Recipe: Barbecue pulled pork

We have now had two fairly warm/dry-ish weekends on the bounce which is enough for me to declare it BBQ season!  I decided to kick off with some pulled pork - which requires minimal fuss or BBQ maintenance, and mostly just falls back on slow cooking.

It turned out really well - better than my last pulled pork (which was still a big hit at the bbq), and people seemed to enjoy it.

The BBQ sauce

(my coleslaw/pulled pork/bbq sauce sandwich made with leftovers today!) 

I decided not to be too wild with the sauce and just create a simple sweet/smokey ketchup based sauce for the pork - it only takes 10 minutes and is super simple (plus, it can actually be kept in the fridge for a while if you make more of it - this recipe is basically just the amount needed for this amount of pork)

  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • couple dashes worcestshire sauce
  • couple dashes hot sauce (something like Franks Hot Sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper seasoning
  • 250ml ketchup

  1. Stick all the ingredients except the ketchup in a saucepan, stir together over a medium heat
  2. It should fairly quickly become a dark, tar-like substance (sounds delicious right?), once combined stir in the ketchup and heat further. It should probably be a reasonable consistency after about 10 minutes simmering, but if not then just reduce until it hits your desired thickness
  3. Transfer to a bowl/jar/bottle for serving

The Pork

It was actually a massive piece of pork that I ended up cooking - having fed 4 people for dinner and lunch, plus with about a third left over.  For the rub, I just used the end of a previous batch (see recipe here) - which is good timing as it means I will be creating a new rub pretty soon.  For reasons of convenience and time, I cheated on the cooking and did the bulk of the work in the oven.

  • A decent piece of pork shoulder - the piece I had was easily 1.5kg. If you have a butcher or decent meat counter at your local supermarket you can just tell them how many you are cooking for and they should be able to advise
  • Some dry rub (see here for the one I used) - enough to liberally season the pork - I probably had about 5 heaped tablespoons (going by eye)
  • A barbecue with a lid 
  • Smoking chips (optional)


  1. Liberally season the pork with the dry rub and pat on with your fingertips

  2. Sit the pork in a roasting tray - ideally sitting on a rack if possible so not sitting directly on the base of the tin

  3. Add cold water to the tin to about 1cm deep (again, if using the rack, fill so the water doesn't reach the pork), then cover the tin with a foil tent

  4. Heat the oven to 110 degrees centigrade (for a fan oven - adjust accordingly for your own oven, but probably adding around 20 degrees for non fan) and put the pork in

  5. Cook in the oven for 4+ hours (depending on your time and size of the pork) - I cooked mine in the oven for about 6 hours

  6. As you are approaching time to remove the pork from the oven, start the barbecue. Once flames have simmered own and the coals are white hot, but the pork on the barbecue and cook indirectly (e.g. have the hot coals on one side of the barbecue and place the pork on the other side so not directly over the coals

  7. Add your smoking chips if using, and close the barbecue - leave to cook for at least an hour (I left mine on the barbecue for more like 3 hours), replenishing smoking chips appropriately

  8. Remove from barbecue and fork the pork to serve (making sure it is cooked properly of course!)

rob hinds Shambolically fumbling my way around the kitchen

Birthday cake

It was my wife's birthday recently, so I had to go on the hunt for a good cake recipe. It's fairly un-familiar ground for me, normally when looking for a recipe or technique there are one or two sites that I would be my de-facto go-to sites, but I don't really have that baseline for cake recipes.

My not-very-inspired googling lead to this site:  The best chocolate cake recipe ever and failing to find anything else that was convincing enough I used this.  One other plus of the recipe is that it is measured in cups - which is much more child friendly - with digital scales its far too easy to get precious about precise figures, but its much easier to let a 3 year old just fill up some cups and not worry than to get them to read the scales!

The cake was fine. Wife was happy that it tasted good and was very moist, but my conclusion is that I'm not really a fan of chocolate cake. I mean, of course I like brownies, and sticky fudgey goo that resembles a cake, but chocolate-y sponge-y type cakes just don't do it for me.

I just used the sponge recipe, and only made one tier and then used a chocolate icing recipe from Peggy Porschen - which for me was the highlight. Although, to be honest, I'm not sure that any recipe that is made up of cream, cream cheese, sugar, chocolate and butter could be anything but amazing.  The original was taken from her Boutique Baking - I amended the ingredients for convenience (enough to easily cover a cake)


  • 225 grams sifted icing sugar
  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 70ml whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 80 grams choc chunks
  • 180 grams cream cheese (this is more than needed, but I just jammed in the whole tub of phillidelphia)


  1.  Heat the cream on a medium heat, once it brings to simmer take it off the heat and pour it over the choc chunks and caster sugar in a bowl. Mix together until smoothe and glossy. Set aside to set at room temperature.

  2. In another bowl, whisk the cream cheese until light and creamy

  3. In a final bowl add the icing sugar, butter and salt - cream until light and fluffy

  4. Once the choc mix has set, probably only 10 minutes or so - I didn't have to wait around whilst doing the other bits - add a third of it into the cream cheese and mix through

  5. Next, add the remaining choc mix to the buttercream, mixing as you go. Once fully mixed jam in the choc-cheese mix and combine again.
rob hinds Shambolically fumbling my way around the kitchen