Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh so easy...

And oh soooo good; that's right kids I'm talking about that magical piggy stuff known as pulled pork. Now I'm not trying to say mine will beat out the guys that spends tens of thousands of dollars on custom smokers and win oodles of prizes in places like Memphis, Austin and Columbia but for a winter time budget meal (and then some there is nothing quite like this fine little taste of summer in a bun...

Pulled Pork

You will need:

  • Bone in pork butt
  • Spice rub of your choice, I use my own concoction kinda sorta spelled out below
  • Liquid smoke
  • A slow cooker
  • A strainer
  • A large bowl in which the strainer fits nicely
  • 2 forks
Spice Rub (approximations)

  • 4 parts kosher salt
  • 2 parts freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 parts paprika
  • 1 part Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 part granulated garlic
  • 1 part granulated onion
  • 1 part dry mustard
  • 1 part crushed red chili or to taste
I use this on everything from halibut grilled outside to prime rib roasted at the holidays. Sometimes I add a bit of this or that usually some freshly cracked fennel seeds for pork or some dill for salmon if I'm feeling a bit sporty but this is pretty much the basic and as stated above merely an approximation. I get rave reviews on my burgers with this every time I break it out.

Okay, back to the pork...
  • Rub the butt generously with the spice rub
  • Place the rubbed butt in the slow cooker
  • Pour over a good amount of liquid smoke
  • Put the lid on and leave it alone for 8 to 12 hours; this is not an exact science and it really doesn't matter where the time falls in that window, it'll be great

  • Put the strainer into the bowl and move close to the slow cooker
  • Remove the butt to the strainer
  • Pour off the juices but keep them for a minute or 5
  • Add the drippings from the strained pork to the retained drippings
  • Put the meat into the bowl and pull apart with the forks
  • By this time the juice and the goodly amount of fat that came out of the slow cooker should have separated nicely
  • Skim off the majority of the fat; again this is not an exact science and I keep a pretty good portion of this to mix back into the meat but that's my choice and yours may be different
  • Add the juices back to the pulled meat
Serve on good rolls with the BBQ sauce of your choice, I like mustard based sauces, vinegar based sauces and ketchup based sauces as well as Asian sauces so mine may be far different than what you like. I make my own when I get the time but the tried and true fall back position is Stubb's spicy BBQ sauce in our house along with both BBQ sauces offered by Trader Joe's.

Anyway, this is a bit of goodness that no swine swilling family should be without in their repertoire. The kids love it and so do the adults. As I reported before, easy and budget friendly plus it makes as much as you can fit in your slow cooker

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