Why I've A Serious Pain In My Hole With Pulled Pork
It used to be the most exciting dish in town. But now, every day, I come to loathe it more and more
You can't pick up a menu in Dublin these days without seeing pulled pork on it.
In a bap, with fries, on a BBQ meat tray or served 100 other ways. For a country that had barely heard of the concept three years ago, a whole new younger generation now seems to hold pulled pork in higher esteem than the humble spud. Imagine!
What started in a couple of uber-hipster places like the Fumbally and Brother Hubbard has quickly fed into the ecosystem of Irish restaurants and cafes – and beyond. You can now get pulled pork at a Spar Deli, in Centra, O'Briens and a whole myriad of similar culinary hotspots across the land.
Now I wouldn't mind pulled pork in general.
I'd maybe order it twice a year when the notion took me – in the same way I'd order a bangers and mash, lamb shank or something like a turkey burger. In most of the world it's accorded the niche status it deserves as a nice-to-have treat every once in a while, but we Irish seem to have embraced it like no other.
And now? I've gotten to the point where just the mention of pulled pork makes me puke in my mouth a little.
While you'll get some excellent versions (I'd suggest My Meat Wagon), the nasty versions you get at the low end of the market have started to seriously disgust me and taint the whole thing. Cheap shitty dry meat, slow-cooked until somebody fucks in a jar of BBQ sauce and stirs it all up, then ladles it into a big bap and charges you a fiver for it.
Box-ticking, of course. Seeing other places do it, do it well, and realising they need to be in the game without really understanding how to go about doing that.
If we keep going at this rate people will be whipping out pulled pork rolls at GAA matches, priests will be handing out pulled pork canapes instead of holy communion and the Government will be forced to introduce a pulled pork levy after the biggest producers leverage themselves too much and force themselves into bankruptcy.
Whether it's sitting in the sun until we go bright red, going bananas buying property, or going out for 10 drinks when we said we'd go for one, we Irish certainly can't stop ourselves once we feel we're on to a good thing. We got a taste for that sweet, sticky, slow-cooked meat – and it's spiralled out of control from there.
Time to rein it in lads and move onto the next big thing... sausages.