Monday, March 5, 2012

Pulled Pork

So, I am one of those people that constantly posts pictures of food I've cooked onto Facebook.  I just really love cooking and enjoy sharing both meals as well as pictures of those meals ;-).  I totally got busted by my Aunt Etta on my latest post though; she loves the pictures, but wished I would also post the recipes (this is great idea!). Unfortunately recipes tend to be a bit too long or involved to post to Facebook, so I am taking the advice of my good friend, Trish (thank you!), to post them here, on my blog. (Why didn't I think of this before?! ...probably that whole "shy" thing I've got going on ;p).

You will notice that most of the recipes come from published cookbooks, my Mom, or from other cooking blogs or websites.  I will always give credit and link to where the recipes came from, as well as describe any changes I've made or issues I've encountered along the way.  And almost always the recipes I post will be either gluten free naturally or tweaked to be made gluten free (my best friend and partner in crime, James, has a gluten allergy - so I like to keep him healthy and happy!).

Without further ado, here is my first FB recipe :-).  I hope you enjoy it Aunt Etta!!
Smokey goodness.

Indoor Pulled Pork (or, as I like to call it: All Day Pull Pork ;p)
from America's Test Kitchen

  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (this stuff is wonderful)
  • 1 boneless pork butt (about 5 pounds), cut in half horizontally (see step by step on website) (I totally forgot to cut it in half prior to the brine, and it still worked out fine. I just cut it before applying the rubs and cooking)
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika (see note*)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (cut back if you don't like a lot of spice)
Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup light or mild molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. FOR THE PORK: Dissolve 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons liquid smoke in 4 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge pork in brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours. (I used an 8 quart stock pot, which wasn't quite large enough to contain all of the liquid as well as the pork, but it all worked out in the end - even if I did make a bit of a mess.)
2. While pork brines, combine mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons liquid smoke in small bowl; set aside. Combine black pepper, paprika, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and cayenne in second small bowl; set aside. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
3. Remove pork from brine and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Rub mustard mixture over entire surface of each piece of pork. Sprinkle entire surface of each piece with spice mixture. Place pork on wire rack set inside foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place piece of parchment paper over pork, then cover with sheet of aluminum foil, sealing edges to prevent moisture from escaping. Roast pork for 3 hours.
4. Remove pork from oven; remove and discard foil and parchment. Carefully pour off liquid in bottom of baking sheet into fat separator and reserve for sauce. Return pork to oven and cook, uncovered, until well browned, tender, and internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1½ hours. Transfer pork to serving dish, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.
5. FOR THE SAUCE: While pork rests, pour 1/2 cup of defatted cooking liquid from fat separator into medium bowl; whisk in sauce ingredients.
6. TO SERVE: Using 2 forks, shred pork into bite-sized pieces. Toss with 1 cup sauce and season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

Serves 6 to 8
*Sweet paprika may be substituted for smoked paprika.

Alternate BBQ Sauce
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
Mix all ingredients together and let sit 10 minutes. Add to chopped barbecue when hot to season the
meat and keep it from drying out.

Weaser's Notes: I used the America's Test Kitchen bbq sauce recipe (good if you like sweet) for half of the pork and this recipe (more vinegary) for the other half (recipe is also provided above). But you can use whatever type of sauce you like! We ate the pulled pork by itself, 1) because it is delicious all on its own!, and 2) I was too lazy to make any fixin's ;-). But, tonight I'm planning to make tostadas with the leftovers, yum!
(Also of note, the rub for this recipe has a bit of a kick to it, so if you don't like spicy just cut back on the cayenne pepper.)

Oh, and during the process of making the alternate bbq sauce, I realized that I didn't have any brown sugar - because I almost always forget something on my shopping list :-/. But, no worries, I just mixed 1 cup of sugar with 3 tablespoons of molasses in my blender, and voila! brown sugar. Yay for easy solutions!

Hope y'all enjoy!

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