As a group of friends who are very skint and slightly competitive, we took on the challenge to take it in turns, one at a time to prep our own three course meal, complete with drinks and scores. Essentially buying a house means you’re going to have no cash, and no drive to go spend what you do have on overpriced cocktails after work every weekend – sorry to disappoint you. I do still want to buy loads of trainers though, that never goes away.
As the most organised of the group, I took it upon myself to go first – and who knew it would be so difficult to cater for four people with all different tastes. I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to food, as is N, so when somebody tells me they don’t like spice (I’m looking at you, the kid ordering chicken korma and chips at your local indian), it baffled what I could possibly make that would have any flavour. After some serious thought, and a lot of time scouring Pinterest, I opted to go for a summer themed menu of homemade humous with meats and bread, followed by pulled pork & slaw, finishing with a white chocolate cheesecake. And at the end we’d all need to be rolled home.
I planned to go out on the night before i’d offered to cook, so everything needed to be prepped in advance. Cheesecake was made first, two nights before. Big thanks to the BBC Good Food website who saved me in my hour of need.
I decided it was easiest to make a main that I could throw in the slow cooker – (FYI, I love my slow cooker, I may as well be a slow cooker salesman), so on the Thursday night I marinated the pork, and left in the fridge overnight, meaning the next morning it all just needed to be thrown in (not advised smelling red wine the morning after a lot of prosecco & cocktails). When I got home from work the pork was ready to go, and with sides of sweet potato mash with lime, spring onion & chilli, grilled corn on the cob, and homemade coleslaw – I think I pretty much nailed it. Although if the food didn’t work, then i’m sure the jug of Sangria and six bottles of prosecco we worked our way through would.
I cheated slightly with the starter, it wasn’t all home cooked but the humous was made on the night and served with M&S’s finest seed baguette. And the main & dessert more than made up for it, but obviously i’m bias.
Looks like i’ll have plenty of time to get practice being a domestic goddess in anyway, since the house is going to need a LOT of time and money…
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
A great piece of meat to serve with friends, can be served with a variety of sides including mash & slaw, or as a sandwich with apple sauce
The prep for this pulled pork is nice and easy as it’s all done the night before and added to the slow cooker in the morning. This was a recipe from Sarah Wilson’s sugar free programme, which we played with to make a bit lazier!
- 1-1.5kg pork shoulder
- 3 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chipotle chilli powder
- 3 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp whole fennel seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp all spice (or cinnamon)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (rapeseed or olive oil works too)
- glass red wine or stock (around 125ml)
- 80ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 small glass red wine (around 100ml)
- 2 tbsp Sweet Freedom (or honey works well)
- Mix all of the spices together in a bowl, and rub these into your pork shoulder, refrigerate overnight. If you’re short on time you can set aside for two hours instead of overnight.
- The next morning, add your pork joint to the slow cooker, and turn on low. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 5 hours.
- 30 minutes before serving, take the pork out of the slow cooker and set aside in a big dish. Take off the fat from the top of the joint (you could use this for crackling if you wished) and shred the pork meat. Add the shredded meat back into the slow cooker and turn on high, leave the lid off so the sauce thickens.
- Serve with sweet potato & slaw, or as a sandwich or burritos if you’d prefer.
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