Warm bank holiday weekends and long Summer days, when the sun is shining overhead and the bees are buzzing in the garden, are days for lazing. Sitting in the garden with a book, enjoying the warmth of the sun and listening to the neighbours mow the lawn whilst smelling the freshly cut grass. Hearing the fountain tinkle softly in the background and the birds happily singing in the trees. These are days when you want food that prepares itself, without much effort. It would be ideal if the food would just jump out of the fridge and place itself on plates, ready to eat. Sadly this never happens but a slow cooker is the next best thing. A slow cooker is ideal in winter for preparing warming stews, but is also perfect in the summer. After a long day out, at the beach or the theme park it is too much trouble to cook. With a slow cooker the meal is ready and just needs serving. Slow cooker pulled pork with BBQ sauce is perfect for these days, it can be served on buns and eaten with a side salad or coleslaw and a potato salad.
The pork and the sauce are also delicious in cold sandwiches and can be packed for adventures the next day. Following the success of my ham slow cooked in coke I decided I was going to slow cook my pork in coke and also use coke as the basis for my BBQ sauce. The coke added a lovely nutty taste to the pork and it was delicious. Once cooked the pork was easily shredded with a couple of forks and I served it on buns topped with the BBQ sauce. I also make a potato salad with chives and dill, a coleslaw with carrots, celeriac and cabbage and some rhubarb chutney to complete the feast.
All the foods in the meal were Red Tractor assured, part of the Red Tractor challenge I have been taking part in. The Red Tractor mark on your food shows that it has come from farms in Britain and has to meet standards which cover everything from the way the food is produced, to how it gets onto your plate. I was amazed at the quantity of foods that are covered by the Red Tractor mark, not just meat but vegetables as well. The potatoes in my potato salad were Red Tractor, the dill and chives were home grown from my own garden. The coleslaw used white cabbage, celariac and carrots, all Red Tractor products and was dressed in mayonnaise with a touch of black pepper for added flavour. The pork joint was also Red Tractor, a lovely British bank holiday meal. The rhubarb chutney was also home made with Red Tractor rhubarb, an experiment that worked really well.
Perfect food for sitting and enjoying in deckchairs in the garden, while the sun shone. Easy to serve, easy to eat and quick to clear up afterwards and ready when you want it. The key is getting the meat into the slow cooker early in the day and just leaving it to cook. The salads can be prepared the day before and left in the fridge. The pulled pork can also be cooked in the oven instead of a slow cooker, it just needs to be cooked slowly.
Disclosure: I was sent a hamper of Red Tractor products in order to create recipes using Red Tractor foods.