Sunday, January 17, 2010

365/16 Pork fat rules

365/16 Pork fat rules

If pork fat rules then, by implication, pulled pork is also awesome. It was another lazy day for us, all surrounding the crock pot. I have never before made pulled pork, so I felt now was as good a time as any. Now, any good and intrepid cook would likely do some research on what cut of meat to use, what seasonings work well with pulled pork, the best way to cook it. They would have gathered the top five pulled pork recipes that they could find coming from the best barbecue books available.

But I'm neither a great cook nor a very intrepid one. So doing all that just really isn't my style. Throwing caution to the wind, I went to the store with a singular plan in mind: get a pork butt roast and some beef broth. Pork butts are cheap. It's a meat that you want to cook low and slow. You want this kind of meat to melt like butter, basically.

And why a crockpot? I'm lazy. Plus, I don't really have a smoker out in the backyard that's worth a shit. And even if I did, I don't think I really wanted to tend to a cold fire all day, just to make some smokey, meat goodness. So, crockpot it was. Afterall, this was an experiment, not some grand contest to make the world's best barbecue. I know where my culinary limits are, thankyouverymuch!

So, into the crock pot it went. Since we were cooking it with the beef broth, I didn't want to give it TOO much seasoning. It'd just melt away into the broth. I wanted the seasoning to come in the final stage of cooking, where it would matter most. So, the pork butt went in, fat-side up. A nice layer of onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, pepper, and brown sugar was rubbed in. 6 hours of cooking later, I had a mass of pork that had to be spooned from the pot. Large spoons. Forks were just tearing it to bits. It was falling apart before our eyes. Even the bone came off with nothing more than a quick yank with some tongs.

The next step was to shred it. Two forks and some elbow grease later and I had five pounds of delicious meat, almost, but not quite, ready for devouring. The final seasoning was to come: more kosher salt, pepper, and now, some chili powder mix. I tend to season to smell. If I can begin to smell the seasoning, it's probably just about right. Taste for finesse.

The final component? The barbecue sauce! Two cups of it in my case. More or less depending on how wet you want your mix. We like ours pretty dry. You want the sauce in there to enhance the flavor of the meat, not cover it up like worcestersire on a piece of shoe-leather that once identified itself as steak. Mix it all up, shove it in the oven for half an hour to give it that final look of coming from a pit and you're golden.

Add bread to taste.

And remember: pork is delicious. Embrace it. Live it. Love it.

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