Instead of spending hours in the kitchen to produce tender, pulled pork, there’s a new short cut for clever cooks.

Pulled meats are the latest fad on menus around town and there’s hardly a cafe without a pulled pork, beef or chicken roll to tempt your tummy.

The ingredients are simple but making pulled meat at home can take a long time, says Caxton St Catering Chef Simon Pettigrew.

“The process of making shredded meat in a home kitchen is quite a long one,” Simon says. “It does take quite a few ingredients to flavour the meat and then to slow cook the meat takes three to four hours.  A lot of people just don’t have the time to do this process.

Simon has been developing dishes using SunPork’s new slow cooked shredded meats which are available in supermarkets in 250gm packs.

“You would be surprised how far 250g of shredded meat can go when used in meals such as pasta, salad, soups and Mexican dishes,” Simon says. “I was really impressed with the tenderness of the Sunpork meat. I loved the flavours!”

There’s another good reason why pulled or shredded meat is so popular on menus – it’s a very versatile product.  You can add shredded meat to noodle soups, throw it on the top of pizzas or add it pasta with a sauce.

Here are some of the recipes Simon has developed…

Pork and Apple Slaw Sliders

Makes 8 sliders or 4 large rolls

INGREDIENTS

1 pack Sunpork Shredded Pork

150g prepared coleslaw

2 spring onions, greens only, thinly sliced

½ green apple, cut into fine strips

Juice of ½ lemon

3-4 tablespoons coleslaw dressing or chilli mayo

Salt and pepper

8 small round or 4 large bread rolls

METHOD

  1. Place the pork in a bowl and break up any lumps with your fingers.
  2. Add the coleslaw, onion greens and apple strips.
  3. Mix lemon juice and coleslaw or mayo, salt and pepper and stir through the salad, mixing well.
  4. Cut rolls in half, lightly toast the cut surfaces and butter lightly.
  5. Fill generously with the pork and apple salad. Serve at once.

Chicken Rice Paper Rolls

Makes 12

INGREDIENTS

1 pack Sunpork Shredded Chicken

4 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

12 Vietnamese rice papers

12 small sprigs of fresh coriander

12 soft lettuce leaves

1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks

1/2 Lebanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks

50g bean sprouts

1/3 pack snow pea sprouts

METHOD

  1. Place chicken in a bowl, breaking up any clumps.
  2. In a small bowl or screw-top jar combine the sweet chilli and fish sauces with lime or lemon juice and sugar, stirring or shaking to mix and dissolve the sugar.
  3. Pour half over the chicken and mix well.
  4. Pour warm water into a bowl and spread a clean tea towel on a worktop.
  5. Moisten one Vietnamese rice paper in the water until it is soft and pliable, but do not soak for more than about 15 seconds. Place on the tea towel and turn down the top edge of the rice paper.
  6. Place a coriander sprig in the middle of the wrap slightly above the centre line. Top with chicken, a piece of lettuce and a few strips of carrot, cucumber and snow pea sprouts, allowing their ends to protrude over the folded edge.
  7. Fold bottom edge of wrap over the filling, then roll in sides to make a firm wrap. Wrap remaining rolls in the same way.
  8. Stir 2-3 tablespoons of water into the remaining sauce to serve as a dipping sauce.

Rice rolls are best served soon after making, but to prepare in advance spray plate and rolls lightly with vegetable oil to prevent the rice paper drying out, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Keep refrigerated until served.