilli powder
1 tbspn brown sugar
1 large pinch sea salt

MIX/CRUSH well (pestle is handy but not essential) and Rub evenly onto the meat and leave for around 30 minutes.

Marinade:

1/2 submerge the pork in vegetable stock
Add the rest of dry rub and mix well with 3 tablespoons of good barbeque sauce.
Add pork (with any major fat cut off. I had to butcher it to get it into the slow cooker anyway it was a rather big piece of meat as the picture shows) and cook for 12 hours on low.

Once cooked:
Drain the liquid from the slow cooker/Pot.
Rip apart with a pair of forks until completely shredded, add q further pinch of sea salt and add another drizzle of BBQ sauce and mix until evenly distributed. Leave to rest in the pot for a few minutes to absorb any remaining juices and take on the sauce nicely.

And that’s all there is to it. This one really is a personal favourite of mine as it really makes an impression considering it is left to its own devices over night, not really been meddled with. It showcases how simple good cooking can be and its comfort food at its best. I’m pretty sure it would go down a storm at a big get together for a sporting event or a family occasion for an alternative to soggy sandwiches and sausage rolls…

final thought: Go the extra mile and fit a good spoon full into a wrap with a good quality chili sauce and some sliced mixed peppers. bang on.

Anglo/ cajun burrito

I came up with this recipe recently and its fast becoming one of my favourites. I really do feel Mexican and American influenced food is totally lost on British soil in the vast majority of cities, there is the odd street food vendor or independent that has a genuine passion for it but there aren’t many (if any) chains that I know of that really provide any sort of creative, exiting westerly influenced dishes. So I like to get inventive and make something tasty with a bit of a southern American vibe now and then, this one really hit the spot for me…Its cheap. its easy. and don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Its also doable with things I trust you may already have in your house. The best part of this recipe is that it is totally adaptable and customisable to your own tastes so only use this as a template if you like, get creative. Add your favourite peppers, different varieties of beans, fresh chili, amp up your heat. its all up to you, But keep reading to get to know the basis for your next western adventure. I will add a slight disclaimer, this isn’t a traditional style of burrito. But feel free to use kidney beans for a more authentic feel.

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The essential ingredients:

6 flour tortillas

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can baked beans

500g turkey/beef mince

1 heaped tablespoon of Cajun spice mix (Available at most supermarkets)

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

2 tablespoons of cooking red wine

2 medium sized chopped chili peppers (red and green for a little colour)

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1-1.5 tablespoons of smoked paprika

pinch of sea salt

Your choice of strong cheese, grated, approximately 100g

Method:

1) Add the beans and tomatoes to a pan and bring to a simmer on a medium heat.

2)Place the mince into a pan on a medium heat with a little oil until it starts to brown.

3) When it starts to simmer add the Cajun mix, red wine, the sea salt, paprika, mince, garlic and chili peppers. Stir gently but thoroughly.

4) Cook together in the pan on continuous medium heat until it really starts to bond together and the turkey is cooked through. This is usually around about 20-25 minutes. Stir regularly.

5) Once it is cooked through, turn your oven on at 180 degrees/ gas mark 4. Heat a frying pan or griddle pan on medium and place a tortilla on for about 15 seconds each side.

6) Spoon the chili mix and a sprinkle of cheese into the middle of the tortilla.

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7) Fold over each of the sides, leaving about half an inch between each side.

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8) While keeping the side folds steady, take the bottom lip of the tortilla and press it to the top lip.

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9) With a firm but steady hand, slowly drag the contents back so that it gathers in the bottom part of the tortilla.

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10) Roll over completely to lock it together. Wrap snuggly in tin foil and place in a tray. Repeat 6 times!

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I will be updating this with a video soon to help as it can be tricky.

11) Put the wrapped bad boys in the oven for 10 minutes to really get rockin’

12) Remove from the oven, unwrap and serve with rice or eat stick them on a platter and let people pick one up for themselves. I love these, comfort food in its best and simplest form.

This one is a little messy and a little crude but I have to say its one of my many guilty pleasures and great for a hearty, fun meal for the kids! I hope you enjoy them.

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Phil