Organic Pulled Pork Burgers with a Nutty Carrot & Red Onion Salad

I know that this may not necessarily be the time of year for writing about burger recipes, but this one is so good I can't but share it. A few weeks ago I was gifted with a shoulder of organic pork from a local organic farm, Menton's in Banagher. To do this beautiful piece of meat some justice I treated it tenderly with a simple spice rub and glazed it with a barbecue-like sauce before slow roasted it for a few hours. The result was sensational; the meat was flavoursome, moist and tender, and it shredded easily into bite-sized pieces. It made for the perfect burger filler. The meat doesn't necessarily have to be eaten hot, as I allowed some of it to cool and after refrigerating over night the flavours really intensified.  I paired it with an easy to prepare salad, however, if you prefer you could use a regular coleslaw. This roast pork dish, minus the buns and salad, would also be delicious as part of a traditional meat and two veg dinner, and simply serve with a nice bowl of apple sauce. Organic pork is becoming easier to source and isn't it wonderful that local farmers are making it available for us to buy straight from their farms. The difference between the farm-reared organic pork and the regular pork is remarkable.

The pulled pork was a huge hit with the adults and children alike in the house. When I took it from the oven I couldn't shred it fast enough to keep up with the children 'tasting' it. Eventually, I had to hide the plate of meat in a bid to have some left to pack into the burger buns. I think that a trip to Menton's farm will be in order very soon.  

Organic Pulled Pork Burgers with a Crunchy Salad

1.5 kg pork shoulder

Spice rub
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard

1 tbsp Worchester
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp maple syrup
50 mls cider vinegar
100mls water

Nutty Carrot & Red Onion Salad

2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 carrots, grated into strips using a potato peeler
50g salted peanuts, roughly chopped
large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp mayonnaise {optional}

To Serve
Burger buns
Nutty Red Onion & Carrot Salad


1. First make the spice mixture by combining the paprika, sugar, salt and mustard in a bowl.
2. Score the fat on the pork. Then rub the spice mixture all over the pork, making sure to get into the cracks of the fat. Cover and rest in the fridge for an hour.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
4. Take the pork from the fridge and place in a snug fitting casserole dish. Mix together the ingredients for the glaze and pour over the pork. Cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil.
5. Roast in the oven for 3 ½ hours, taking from the oven a few times to baste the pork with the juices. If the pan dries up completely add a few tablespoons of water. After 3 ½ hours remove the tinfoil and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
6. To 'pull' the pork stick a fork into the shoulder and shred the meat using another fork.
7. To make the salad, in a bowl mix together the vinegar and the sugar. Add the finely sliced onion and leave to pickle for a few minutes. Add the carrot strips, peanuts and coriander. Combine well. If you would prefer a creamy-type salad, add some mayonnaise. Otherwise, serve the mayo alongside the burger. 
8. To serve, pile the pulled pork into a lightly toasted bun and top with some lettuce and a generous helping of the salad. 

Article published in The Westmeath Independent - 13/11/13