Pulled pork, Brown Rice and Butternut Squash with plum Sauce

So I’ve been pretty busy the past two weeks. My boyfriend and I went to Glasgow to see our friends last weekend. It was great catching up with everyone. I’ve not been in Glasgow since graduating in July and I miss it so much. It’s such an amazing city, there’s always something on and the restaurants are incredible. There is a massive range of cuisine and specialist dining.

On our first night there we went to Firebird, which I reviewed before. It is possibly my favourite restaurant I’ve ever been to. I had an amazing GF pizza with hanger steak and butter nut squash. I also tried GF beer for the first time. I was never a massive beer drinker so it wasn’t something I ever thought to ask for but I’ve heard that Lavery’s Bar in Belfast are serving it now and I’ve seen four packs of GF beer in Sainsbury’s. The only brand I can see available is Estrella Damm Daura and as someone who liked lite beers this goes down a treat. Are there any other GF beers that are worth trying?

On Sunday evening my friends had planned to go out for dinner to a place called Buddy’s BBQ and Burgers in the Southside of Glasgow. Knowing in advance I was going for dinner I messaged the restaurant and asked about their gluten free choices on the menu. Sadly I was informed that they didn’t explicitly cater for people with gluten allergies and could not guarantee any of their food would be free from contamination. I was pretty disappointed as the menu was positively mouth watering. It’s also sad to hear this as so many restaurants have become more allergy and dietary aware, not just with coeliac disease but other needs. I was pretty surprised that they couldn’t cater for me. They did, however, say that I was more than welcome to bring my own buns with me if I wanted a burger or have the burger bun free. I opted for a bun free burger as the portions looked massive. I was super impressed with the burger and all the other food looked incredible. I didn’t feel ill the next day but then I don’t often get sick from a slight contamination. I wouldn’t recommend this place if you are super sensitive but hopefully they’ll update their menu soon so accommodate us coeliacs.


tasty bun-less burger, bad quality photo

The rest of the trip was spent wondering around parks, floating about and catching up with friends. It was such a lovely break and I’ve made a promise to myself to visit more often this year.

One thing that seems to be everywhere these days is pulled pork, mostly with a barbecue inspired dish but this doesn’t have to be done Americana. I’m not a massive pork fan, its not something I would eat on a regular basis and I’ll never understand the western worlds obsession with bacon but I do love a slow cooked cut of meat with plenty of flavour. I thought about trying to do a healthy pulled pork dish that would also ensure plenty of leftovers for the next day.


After having  a browse online I thought about an Asian style dish packed with veg, diary free and filling but healthy. I used brown rice instead of white rice as its lighter on the stomach and easier to digest and made my own plum sauce. Warning: this dish does take about five hours to make so may be one for a lazy Sunday.

To feed two you will need:

For the pulled pork

One medium boneless shoulder of pork, trimmed

two tbsp of Chinese five spice

1 pint of water

two tbsp of sesame oil

two tbsp of honey

a large glug of GF soy sauce

The plum sauce

4 plums cut in to small chunks

two tbsp of sweet chilli sauce

2 cloves of garlic, grated

3 shallots finely chopped

2 tbsp of GF soy sauce

And the rest

1/4 of a large butter nut squash cut in to small cubes

100g of rice

handful of mange tout

5 bits of baby corn, sliced in to quarters

one red onion in thick (width) slices

pumpkin and sunflower seeds to garnish.

You need to start making this dish five hours before you plan to eat. Take the pork shoulder and rub the five spice and sesame oil all over it, make sure you get every single nook and cranny. Place it in a deep set oven dish and add the water, honey and soy sauce. Cook at 200 C for the first two hours.

After two hours take the pork out and baste it with the sauce that is forming in the dish. Cover in tinfoil, turn down to 160 C and cook for another three hours. Keep an eye on your pork and check how tender it is becoming with a fork throughout its cooking time.

In the meantime you can start on the plum sauce. In a pan, on a medium heat, add all the ingredient and stir until the plums have reduced. Ensure you continuously taste this as it can become a bit tart so you may have to add some honey or sugar to sweeten it slightly. Once the sauce is ready, add to a jug and leave at room temperature. This sauce can be kept in the fridge for two weeks and can also be frozen. If it’s cold by the time you wish to serve, just pop it in a microwave for two minutes.

About half an hour before you plan to eat cook the rice and boil the butter nut squash for about twenty minutes. I dry fried the red onion, baby corn and mange tout for about seven minutes until they just lost the raw texture but still had bite. Once the rice is cooked, add it along with the squash and other veg to a large bowl.

Take your pulled pork out of the oven and tear apart with a fork, in the oven dish ensuring you mop up all that juice. We only used half the shoulder for this dish so had plenty for the next day. Add the pork to the bowl along with the plum sauce and stir well then serve individually with the seeds. I put the plum sauce on the table in case the dish was a bit dry but the pork was so juicy and delicious we didn’t need any more.

This was a brilliant dish as it was so comforting. My flat smelt amazing all day as I was cooking, added bonus. The next day we heated the pork in the microwave and had a salad of avocado, baby gem lettuce, pork and plum sauce.


Pork shoulder is one of the cheapest cuts you can buy. The medium joint cost £2.80 and did four portions, as long as you cook for long enough to ensure the fat is totally rendered down then it makes a delicious and relatively healthy meal. The more I think about this dish the more I could eat it again and again, if only it didn’t take so long to cook.



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