Y'know, one of those ones that makes you just want to dig a hole, jump in and pull it closed over you. Let us examine the reasons for this:
- I put €20 diesel in my car yesterday morning, and by the time I got home, the fuel light was on again. I had to put another 20 friggin quid in it this morning. Now, I don't know about you, but for me, €100 a week on diesel is just not sustainable. A note to my American readers (as I know there are a few of you): lest you feel tempted to complain about the price of gas, spare a thought for your cousins across the pond - diesel here is currently at the equivalent of $7.25 a gallon. Petrol is even worse again, at about $9.80 a gallon. And the happy news is that those prices are only likely to rise. Oh joy.
- I applied to see if I'm eligible for an income-levy refund and came home from work yesterday to find a massive package from the Revenue Commissioners telling me I need to fill out full income tax returns for the two years in question before they can process my claim. WTF? Everyone else I know who applied either got a cheque or a "Ha ha, we don't owe you anything letter" straight back, not a small forest's worth of forms to fill out. I have long said that it's complete pot luck whether anything you send into the Revenue actually makes its way to someone who knows what they're doing. Clearly, my application landed on the desk of a Fás reject who had no idea what to do with it and decided to try and fob me off instead. Well, I won't be fobbed, I WILL NOT, I tells ya! I'll be on to them first thing tomorrow with my best angry voice.
- I got paid this morning and am still €30 in the red. Not helped by the fact that I got emergency taxed, even though payroll have my P45. See point above about the efficiency of the Revenue service in Ireland, so I can probably expect the tax to be refunded some time in 2017, when, with inflation, it will be worth approximately 49c.
Indeed, pretty much the only redeeming factor about today is the fact that I won't have to make dinner this evening, as we'll be having the remainder of the pulled pork. I can just go straight onto the wine when I get in, which is a perfectly legitimate way to deal with a bad day, as we all know.
Anyway, here's day two of the pulled pork recipe. I know three days seems like a lot of effort for what is, essentially, peasant food, but it's pretty much all marinating and cooking time, there's very little actual work involved. You can also amalgamate days two and three if you get the pork on early enough, but I'm splitting them because it gives me an extra blog post, so there.
Pulled Pork Day Two
500ml Coke 250ml cider vinegar
1 tbs nam pla 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs black treacle Couple sprigs fresh thyme
2 chilies, cut in half Bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Large onion, diced 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1. Place your onion, celery, garlic, chili & thyme in the bottom of your slow cooker or casserole and sit your pork on top. As you can see, the pork has gone a gorgeous deep red colour from the spice rub.
2. In a large, shallow bowl, mix the coke, vinegar, nam pla, worcestershire, coriander & treacle. The treacle is like bloody tar, so you'll have to whisk like bejaysis to mix it into the other liquids, which is why you need to use a shallow bowl. Pour the whole lot over your pork, whack on the lid (making sure the pork isn't touching it) and bang it into the oven at 80C for at least eight hours or, if you're using a slow cooker, set it to high and leave for eight hours. Turn the pork over once halfway through cooking.
(As an aside, if you're using the oven and want to get more value for your gas/electrictity money, this is a perfect time to bake potatoes for the thrice-baked spud skins - just throw them into the oven with the casserole. They'll take about 5 hours at this temperature, just slide a knife into them every so often to check if they're done.)
3. To check if the pork is done, grab it with a tongs and give it a pull - if the meat comes away with no effort, it's done; if not, give it another while. When it's finished, remove from the oven/switch off the slow cooker and leave to rest in the cooking liquid.
And that's it for today - as I said, if you get the pork on nice and early in day two, you can continue with the day three steps straightaway, but for the purposes of dragging out this blog as much as possible, we'll come back to it tomorrow.