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Star Anise and Cardamom Spiced BBQ Pulled Pork



Yields approximately 12 servings


  • 2 1/2 lb. pork shoulder (aka butt roast, boston butt, etc.) 
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (or whatever stock floats your boat)
  • 1 portion onion jam (recipe follows) 
  • 1 star anise 
  • 5 green cardamom pods 
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke 
  • 1 portion BBQ sauce (recipe follows)




Preheat the oven to 275 F.


Season the pork shoulder all over with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in an ovenproof baking dish with a lid, approximately 4-6 quarts. Coat the entire top of the shoulder with the onion jam. Pour in the chicken stock and liquid smoke and add the star anise, green cardamom pods, and bay leaves. Cover and cook at 275 for about 5 hours, checking after 4 hours for doneness. It is finished when pricked with a fork and the pork easily pulls away from it. If there is any resistance at all return to the oven. Using two forks, pull the pork into shreds, discarding as much of the marbling fat as possible. Pour off the extra cooking liquid, if any, and remove the star anise, bay leaves, and cardamom pods. Mix the BBQ sauce into the pork and serve on buttered, toasted buns.


Onion Jam


  • 3 lbs. yellow onions 
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar




Slice off the root and bud ends of the onion, and place on its end. Cut the onion in half vertically and place flat onto the cutting board. Slice thinly along the lines of the onion – this will help the carmelization process. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the slivered onions and stir to coat. Cook the onion over medium to medium-low heat until medium golden brown – about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, stirring every ten to fifteen minutes. Adjust the temperature to keep at a constant simmer – too low and the onions will steam instead of caramelizing, too high and they will burn. Keep a close eye on them. When the onions have sufficiently browned, stir in the brown sugar and vinegar. For a more prominent onion flavor in the finished dish, simply remove the jam to another dish and save to use in the BBQ pork. For a more subtle onion presence, puree the jam in a blender or with an immersion blender in the pot before using.


BBQ Sauce


  1. 3/4 cup ketchup 
  2. 1 teaspoon liquid smoke 
  3. 1 tablespoon golden syrup (Lyle’s is widely available in US grocery stores) 
  4. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
  5. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  6. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  7. 1 garlic clove, smashed into a near paste and minced finely
  8.  kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  
  9. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.