Succulent and juicy, a classic American-style Pulled Pork. We make ours with boneless NZ pork shoulder, seasoned with aromatic spices and marinated in a smokey apple sauce then cooked, so it's melting tender and full of flavour.
Simply heat, then shred the hot, sauce-covered meat into succulent chunks and serve.
From our kitchen to yours.
I felt a bit stink for hogging all the goodies this time around, so I figured I would do a smoko shout for some of the lads. It was a short-shift because of bad weather coming in, so over half the crew had gone home. If it had been a full deck, I don't think I could have made this work. I loved the look of the tacos on the front cover, but some of the lads have false teeth and don't like eating crunchy stuff so I grabbed a couple of packs of soft tacos from the supermarket, lettuce, beetroot, carrot and some red onion.
I had to get the help of one of the lads, so he missed out on the surprise of the big reveal, and the foreman was in on it too as he had to let me and my helper off-shift a little early so we could make these. So we dived into the kitchen and started work. While I got the meat into a pot, and started chopping the onion, my mate sliced up the rest and got the tacos laid out ready to go. About 6 minutes later we were putting the first one together. A decent spread of pork, some lettuce, grated carrot and sliced onion, topped with some beetroot and folded over, on to the next. Less than half a minute each. Pretty soon we had about 2 dozen tacos to feed 8 guys. They weren't big tacos, but 3 per guy worked out to be enough.
By the time we were done and ready to serve, everyone else was in the smoko shed and starting to unwrap sandwiches and open bags of chips. In we walk with two trays full of these. Everyone just cheered, because they know that I always have good stuff after a visit into Hamilton for review samples. Everyone tucked in and, well, no-one spoke for about 10 minutes. All you could hear was chewing and little moans of delight. These were a real hit. The feedback was that everyone loved the pulled pork, and it came through as you ate, not getting drowned out by the onion or beetroot.
This was a really simple meal for a bunch of hard working guys, and it took two of us about 15 minutes all up to make enough to feed 8 hungry adults. If I had tried to make the same thing with mince, it would have taken about half and hour or more I think. The value is pretty good if you look at it like this. I later worked out that it would have cost around $50 all up, which makes this a really cheap feed. The foreman is even talking about convincing the boss to make it a once-a-week thing, paid for by the company, as long as I'm willing to do the chef-stuff. I can handle that! I didn't get a chance to do a photo though - time was running out and we still had work to do afterwards.
Usually I have the day off on a Tuesday, so it takes the pressure off some, but as everyone is sick in the region, I am it and I need to cover all the stores and really there are not enough hours in the day! Add two very busy girls and I don't know if I am going to be coming or going this week. I finished work at 2pm, had an assignment to do, picked girls up and my youngest said she did not want to go to Ballet and my eldest is sick so who was I to argue. Finished assignment, done homework then somehow I managed to fall asleep on the couch and next minute it was 6 pm and I find hubby and the girls were happily playing Xbox. I stumbled into the kitchen and thought perfect lets put this to the test.
I used the microwave method. I put it into a dish with a lid and put on for 3 minutes (it says 2.5 but our microwave is under a 1000 watts). Pulled it out turned it over, covered with sauce and put back in for another 2 minutes. In the mean time got all the ingredients ready, left over coleslaw from last night, fried up some Caramelized onions, grated cheese and all was done. Pulled it out once ready and grabbed two forks ripping it apart and it was ready. So simple!
Put the wraps in the microwave then added all the ingredients and dinner was ready in less that ten minutes - now that is what I call a fast! The next hurdle was to see if everyone ate and enjoyed it - well no worries there, besides my sick daughter both my husband and youngest asked for more and the three of them raved about it and said it was so yummy and I tend to agree. The sauce on it was perfect so I didn't need to add anything extra to the meal.
The quantity actually worked for us because of all the extra items I included and I found after the three of us had seconds that there was still extra Pulled Pork left, which if my eldest had had another it would of done us all nicely. I absolutely love the convenience of this dish and as I had four clean plates I am sure it will be on the menu again in no time at all.
My partner loves pulled pork and up until a few weeks ago there was always a pouch of BBQ sauce style pulled pork sitting in our fridge for him to use in his sandwiches, his absolute favourite! Sadly however we have searched the supermarkets high and low and it seems that we can no longer find this product. When I saw the Heat 'N' Eat Ready to Pull NZ Pork up for review, I was delighted to see that there was a similar product on the market that perhaps we could replace our past favourite pulled pork with, fingers crossed!
I arrived home with my review goods and showed my partner what I had in the package he was very happy to see that this included a box of ready to pull pork! For dinner that night we decided to use this pork to make toasted sandwiches as I hadn't remembered to get any meat out of the freezer. Opening the box for the first time I saw that the meat came in a heavy duty plastic packaging which was VERY well sealed, no chance of leakages here! To open it up there appeared to be a slit that you could tear however this wasn't seeming to work for me and so I resorted to using the scissors! Inside the plastic pouch there was lot's of sauce and 2 large chunks of pork, to which I decided for this meal I only needed one piece. The meat was super simple to prepare, I popped it into a microwave safe dish heated it for a couple of minutes, turned and basted it and then heated again for a few more minutes before it was ready to pull apart using 2 forks. The only gripe I had when it came to pulling the pork was that it had a MASSIVE layer of fat on top which I had to chuck off, I know many people would love to eat this however we do not! We layered the meat onto our bread with some cheese and tomato and toasted it in a sandwich press, the results delicious, the meat juicy and tender.
With the remaining meat I again heated it as per microwave instructions and used it as a pizza topping paired with thinly sliced apple, bacon, capsicum and cheese and this worked great, lovely big chunks of pork that was so flavoursome, there was a hint of smokey apple flavours coming through in the sauce and everybody who ate the pizza said it was really nice (there were 5 of us who ate the pizzas.
I really can't complain about this product other than the layer of fat I came across, and will probably buy this product again as my partner has said he would love it as a replacement. It does cost a lot more than we would usually be paying but in saying that it also a lot more meaty and on sandwiches a little does go along way, this certainly is a quality product made from NZ sourced meat. A great product which I can envision many more uses for, I can't wait to try the steak in the range.
In a hurry yet again (so what's new!), I thought this was the perfect time to try this dish. I had just worked an eight-hour day and then driven for five hours without a break, and there were two visitors coming for dinner. But I did not want to serve takeaways. Pulled pork to the rescue! The packet said it served four, so there would be plenty for us with seconds if required.
On checking the packaging, I realised I could reheat it in the microwave rather than in the oven (which I had done with the other two varieties in this range that I have tried previously). I also saw that there were already tomatoes and apple included in the sauce so made the brave decision to simply serve it with mashed potato and forget about any other trimmings - we could always have fruit for pudding afterwards if anyone felt deprived of their meat-and-two-veg meal! And finally, I used the ultimate cheat: instant mashed potatoes because I did not have any of the fresh variety to hand.
My friends, a middle-aged couple, were both quick to praise the pork. The first comment from both of them was that they could not believe how tender it was. One commented that there was plenty of gravy which was a bonus - she had eaten pulled pork before and found it too dry; this, on the other hand, was moist and flavoursome. Her partner commented that it was so tasty that it was sensible to have served it with potato and nothing else because there was nothing to take away from the piquancy of the sauce.'
My own impression was similar to theirs. I loved the combination of flavours in the meat-and-sauce mix with the relatively bland mashed potato, and was intrigued by the way the apple had blended in - I could just taste it, but it did not overpower the result. There was just this suspicion of sweet-and-tart in the background which added to the overall effect. It reminded me in some ways of barbecued ribs which have been marinated first and then served with the boiled and thickened marinade poured over just before serving, but the meat was so much more tender done this way.
The bonus was that the meal took exactly five minutes to prepare from start to finish, and it was superb. Of the three varieties I have tried in this range, it was without doubt the best. For a little over $20 altogether I had prepared a filling and totally delicious meal for three hungry people. There was plenty to go round although I admit that there were no leftovers because I dished it all up at the start. Next time I try this dish, I am going to take a bit longer and serve it with a kumara mash. I can see that a sweeter version of the potato could work very well. And this mash will not be out of a packet!
On my way home from work I ended up stuck in traffic for over an hour. Walking in the door, I really had no energy to cook a large meal from scratch. So instead, I worked simply. I had croissants, and a packet of heat 'n' eat pulled pork. Having tried the blade steak cooked in the oven, and the pulled beef in the microwave, I found the blade steak a lot more tender and flaky. So I decided to cook the pulled pork in the oven to see whether it ended up softer and flakier.
The plastic packaging in the box has always been a little difficult to rip open, so I just went straight for the scissors. Placing the meat into a deep oven dish I had lined with foil, I covered it over and left it in the preheated oven for a good 20 minutes. While I waited for the meat to heat, I cut my croissants in half (yes I know that's not how you are meant to eat them), and added a layer of tasty cheese to some, and added a peanut satay sauce to others.
When the meat finished heating, I removed it from the oven and pulled it apart with two forks. As with the pulled beef, the pulled pork again held together much better than the blade steak. It was easy enough to pull apart, but still curious that out of the three, the steak was the tenderest. Ensuring to allow the meat to baste in the juices, I then added the meat to the croissants I ended up being able to fill (overfill in some people's opinions) six croissants, so pretty good amount of meat. Of course the pulling of the meat allows the meat to have the illusion of a larger volume, which would help with portion control.
Really, beyond me saying that the cooking instructions worked, and it was easy to do, all you need to do is look at the photo. The meat pulls easy enough, but also holds together well. So it's at your own discretion as to how thick or thin you want your meat. When pulling, most of the juices were absorbed, and most of it stayed in the meat, so it was juicy, but didn't cause a mess when it came to eating it.
An easy meal, that took 25 minutes all up to prepare, but only really 3 minutes of work. The rest was just waiting.
I'm a simple man, with simple tastes... especially when it comes to food. I like variety, but I'm not one for overly-exotic tastes, so a nice pulled-pork is a great match for me. However, despite many, many attempts, I have never been successful in making a decent pulled-pork myself. While it is bad form to blame the tools, I think my cheap slow-cooker is more of a casserole dish, as it doesn't so much slow-cook and moderate-speed cook even on it's lowest setting. Meat is tough and chewy after only 2-3 hours in this demonic beast. So... I rely on the expertise of experts, and usually get my Pulled-Pork fix from a Mexican restaurant chain when I visit Auckland once or twice a year.
I was excited to try this ready-to-go variant though, as I had tasted it at a recent food expo and really liked what I tasted... although I thought it was a little "quiet" on the whole. When I got this box into the kitchen, I decided to try it a number of ways, so portioned off three roughly-equal sections of meat, and set to work on my first test - pulled pork on rice. In my youth, I was fortunate enough to travel through the Southern states of America, and even into the northern regions of Mexico, so had plenty of interesting memories to compare this against. Alas, I found it was, indeed, very muted in terms of flavour - I was expecting something with a lot more kick. However, one must keep in mind that Kiwis, on the whole, have quite a mild palate, and it's a lot easier to spice something up, than tone it down. Thus, this makes a good starting point for those who like really strong flavours, but shouldn't offend those who prefer something a little more muted.
My second test was again something simple - toasties. I grabbed some Tip Top Sandwich Thins, put a dash of chilli sauce on them, then some colby cheddar cheese, and a divided the second portion of meat amongst them. A few minutes in the sandwich press - until the meat was hot and the cheese was starting to split, and it was time to tuck in. This turned out to be my favourite of the three options I tried. The third being an utterly disasterous attempt to make pork-stuffed bread rolls. The fault there was my own lack of forethought though - I didn't take into account the amount of sauce/juice the meat would release during the cooking process, and it soaked the bread dough so badly the buns collapsed and burned in the oven. However, that is one I want to try again - perhaps with the Artisano blade steak variety - and this time I will make sure I don't use any of the sauce, only the meat... or maybe heat the meat first, then drain it and wrap the dough around it before baking. Looking forward to experimenting with that actually.
Overall, this was a good option, and one that will be sure to save you time in the kitchen should you want something versatile, quick but not rubbish. It's a great option to keep aside of you need to impress on short notice - less than 20 minutes from "Oh... Hi! Come on in..." to "Would you care for some amazing beef chilli? It's been in the slow-cooker all day!
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