Pulled pork is a popular staple at barbecue restaurants across the country. Though it begins with lots of fat and connective tissue, the pork butt, when cooked slowly, becomes a tender, melt-in-your-mouth culinary delight.
Though often made in sandwich style, pulled pork can be served in a variety of ways, including in tacos, burritos and in casseroles. Though it takes a considerable investment of time, pulled pork is worth the effort. For those who want to test their barbecue skills, consider the following recipe for “Pulled Pork With Tangy Barbecue Sauce” from Jon Bonnell’s “Texas Favorites” (Gibbs Smith).
Pulled Pork With Tangy Barbecue Sauce
Serves 12 to 14
1 pork shoulder (Boston butt or pork butt), approximately 7 lbs.
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
11/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups apple cider vinegar, divided
Clean the pork shoulder well and pat dry with paper towels. Mix all dry ingredients together and rub liberally all over the pork. Let the meat absorb the dry spices at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. Prepare a smoker with pecan chips and bring the temperature up to 210 F. Place a water pan with 2 cups apple cider vinegar in the bottom of the smoker. Place the pork shoulder in the smoker and cook at a temperature between 200 and 210 F for 14 hours. The smoking chips will need to be replenished every few hours. Each time the door is opened, baste the pork with the remaining apple cider vinegar to moisten. After 14 hours, remove the pork and use two forks to pull the meat apart. Serve with Tangy Barbecue Sauce.
Tangy Barbecue Sauce
Makes roughly 4 cups
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 pasilla chiles, stems and seeds removed
5 to 6 shakes hot sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon plus 11/2 teaspoons molasses
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 orange
11/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, jalapeno and garlic in oil until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a light simmer. Stir well, being careful not to burn the sugars. Simmer for 12 minutes, then puree the mixture with a stick blender until smooth. Reduce until the sauce thickens slightly and serve.