The quest for easy, slow-cooking meat with beer

I have embarked on something of a quest. Pulled-pork, barbecue brisket, slow roasts and all kinds of time-swallowing recipes for cooking meat have been grabbing my attention. While a lot of them have me drooling over the keyboard, most of the recipes I’ve seen appear to be quite demanding, and not just in time. I am determined to find an easier way without compromising on the taste.

Shoulder of pork slow cooked in beer

The quest for simple pulled pork

Of course, I’m looking for a beer slant, either from marinade/brining, braising, or saucing, and, needless to say, as accompaniment. The beers used must complement or contrast but generally contribute. And the other ingredients should ideally enhance and highlight the beers: “hoppy” aromatics like rosemary, thyme (match resinous, piney hops), mild onions for sweetness and depth, and roasted lemons (I’m thinking).

My quest demands simplicity as antidote to recipes that require equipment and methods geared to either the professional or the extremely dedicated. However, the one piece of equipment I’m going to insist on is the meat thermometer. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a cheap probe with an analogue dial will do. It might seem odd to say, but you can overcook slow-cooked meat, and the thermometer takes the guesswork away. You need to know when it’s time to pull the pork out. So to speak.

What to cook then? Shoulder cuts of meat, pork of course. But what else? Can one pull lamb as well? A veal shoulder? Got to attempt beef brisket, but simply, reliably and with beer. And can we serve these in ways that are worthy of dinner?

I’ve made one attempt already, as you can see from the picture. Pulled-style shoulder of pork with Fuller’s Golden Pride and London Porter. Come back and see how I got on.

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