Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pulled Pork

The dog days of summer are upon us in the DC area and that means it's once again time to start sweating through your suit while dodging fat tourists in the metro on your way home from work. The dog days also usher in the time to once again fire up that backyard BBQ and invite over anyone who wasn’t resourceful enough to get out of town for the weekend.

This summer it is time to escape that old hamburger-hotdog-steak-chicken rut that most weekend BBQers fall into. Now is the time to expand your meat cooking repertoire and attempt something usually reserved for pit masters. This summer break from the barbecue doldrums and impress your guests with an offering that they think is out of the reach of the typical weekend warrior. I am talking about pulled pork.

You may object that you don’t have a thousand dollar wood burning smoker, the generations of accumulated family secrets or the 8-10 spare hours required to properly cook a pork shoulder. I counter that there is a way to produce awesome pulled pork that will allow you to go about your daily business without cutting corners and producing a crappy product like Hill Country Barbecue. All you need is a $40 slow cooker from Target.

Recipe after the jump

  • one 5-6 lb pork shoulder with bone in
  • an onion
  • your favorite barbecue sauce, we like Stubbs
  • some hamburger buns

Dry Rub
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Brine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 qts cold water
  • 3 tbsp dry rub mix
  • 2 bay leaves
  • combine the ingredients for the dry rub
  • if doing the brine, find a ziploc bag or container big enough to hold your shoulder, combine the brine ingredients and let soak a couple hours to overnight.
  • rinse and dry off the pork shoulder and coat with the dry rub
  • chop up the onion and put it on the floor of the crockpot
  • there should be a layer of fat on one side of a properly trimmed pork shoulder, put the shoulder in the crock pot with the fat side up
  • add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water to the crock pot
  • cook on the low setting for 8-10 hours
  • when the meat is fork tender remove from crock pot and begin pulling off strands of meat with two forks
  • serve pork in large tray with buns and sauce so guests can make their own sandwiches

I realize that this takes some logistical planning to make this pulled pork, you are going to have to start the crock pot before work (for a Friday night barbecue) or when you get back from the bars (for a weekend afternoon) but the minimal amount of planning is worth it, these sandwiches are awesome and the shoulder produces a ton of meat.

No comments:

Post a Comment