Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pulled Pork

I am fortunate. Because of where I live, there are some things that pretty much, it's the best ingredient I can possibly put on the table. Case in point: pork.
When I go to the butcher to get pork, any cut, it's worthy of a centerfold in Bon Appetit. End of story.
So, though I don't exactly cook using pork constantly, when I do, the recipe better stand up. I mean, what is the point of having access to such excellent product when the recipe to prepare it is only mediocre?
It sucks.
But, as I've said before, I can read a good recipe and taste it in my head and KNOW if it's going to be good or not. Sometimes my gauge is a little off, but rarely.
So, I set off for the quest to find the most wicked awesome pulled pork recipe, my arrival at this recipe means I have deemed it - kickass. It is WORTHY of Iowa pork. Thank you Tyler Florence.

And, seriously, it's easy. If you can make a rub, and you can throw a few things in a saucepan, you've got it nailed.

Dry Rub:
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse salt

1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt

Cider Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for as long as you have time for, as little as 1 hour or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator. (I always leave the rub overnight, I mean, just do it, this is a plan ahead meal anyway)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours. Basically, roast the pork until it's falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees F.
To make the barbecue sauce: combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves.

Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes.
While it's resting, deglaze the pan over medium heat with 3/4 cup water, scraping with a wooden spoon to pick up all of the browned bits. Reduce by about half. Pour that into the saucepan with the sauce and cook 5 minutes.
While still warm, take 2 forks and "pull" the meat to form shreds. Using 2 forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat. (Put the amount of sauce according to taste, it is a very intense sauce...add a little at a time, then I serve some in a milk creamer to put on the table so people can add more or less according to their personal preference)
To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom 1/2 of the hamburger bun. Add slaw or pickle or any other condiments your guests might enjoy.

This is the pork (I get Boston Butt if possible) with the rub, just out of the oven before it's been shredded. The rub and the hours in the oven have made this completely great crust of flavor all over the pork shoulder.

This is the sauce, simmering away on the stove. Now, seriously, make sure you scrape up all the burned bits of drippings on the bottom of the pan from the pork - deglaze the sh*t outta that pan, it makes the sauce taste ridiculous. And those "white" things floating around in it are the garlic cloves (which I usually double). This sauce is so good, I start just eating it with a spoon while hubby is shredding the pork, it is sinfully good.

You want a pulled pork sandwich right now, don't you? Yeah, me too.


Michael C said...

It is funny to me that you posted this today. I am smoking a pork butt for the holiday on Monday. It always tastes great, but what I enjoy even more is the tending of the grill while it is smoking. I most definitely have to try the rub and sauce in the very near future!

Thank you for this!!

emily said...

I am attempting this for tomorrow, but any thougths on changes I should make to put it in the crock pot? We will be away for a few hours in the afternoon and would rather have that going than the stove.

Rollingthunder said...

Emily made this, it kicks ass, and I know my pulled pork.

Thank you.