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Friday, 9 December 2016

Pulled Pork Burgers - Student Heaven

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Cooking Time: Around 8 hours

These days, you can't turn a corner of Glasgow's bustling city centre without being faced with a burger restaurant. They seem to be invading the world and, as a big burger fan, this is bittersweet. As a student, money is tight, and so I can't afford to be going out every second day to devour a burger the size of my face. Also, there's the whole health thing. A healthy body results in a healthy mind, and so I am trying to reduce the amount of salts and unhealthy fats that I am eating, especially on the run up to exam season.

Luckily enough, there is a solution to both these problems - make the burgers yourself. I know, big shock, but being a student does not mean you cannot cook. In fact, I love it! It will save you money and be good for your health, win-win! You don't need to miss out on the social side either, invite your friends round and recreate that burger restaurant in your own kitchen, and add yet another pop-up burger bar to your city.


- Slow Cooker (This recipe can be done in the oven, but a slow cooker is such a worth-while investment. I got mine for £15 from Amazon, and it means that I have my dinner cooking while I'm at the library studying. Nothing beats coming home and having your dinner ready for you!)


  • 2 red onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Extra veg: mushrooms, carrots, peas (optional)
    • Apple chunks are an amazing addition
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Lo-Salt (which has 66% less sodium than normal salt)
  • Spices (I like mine mild, but spices are a great way to add flavour without extra salt, so add more or less to personal taste)
    • 1 tablespoon each of cayenne pepper and paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin and cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 pork shoulder, fat trimmed off (one of the cheapest cuts of meat you can get)
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup (optional)


  1. Thinly slice the onions and garlic and lay across the bottom of the slow cooker before pouring over the stock and extra veg (if using).
  2. Combine the spices, sugar and Lo-Salt in a bowl and rub the mixture over the pork.
  3. Lay the pork in the slow cooker
  4. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low (basically until the pork can be pulled apart easily with a fork)
  5. Take off the heat and strain the contents of the slow cooker, being sure to keep the liquid that you pour out.
  6. Shred the pork using a fork, and discard any fat.
  7. Add the solids back into the slow cooker and mix in the BBQ sauce and ketchup (if using) and small amounts of the drained liquid (skim the fat from the top first) until the pork is just moist.
    • (You can just use the drained liquid if you are avoiding processed sauces)
  8. Mix well, and serve in your favourite burger buns (mine are the Mediterranean ones) or in wraps.
  9. Once cooled, put any spare (this is rare since it tastes so good) in a sealed container in the fridge. Tastes amazing the next day as a packed lunch, as the spices really infuse the meat.

Enjoy your tastier, healthier and cheaper burgers, and let me know how you got on in the comments below!

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