Monday, September 20, 2010
the last dance of the summer bbq
Here in the mile high city, we had a record 96 degrees this past weekend; serendipitously, I had decided to host one last bbq before our mercurial weather decided it should snow in September (hey, it's snowed here in JULY-you never know). When I barbecue, I turn to Steven Raichlen's Barbecue Bible (he is THE grill master, I tell you!) and the recipe I did this weekend was his North Carolina Style pulled pork- mainly because I didn't have to change anything for it to be gfree and dairy free. Plus, you get pulled pork with coleslaw, as you make the same sauce for both slaw and pork! Now, he grills this on a gas grill outside; as I wasn't going to be home Friday til late and didn't want to burn down my apartment building, I used his suggestion to do it in my oven. This is another of those recipes that people think they can't do because it requires time, and they could not possibly be more wrong. Yes it cooks for 12 hours- however, put it on before you go to bed, let it roast away and by the time people start to show up for food, it is done! As an added bonus, your house will be redolent of roast pork. And let me tell you, there will be absolutely no leftovers.
This is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.
I have also linked this to Gluten Free Wednesday and Real Food Wednesdays- yummy recipes all around!
North Carolina Style Pulled Pork
1 9-12 pound pork shoulder (aka Boston Butt-bone in is better, but honestly I've made with boneless and it still came out amazing)
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar (i've also done palm sugar, for those of you trying to avoid refined sugar)
Preheat oven to 250 degreesF. Whisk together spices with brown sugar. Cut small slits in the fat along the pork shoulder; now rub the spice mixture all over the pork shoulder. Place seasoned pork into your roasting pan, 9 x 13 Pyrex, dutch oven, whatever you have that is big enough for 12 pounds of meat. (Now, you can do this and then stick the whole mess in the fridge for up to 24 hours if desired.) Now, cover the pan with foil (or lid if using dutch oven) and slowly roast the pork for at least 12 hours; it can go as long as 18. If you can manage it, take the lid or foil off the pork and crank up heat to 475 degreesF for the last 30-45 minutes or so. You don't have to do this, but I like the crust it gives the pork- however, it still works beautifully if you don't have the inclination/time to do this. Your house will smell divine.
Now, after you take the pork out of the oven, let rest for however long it takes you to get your Vinegar Sauce and coleslaw together- at least 30 minutes. Discard any bones and and most of the fatty au jus, you do want a little in the bottom; I eyeball, so whatever you think looks good.(I store my au jus in the freezer for later cooking-do as you will). Now you shred- or pull- the pork. I do this with tongs and a fork, but two forks work too; the point is that you wanted shredded pork that will sop up all that yummy sauce. Ok, now your pork is shredded so add in the remaining 2 cups of Vinegar Sauce- toss your pork to coat. Now serve with the slaw. You can also serve this on buns that are gfree friendly- but honestly, we eat it in little mountains with corn tortillas. I know, we're weird. Served our marauding band of 20 on Saturday.
2 bags of shredded cabbage (now, you could always want to slice 2-3 heads of cabbage yourself- your CSA box could be overflowing. I was feeling slothlike. Too much volleyball.)
1 cup of Vinegar Sauce (recipe follows)
Put cabbage in large bowl. Toss with one cup of Vinegar Sauce. Whew. Done.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup (I tend to make my own-yes I'm that food nerd- but Heinz organic is pretty good too.)
1/2 cup brown sugar (again, palm sugar works here; you could also try honey)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons of chipotle Tabasco (this is my addition-I think it is fabulous! you can omit, if you choose)
2 cups apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
1 cup of water (to taste)
In a large bowl, whisk the spices with the brown sugar. Add ketchup and Tabasco (if using). Add the apple cider vinegar and water, whisk to fully incorporate. Now taste the sauce- it should be tart, vinegary; remember it is going to encase slow roasted pork, so you don't want too sweet, but adjust tartness/sweetness to your taste. Want more sweet? Add ketchup. More tart? Add vinegar.