How was your Pulled Pork?


After our American friend arrived a couple of days ago we had lunch at a local pub. Our friend from California is having extensive additions and renovations done on his house. He needed to live elsewhere for the duration of this. He is renting a house in the never never of Sydney’s sprawled-out Western suburbs. In the past it would have been referred to as beyond the black stump. In the earlier days of colonisation, the black stump was a landmark used as a pointer to unmapped interior of Australia. This sunburnt never never country. The black stump, a burnt-out tree!

After arriving and perusal of menu, Helvi chose the Pizza with anchovies and my friend and I went for the brisket sandwich. My friend explained this is a traditional Jewish dish. A kind of pulled slow cooked beef. What is it about this pulling of meat lately? There is now a race on to have ‘pulled’ meat dishes on menus. Especially pulled pork. Not long ago it was the pink salt or Himalayan salt. Soon after the wooden platters or slate on which food was served. Remember the waiter going around with giant pepper grinders? That’s old hat now. We have ‘pulled’ pork or beef. Are cooks pulling on a piece of meat before cooking it?

It is all so confusing. Are people now socialising, talking about their latest ‘pulled pork platter’ at the Berlin Café? I can’t imagine asking a nice sophisticated lady during the interval at Beethoven’s ninth symphony at Sydney’s Opera house, ‘ How was your pulled pork today?’

Within about ten minutes or so, our dishes were ready. This pub gives you an electronic buzzer which always frightens me a bit when they go off. So much now is done electronically. This pub is very popular. It means those devices are going off almost continuously with people dancing around from table to table.  With my deafness I sometimes mistake this noise with a call on my mobile phone. I now don’t take my phone with me. Even so I react. It is so crazy out there. Life so much nervous reaction which I can do without.

The patrons then walk to the counter and pick up their dishes. With the introduction of wooden plates it is an art  to walk back without spilling pulled meat or anchovies onto other diners. This is especially so during Friday nights when people go around selling raffle tickets. Most pubs do that. The tickets are raised to fund charity for the poor home-less or football clubs. Lions clubs or Father Riley, The Smith family and so forth.

After we picked up our wooden platters of food, we got stuck into it. The juices from this pulled brisket sandwich soon flowed onto the wooden platter. Those wooden platters don’t have a rim like good ceramic plates have. I made a little dike with a paper napkin. This building of dikes comes naturally. Even so, it distracts and the brisket wasn’t all that well pulled. Enfin, we continued on. Our American friend commented that it was nothing like his mother’s brisket cooking.

Is anything ever like our mother’s?


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25 Responses to “How was your Pulled Pork?”

  1. Christine Says:

    Hahaha ha
    Only yesterday, my husband said in irritated fashion: ‘What is it with this pulled pork thing?’

    Liked by 2 people

  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Christine. Heaven only knows what else gets pulled in the kitchens.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. auntyuta Says:

    I do not understand what the meaning of ‘pulled’ is.
    If ever I am going to have a meal at this pub I’ll ask them to give me a plate for my meal instead of that wooden board.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Helvi says, the meat is pulled apart by the cook’s fork. I am not sure but suddenly it has arrived on menus all over the place.
      My other friend who comes from Greece always asks for normal plates and tells them he is willing to pay extra.
      Another way would be to take own plates.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Christine Says:

      A lot of people feel that the wooden ‘plate’ is unhygienic. I’m not sure. Sometimes, our meals come to us on great heavy plates, like something from the garden. If you are small, you feel you need to stretch up, to get arms over the edges of these plates; some have upturned rims.
      Once I asked, ever so politely, for a flat plate – only to be told by the young man that he had designed these “cereal bowls’. He seemed genuine – but you never know.

      Very amusing piece, Gerard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, they would be unhygienic. People carve meat on them leaving cuts in the wood. They could easily harbour germs and other bacteria.
        It’s crazy. Why have food on wood? What next, food on carton or small surf-boards, Frisbee?


  4. berlioz1935 Says:

    Gerard your description of a rimless, wooden platter is good entertainment. Where is this mysterious Berlin Cafe?

    My mother too was the best cook and baker I ever encountered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The Berlin Café is in Balmain and has been there for at least thirty years. Originally it was so good. The best Kranskis with sauerkraut. It had real veal with mashed potatoes.
      It was run by two German women and so popular. It was the best. An icon of years gone by.
      It is still there but a very expensive shadow of its former self. Full of pony-tailed lawyers and Family Court specialists feasting on overcharging hapless clients going through expensive Court trials.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. leggypeggy Says:

    I think pulled pork was imported here from the US because I have known about it for many years—moved to Australia in 1982. I made pulled pork for the first time about two weeks ago. The recipe was on a page 32 and will appear soon on my cooking blog. It was a sensational dish. And although my mother never cooked pulled pork, I think she would have been impressed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I think those with American experiences do know all about pulled pork. I can’t wait to see your blog about it, Leggypeggy.
      My mother was good cook and achieved wonders with little ingredients. I remember her pea-soup with rookworst during cold winters.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres Says:

    I grew up eating pulled pork sandwiches, so it goes back at least 60-70 years in the American midwest, and perhaps farther than that. A very slowly roasted pork loin would be shredded, then combined with onions, garlic, a nice savory barbeque sauce, and then cooked for a while longer. It ended up as tender as could be, and absolutely delicious.

    There are some restaurants I know where good pulled pork still can be found. They’re generally smaller joints, with patient people and good pits outside the back door. A good pulled pork and a cold beer at an outside table is just the way to celebrate spring.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Linda. I now understand pulled pork. I suppose the verb ‘pull’ had me baffled. My American friend reckons the brisket is beef shoulder slowly cooked as well. I forgot to ask him if there was such a thing as pulled beef.

      I now must try pulled pork next. It might even fix my back.

      Our brisket sandwiches did have onions and lots of garlic as well as cucumber. It was just so messy. Milo had half of the brisket which we had wrapped in the paper napkins.

      After arrival back home he always knows there is something for him. He loved it. Some hours later there were all those bits of shredded napkins on the floor. He had managed to pull them out of the bin and gorged himself on the napkin’s soaked up juices. The place looked as if toddlers had been having some fun with tissue-paper.


  7. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I have never understood what pulled meant other than I figured that the meat was very tender and one could pull if from the bone. I read Linda’s take on it and now I understand. I hope the friend from Callie has a good visit. He must have money to burn if he can come to Aussie land while he is remodeling his home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Ivonne. Glad you too were baffled by the term pulled pork. My American Callie friend actually lives in Australia permanently. We know him from decades ago while we were living in the inner city of Balmain. He stayed put and his house now is undergoing all the renovations and additions. In the meantime he has to live somewhere else.

      You should hear him on Trump. So angry.

      I hope you are not too irritated by my brisket and pulled pork talk, Ivonne.
      We do normally eat very good food and at least twice a week fish with lots of vegetable.
      The American friend too has reformed, and given up for good all Coke or drinks with sugar. He also eats mainly vegetable dishes with salmon.
      We just drank water with our food in the pub.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    I think “pulled” in relation to pork can be translated in a similar way as in dick. It may do at a pinch, but it’s ultimately not as satisfying as a good robust bit of meat.

    I can’t believe I just wrote that 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Big M Says:

    A worthy addition to your observations about food on wooden slabs, and drinks in old jars. I refused to stay in a cafe the other day because, rather than being funky and unique, it was hot, dirty, noisy, with my skinny arse poking through the worn out chair. All of the plates, cutlery and furniture were completely mismatched, and some broken. They too had a stock of jam jars for drinks.

    I have noticed partly cooked pulled pork and beef available in the supermarkets. I suspect this is the sort of stuff used by these ‘pulling’ restaurants!

    I also wonder about the freshness of the meat in the meat raffle after it has done the rounds of the pub?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, drinks in jam jars with handles. No one wants to be seen lagging behind.
      Be very careful with crumbed chicken schnitzels, Big M. It can have as low as 50% pureed chicken. Most of it is an alloy made up of everything except chicken.
      There are warnings out for all sorts of food.
      It’s almost worth taking a metal detector in supermarkets for scanning food.
      I once lost my mobile phone. I got it back after I rang it. It went off at the back of the lettuces. It had slipped out of my shirt pocket trying to reach a lettuce from the back.

      Liked by 1 person

    • algernon1 Says:

      I think it depends on the butcher who prepares them. Our local did a lot of meat trays for the local pubs. Made them up the same day.

      i wonder what they pull in these pulling restaurants.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. tulipels Says:

    And then that lovely word you used “enfin”.

    Liked by 1 person

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