Going South (for dinner)

11 Jan

For some reason, I had a hankerin’ to make pulled pork for dinner this week. Jason and I stopped by Savenor’s on Sunday to pick up a few things to make this happen. I had gone to a few other places looking for pork shoulder but wasn’t too pleased with what I found and knew Savenor’s would have it. They cut a 5 lb piece for me on the spot. Slow roasting isn’t something to do after work. It takes time – this particular recipe takes 9-10 hours start to finish. Here’s how its done (recipe adapted from Cooking Light)…

Slow Roasted Pulled Pork

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1 (5-pound) boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed
Cooking spray
2 cups water, divided
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup
your favorite BBQ sauce

  1. Mix the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub this mixture into the pork shoulder evenly and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 225°F. Spray the rack of a roasting pan with cooking spray. Place pork on the rack in roasting pan. Pour 1 cup water in bottom of roasting pan. Bake uncovered at 225° for 1 hour.
  3. Combine vinegar and ketchup in a small bowl. Brush pork with this mixture. Bake an additional 3 hours uncovered, basting every hour with ketchup mixture. I know my oven is uneven temperature-wise in different spots so I also rotated the pan every time I basted.
  4. Pour remaining 1 cup water in bottom of roasting pan. Cover pork and pan tightly with foil. Bake an additional 3 3/4 hours or until a thermometer registers 190°. Remove from oven; let stand, covered, 45 minutes. I used an instant-read (probe) thermometer and it only took an additional 2 3/4 hours to reach 190° so keep an eye on the internal temperature so the meat doesn’t dry out.
  5. Shred the pork with 2 forks or your hands. It should look something like this when you’re done. And this was only half of what we got. 5 lbs of pork shoulder can easily feed 10-12 people.
  6. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce. I was going to make my own and then we saw Savenor’s had their own BBQ sauce so we thought we’d give it a shot. It’s pretty awesome. We heated the pork and BBQ sauce together before serving it on potato rolls with slaw and pickles.

    Pulled pork and BBQ sauce

    The final product. The buns were like sliders so two each seemed appropriate!

I made the pickles earlier in the year that I took out, and a Jicama-Apple Slaw earlier in the day. Here’s how I made the slaw:

Jicama-Apple Slaw

1/2 red onion, julienne
1/2 green cabbage, julienne
1 jicama, julienne
1 green apple, julienne (leave peel on)
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
3/4 cup mayonnaise (or to taste)
splash of apple cider vinegar
kosher salt and pepper to taste

  1. Wash and julienne the cabbage, onion, jicama and apple. Here are all my ingredients ready to go.
    Carrots and/or peppers make good slaw ingredients as well, or you could just use cabbage to keep it simple.
  2. Mix vegetables in a large bowl. Add mustard, mayo and vinegar. This is where using the largest bowl you have comes in handy. Make sure all the vegetables get coated with the dressing, using your hands to toss. Here’s my slaw after being tossed.
  3. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Celery seeds are also nice in a creamy slaw dressing. I don’t like my slaw too wet because I like the vegetables with a little crisp still to them. If you like yours creamier, add more mayo. Less creamy, add less. It’s pretty easy to adjust the flavors to your liking. I’ve also made slaws that don’t have any mayo at all. The slaw will keep in the fridge for several days. I love the colors and different textures going on!

    Beautiful and Delicious (and dare I say somewhat healthy!)

It was a pretty amazing dinner and we have leftovers to last us the week or at least a couple lunches/dinners. I can’t wait to do more BBQ like this in the summer and use our grill to cook the pork. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I bet I could make a smoker in our backyard!?!


2 Responses to “Going South (for dinner)”

  1. nana January 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    you are to funny my lovely granddaughter, thinking of summer bbq now. Would a pork shoulder be as good as a pork butt? As tender?I know if you cook them a long while like in a crock they get very easy to take apart. Yes/no?????
    Put out or try some good crock meals.

    Will we ever see some chinese veggie recipies and or rices? Or the stir fries?

    • liz harty January 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      Hi Nana – I used pork shoulder in this recipe. The cut of the shoulder is actually called Boston Butt. After cooking for so long it was super tender and just fell apart. I would try making it in a crock pot as well but don’t know if you’d get that roasted exterior you get from using an oven. I love making stir-fry. I have some shrimp and rice noodles I may use for one later tonight!

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