Low-Fat Healthy Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

This is my go to recipe for pulled pork - a healthy, low-fat version which is easy, fool proof and very tasty. The pork is cooked in a slow cooker which makes it soft, juicy and easy to 'pull' apart. The pulled pork meat is mixed with a sweet and spicy tomato-based sauce (which is less sugary than BBQ sauce) before it's served with yummy homemade red cabbage & apple 'slaw.

Diet Friendly Pulled Pork.jpg
Diet Friendly Pulled Pork in a Brioche Bun.jpg

Pulled pork is so good served in brioche buns with red cabbage & apple 'slaw. However, if you swap the bun for some rice you have a healthy, delicious meal. I've made this pulled pork several times recently as I've been doing Slimming World - it works out very low syn served with rice (I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners, I'd rather just syn sugar!) and it's an easy meal for entertaining.

I always make double quantities of pulled pork (i.e. two pork joints and double the sauce) because the leftovers are so versatile. Pulled pork and 'slaw is so good in a wrap, stuffed into a jacket spud, served with cous cous and pomegranate seeds, added into a salad, made into quesadillas etc. The possibilties are endless. Enjoy!


Low-Fat Healthy Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

  • Makes: 4-6 servings
  • Prep time: around 30 minutes hands on time
  • Cooking time: up to 12 hours to slow cook the pork

For the pulled pork:

  • 1 kg pork shoulder joint, visible fat removed
  • 500ml of diet coke (or regular coke if you prefer, or swap for stock)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, bashed but left whole
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)

For the sweet 'n' spicy sauce:

  • 250ml passata
  • 2 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, bashed once but left whole
  • 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp soft brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the red cabbage & apple 'slaw:

  • Around half a red cabbage, stalk removed & finely shredded
  • 1 large / 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 dessert apple, coarsely grated, skin on
  • 3-4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

To make the pork:

  1. Place the pork in a slow cooker. Pour over the diet coke followed by enough stock to just cover the pork joint.
  2. Add the garlic and bay leaves if using. Put the slow cooker on the 'high' setting to bring the liquid to simmering point.
  3. When the liquid is simmering, pop on the lid and reduce to the 'low' setting. Cook the pork for 6-12 hours, depending on how much time you have.
  4. Carefully remove the cooked pork joint (it will be falling apart) from the slow cooker, pop it on a plate and leave it to cool down. Discard the cooking liquid.
  5. When cool enough to handle, roughly shred up pork meat discarding any yukky fat within the joint as you go. It's best to do this with your hands. Put to one side while you make the sauce.

To make the sauce:

  1. Place all the ingredients in the pan, apart from the smoked paprika and salt & pepper. Stir well and simmer for five minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat. Add the smoked paprika and stir. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Taste again and adjust sauce according to your preference. Add a little more sugar if you prefer a sweeter flavour, more chilli if you prefer it more spicy, or a splash more vinegar if you like it a bit more tangy. Add little by little and taste as you go. Discard the garlic clove.
  4. Spread the pulled pork meat over a platter, drizzle over the sauce and serve. You could mix the pork into the sauce in the pan, but the meat tends to break up if it's stirred too much.

To make the red cabbage & apple 'slaw:

  1. Mix the red cabbage, carrots, apple & onion together in a big bowl.
  2. Add 2 tbsp mayonnaise, and vinegar and season to taste. Add a little more mayo if you think it needs it, or a tiny splash more vinegar if you think it needs more sharpness.
  3. Serve immediately or cover and leave in the fridge for up to 30 minutes before serving. It can be eaten the following day, although the cabbage may be a little limp.