Pulled Pork

Thursday, October 28, 2010 @ 02:10 PM

The best pulled pork that I ever had was at my sister’s wedding. She cooked it herself starting at midnight, the night before her wedding. She was given a partial recipe. What kind of meat, a rub recipe, and the procedure. The people that gave her the recipe hold the secret to the sauce. Family secret only. They would not give her the sauce recipe, in fact, they came to the wedding with the sauce already made, to be added to the meat just prior to serving.  The meat was so good that my sister almost did not get to partake in it. Luckily enough, while she was changing, I made her & myself a sandwich and we got to eat it together. By the time we made it out to the hall, all of the pork was gone! I took some time researching and I stumbled upon 2 separate recipes by Tyler Florence. They are both relatively the same, but the procedures are different. It is the closest I have been able to come to the delectable pulled pork at my sister’s wedding. Here is my one recipe that I have made from a combination of Tyler’s two.

Cooking pulled pork can happen in a day, but making a great pulled pork should start days ahead of time.

First you want to get yourself a good piece of meat. About 5-7 lbs. Most traditionalists use a boneless pork butt or picnic.  The fat in a pork butt will make for a beautiful tender piece of meat to work with. But you can also use  pork tenderloin. They are leaner than a pork butt. The pork tenderloin will fall apart as well but you may need to go a little heavier with your sauce.

Now that you have this wonderful piece of meat at home, slather it with some stone ground mustard. (I had a jar of a wonderful mustard from Otter Creek Brewery in Vermont, that I used the last time I made this recipe. It was a roasted garlic, beer mustard that they made with their copper ale. It worked quite well).  About 1\2 cup or more. Rub it all over and into the cut if using a boneless butt. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Now you want to make your rub:

3 Tbsp. Kosher salt

1 Tbsp. garlic pepper

1 1\2 cup packed brown sugar

1\4 cup smoked paprika

1 Tbsp. dried  mustard

1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

2-3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

Mix this all together and after the pork has marinated in the mustard for 24 hours, unwrap the meat and cover it with the rub. All of it. Get it in every nook and cranny. Re-wrap the meat and put it back in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours more.

Now you are ready to cook.

Take your meat out and let it come down to room temperature, about 30 mins.

You need to decide how you want to cook the meat. You can place it in the oven. You can cook it in a BBQ smoker or BBQ pit. You can cook it in a slow cooker. I personally put mine in a unit made by Crock Pot called a BBQ Pit. It’s just a slow cooker with a BBQ grill style lid. It works great with meats, ribs, and roasts.

For this application I am going to reference a slow cooker.

Before placing your meat into the slow cooker, add:

2-3 cloves crushed garlic

1 1\2 cups apple cider vinegar

Either 1\2 cup ketchup or 2 Tbsp. tomato paste

Now place your meat in the cooker. Turn the slow cooker to low & cook for about 8 hours.

When the meat is done, remove from the unit. Place it in a glass dish and pull apart with forks.

Separate the fat from the sauce.

You can either pour half of the sauce right into the meat and serve the rest on the side like an au jus, or just put the meat on some nice ciabatta rolls and have the sauce for dipping on the side.

Serve with cole slaw either on the roll or on the side.

This is a great recipe for tailgating race weekends. Start up the slow cooker after breakfast and when you get back from the track, dinner’s ready!

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