Tender slow slow-cooked pork

Slow-cooked pork makes a sandwich sing, but add some sharp-sweet Asian slaw and you have a symphony in your hands!

Sandwiches have changed. Those two pieces of bread used to be a convenient way of eating some functional filling. They were practical and efficient – nothing to be fussed over. Now, though, with home-made bread and elaborate fillings, they can command as much attention as a three-course meal.

Few bites are as satisfying as that of crunchy-and-soft bread containing a juicy-crispy filling. Those are sandwiches worth making, and most especially, sandwiches worth eating.

The American South is the home of what is, perhaps, my favourite sandwich filling. They have been eating pulled pork there for generations, but I see it more and more in Ireland these days. Long, slow-cooked pork, so tender you can pull the meat apart, is surely sandwich perfection. This pulled pork recipe, opposite, is less the American South and more South Asia. The five-spice powder is used in pork recipes across Asia and consists of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and Szechuan peppercorns.

As good as the pork is, it's the Asian slaw that really completes this sandwich. The crunch of the cabbage and the sharp-sweet combination of the vinegar and the maple syrup are essential in bringing the best out of the pulled pork.

It's not, of course, completely necessary to make the sesame seed rolls – you could buy fresh bread, or pittas, which I've used in the photo, right; with the pork and slaw these would still be delicious. Yet I love to go all-out, even just for sandwiches. Eating the pulled pork with rolls so fresh they're still warm from the oven should really be tried once. The sesame seeds are just perfect with the Asian pork filling.

Pulled Pork Recipes:

RACHEL RECOMMENDS

‘Apron Strings: Recipes from a Family Kitchen’ published by New Island, is a lovely cookbook written by popular Irish food blogger (and nurse) Nessa Robins. The book is full of lovely recipes and stories about caring for and feeding her four children, as well as recipes when caring for the unwell and elderly. Nessa's food is smart and nourishing and the book is beautifully written from the heart.

See www.newisland.ie

RACHEL’S TIP

I sometimes like to use maple syrup rather than sugar as a sweetener in certain recipes. It brings so much more than just sweetness with its divinely distinctive flavour. Try using it in a butternut squash mash, a favourite salad dressing or even a bread recipe.

Shaneod Apr 02, 2014 News