Monday, July 7, 2014

Pulled Pork with Carolina Style Barbecue Sauce

This last weekend Wingnut volunteered to make pulled pork for a work party celebrating the retirement of one of his colleagues.  I love when he volunteers for things like this (notice the hint of sarcasm?) because what this really means is that he has volunteered me to make something.  Fine, I thought.  I'll just cook a pork shoulder up in the crockpot, pull it, and then douse it in BBQ sauce, dust my hands off and be done with it.  This was not what Wingnut had planned on my doing.  No. What he volunteered was a smoked pork butt from the grill with two kinds of homemade BBQ sauce. Sigh.

Thankfully, it ended up being a team effort.  I rubbed and wrapped the roast the night before.  Wingnut lit the grill, soaked wood chips, and threw the roast on the grill and let it smoke away for several hours.  I took the roast off the grill, wrapped it tightly in foil and finished it off in the oven for another couple hours and then hand pulled it.  Earlier in the day I also stirred up a classic bbq sauce and a Carolina style sauce to serve on the side.

In the end it was definitely worth all the extra effort.  It was the absolute best pulled pork we had ever made and the tangy Carolina BBQ sauce was off the charts delicious.  I'm posting the recipe here--one that I adapted--so I won't forget it.

For the pork you need a 10 to 11 pound Boston butt.  Rub with 1/2 cup red chili based rub (I mix my own using two types of chili powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, cumin, oregano, and brown sugar), wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.  The next morning light your grill and set up to smoke.  Bring roast up to room temp by removing from the fridge and setting it out on the counter for about an hour before putting it on the grill.  We soaked cherrywood chips for an hour in a bowl of water.  Throw chips on the fire and put the roast in a disposable aluminum pan and set on the grill.  Smoke for about 3 hours, keeping the grill at a steady 275 degrees.  Remove the roast from the grill and wrap with aluminum foil (I wrapped around the aluminum pan) and place in a preheated 325 degree oven and roast for another 2-3 hours or until a fork goes into and out of the meat easily.  Slide entire pan into a paper bag and crimp closed and allow to rest 45-60 minutes.  Using two forks or your fingers shred the meat.  Pour pan juices into a fat separator and let sit several minutes until the fat separates from the juices.  Pour juices over shredded meat and discard the fat.  Serve on rolls with your favorite BBQ sauce.  The following recipe is our favorite sauce for pulled pork.

Carolina Style Barbecue Sauce

1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/2-2 tsp crushed red pepper (depending on how spicy you like your sauce--I went with 2 tsp)

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan whisk together and bring to a boil over medium heat--whisking constantly to keep sugar from burning. Boil for several minutes.  Cool and refrigerate until needed.

This is a thinner sauce and has a good vinegar and mustard tang to it and pairs extremely well with pulled pork.

This was our roast just prior to going into the paper bag to rest (I recovered with the foil and slid the whole pan into two paper bags--one bag sliding over the pan in each direction).  We were in a rush to get out the door after I pulled the pork, so I didn't get a finished photo.  The roast was tender,  juicy and smokey.
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