spiced blackberry pulled pork & a blackberry BBQ sauce

pulled pork recipe, blackberry recipe, bbq, spicy, slow cooking
spiced blackberry pulled pork with a blackberry BBQ sauce

spiced blackberry pulled pork and a blackberry BBQ sauce

Inspired by the current blackberry season and my garden being slightly over run with them I went out blackberry picking with the intention of making a quick and simple blackberry jam. However a large joint of pork also needed cooking - and what better solution than combining the two? Homemade blackberry jam and a delicious fruity and spicy pulled pork recipe. 

Cooking with blackberries always brings back lovely memories of blackberry picking when I was a child - and making jars of blackberry jam or crumbles with our haul. It's still one of my favourite fruits and I really enjoy cooking and developing recipes using them. I often find that the recipes and ingredients I am most passionate about have their roots in childhood food memories and experiences. So even if this recipe is not something I would have eaten when I was growing up, it roots are planted in the tastes of home. 

My blackberry pulled pork is sweet, smoky, full of spice and accompanied by a homemade tangy BBQ blackberry sauce. Don't be put off by the long list of herbs and spices - it really is a very simple recipe to put together. Prepared in minutes - all you have to do after this is wait as it cooks low and slow, for all the flavours to mingle and the pork to become meltingly tender and easy to pull apart with a couple of forks. 

You can serve the pulled pork in burger buns, wraps, on rice or pasta. It's up to you. I always like to have enough leftovers to use in an Asian inspired spicy noodle soup the following day too. The pulled pork leftovers are also really good stirred into a simple tomato sauce and simmered away for 10-15 minutes - for a tasty pork ragu you can serve with pasta. 

Just a few suggestions if you have any leftover blackberry BBQ sauce; it's also delicious with roast or barbecued chicken, on grilled halloumi cheese and vegetable kebabs, or just as a dip for chips - the list could go on...I almost put it on my scrambled eggs this morning! 

top cooking hints & tips:

  • homemade blackberry jam is definitely preferable in this recipe. I used my tried and trusted basic blackberry jam recipe from my old food blog (without the added flavourings of lavender and orange flower water though!). A good quality shop bought blackberry jam could be used as a substitute. 
  • you can cook this pulled pork recipe in a slow cooker on in a covered casserole dish in the oven on a low temperature. Each piece of meat with be tender at different times but I have found that with a boneless pork shoulder joint of about 1.5 kg it is usually cooked at 6-8 hours. It is ready when a knife/skewer goes into the cooked meat with no resistance and the meat is falling apart and easy to shred with a couple of forks.
  • you can substitute fennel seed for the aniseed if this is difficult to find or use a couple of star anise instead
  • to prepare ahead you can make the spicy BBQ sauce the day before and also marinade the pork for a few hours or overnight in the pork rub. Cover and leave in the fridge, bringing it out for about 30 minutes before you want to cook it
  • a new and interesting way of using up blackberries 
  • a great 'back to school' or work recipe - easy to prepare and put in the slow cooker, and lots of leftovers for mid-week meals too. 
serves: 6-8 as a main meal 
preparation time: 10-15 minutes
cooking time: 6-8 hours (see cooking tips)

pork ingredients:

1.5 kg boneless pork joint (I used a boneless rolled shoulder joint)
2-3 endives/chicory bulbs - sliced in half
2-3 onions - peeled and roughly chopped 
small bunch of bay leaves
small bunch of fresh sage
500 ml water

pork rub ingredients:

1 tbs caraway seeds
1 tbs aniseed
1 tbs smoked sweet paprika
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs pink peppercorns 
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

spicy BBQ blackberry sauce ingredients:

3/4 cup blackberry jam
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sriracha chilli sauce (or other hot chilli sauce)
1/4 cup tomato ketchup


  1. if using the oven (rather than the slow cooker) preheat to 140C/gas mark 1
  2. add the onion, endive, sage and bay leaves to a large cooking pot/slow cooker along with about 500 ml of water
  3. mix all the pork rub ingredients together then rub over the pork joint. 
  4. put the pork joint into the cooking pot on top of the vegetables, cover and leave to cook for 6-8 hours (or until done - see cooking tips)
  5. while the pork is cooking prepare the spicy blackberry BBQ sauce by gently whisking the ingredients together - simple as that! Taste and adjust to taste - I like the sauce spicy, but you can add a bit less of the chilli sauce if you don't like it as hot. 
  6. wait...
  7. when the pork is cooked - remove from the heat and using a couple of forks pull the pork apart till shredded to your liking. I leave the meat in the cooking juices while doing this and also don't bother about removing the meat from the endive/onions. These will be well softened and have melted into the cooking juices. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves though! 
  8. serve the pulled pork with your accompaniment of choice and a good few spoonfuls of the spicy BBQ blackberry sauce. 

spice rub, bay leaves, pulled pork, peppercorns, caraway, aniseed, paprika, smoked paprika
bay and dry spice rub mix for the pulled pork
ready for the slow cooker: pork joint covered in wet and dry blackberry spice rub, sage, mustard, endive,chicory,onion,
ready for the slow cooker: pork joint covered in wet and dry blackberry spice rub 
spiced blackberry wet rub for the pork joint
sage, endive & onion - a vegetable base to cook the pork on
sage, endive & onion - a flavoursome base for the pork to cook on
sage, bay, endive & onion - a vegetable base to cook the pork on
sage, bay leaves, endive & onion - a tasty vegetable base to cook the pork on
Bon appetit! I hope you enjoy. I served my spiced blackberry pulled pork with a fresh and crunchy green salad with a mint tzatziki dressing. 

green salad, tzatziki, mint, salad dressing,
fresh and green salad with a mint tzatziki dressing
fresh mint, garden, mint flowers, fresh herbs, gardening,
beautiful fresh mint flowers from the garden

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  1. What an inspired recipe! I am so impressed and will definitely be adding this to my list of makes when our blackberries ripen.

    1. Thanks so much Janice - I'll definitely be trying it again soon. Better get blackberry picking! Let me know when you try it out...

  2. Oooh - that sounds god. I love fruit with meat and once threw a bag of jostaberries into a pork stew thinking they were red kidney beans. The result was delicious! #NoFoodWasteChallenge

    1. thanks so much - love fruit with meat too. What are jostaberries?

  3. I would never think of adding blackberries to the meat dish but that sounds great. Would love to try it with turkey. Thank you for your Inheritance Recipes submission.

    1. it works really well - the combination with the other spices is great. Let me know if you give it a try - and thanks again for hosting a fab link up too

  4. This sounds incredibly mouthwateringly delicious! A gorgeous autumnal recipe! Thank you for sharing with the No Waste Food Challenge :)

    1. thanks so much - it's definitely worth a go. Thanks for hosting too - love this link up

  5. I love pulled pork as it's such a great slow cooker meal and your spiced blackberry sauce sounds really tasty. I recently discovered sriracha chilli sauce and I love it by itself and in thing! Thank you so much for linking up to Cook Once Eat Twice.

    1. I agree - great in the slow cooker, and the kitchen cupboards wouldn't be right without a bottle or sriracha ;) Thanks for stopping by

  6. This sounds so good, thanks for sharing this delicious looking recipe.


    1. thank you - pleased you like it. Let us know if you give it a go...can definitely recommend it ;)


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