Perfect pulled pork recipe

Rachel Walker 

This is an American barbecue favourite. Slow cooked, succulent pork roast served in a delicious BBQ sauce. Follow our authentic recipe and you’ll have tender, smoky and juicy pulled pork to impress all your friends and family to enjoy.

It’s useful to have a recipe up your sleeve for feeding a crowd. Pork shoulder has “the perfect ratio”: low-effort, but high-impact. It’s a doddle to make, but it always has people hopping about with excitement.

Pulled pork also has the advantage of being a forgiving recipe. I’ve suggested five hours’ cooking time, but when a big cut is being cooked at 150C, it doesn’t matter if five hours turns into six. So if you get distracted then it’s not a disaster. The meat will still happily pull off the bone and make a lot of people happy when stuffed in a roll.

Ingredients (serves eight)

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 150ml white-wine vinegar
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 50ml Lea & Perrins
  • 2tsps dried mustard powder
  • 3kg pork shoulder, bone in
  • 8 buns

For the coleslaw

  • ½ white cabbage, finely sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2tbsps plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • 1tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • ½ lemon, juiced 
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Fry the onions until they’re soft and translucent. Add the garlic to the pan and cook gently.
  2. Next, add the vegetable oil, white wine vinegar, chopped tomatoes, brown sugar, Lea & Perrins and dried mustard powder to the pan.
  3. Cool the sauce and marinade the pork shoulder in it overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 150C. Put the pork in a saucepan or deep tray, pour over the marinade and cover either with a lid or foil. Cook for five hours.
  5. Take the pork from the marinade and put it on the hob so the sauce slowly reduces. Meanwhile, slice the top layer of skin from the pork. There’s lots of flavour in the fat underneath, so it’s a good idea to dice it and add it to the pan of sauce. Of course, if that doesn't appeal then discard.
  6. Use two forks to pull the meat from the bone. Discard the bone and return the shredded meat to the sauce.
  7. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to lift the meat from the pan and put a generous amount into each bun.
  8. For the coleslaw, mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, red-wine vinegar and lemon in a cup. Put the cabbage, onion and carrots in a mixing bowl, and pour the sauce over it. Mix until everything is combined, then season with salt and pepper.