Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pulled Pork

It's BBQ Season! With Kraft giving away their sauce, I decided that it was time to do a pork roast and stock the freezer with some pulled pork for the next few months. Here's how I did it... (one day, I might be one of those cool bloggers who takes photos of the process every step of the way!)

I bought a 10.31 lb picnic roast at Target. I got $3 off, making the whole thing about $8. You'd be hard pressed to find a more economical meat!

My brother-in-law has a great rub recipe that I used for the pork. It's based on a ratio, so you can just make however much you need. The recipe is 8-3-1-1:
  • 8 parts brown sugar (1/2 cup = 8 tbsp)
  • 3 parts salt (He uses Kosher, I used Sea)
  • 1 part chili powder
  • 1 part whatever you want (He uses garlic powder, onion powder and poultry seasoning. I used a little smoked paprika and Italian seasoning.)
I used 1 cup Brown Sugar, 6 Tbsp salt (3/8 of a cup), 2 Tbsp chili powder, a little less than 1 Tbsp smoked paprika and a little more than 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning. Combine everything in a bowl and mix well. If you have leftovers, store in an air tight container for the next time you do something on the grill. I still have about 1 cup of the rub left.

Rub the roast down with your brown sugar rub. I like this recipe because you get to use your hands a lot- the sugar and salt feel great on your hands. Wrap the rubbed roast tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight (12-24 hours).

Normally, I like to cook the pork in a crock pot, but this guy was bigger than the butt roasts I usually buy, so he had to go in the oven! I put him in a large roasting pan and added about 1 cup of water. My grandmother suggested apple juice and my brother in law uses chicken stock, but I didn't have either. I covered the pan tightly with foil- a roasting pan with a lid would be even better. I cooked in a 325- 350 degree oven for three and a half hours. Since the pork is fairly fatty, you don't need to worry about basting it, according to my grandmother. I put mine in a left it and it was plenty moist.

When the pork is done cooking, the real fun begins! You can either let the pork cool to a reasonable temperature or just start pulling it apart while it's still hot and do a little dance around the kitchen while you fan your burnt fingers, your choice! Pull the meat off the bone, separating as much of the fat out as possible. You can use two forks to shred the meat, or just pull it apart with your hands. Divide the meat into meal sized portions and freeze in plastic containers or bags. I have 4 portions of pulled pork from the one roast. I froze it without adding BBQ Sauce this time, but I have frozen it with in the past and that worked too.

When it comes time to heat up the pork, I just pull it out of the freezer and dump it into the crock pot set on low. Add the BBQ sauce, and you are good to go. I love dishes like this that are pretty much ready whenever you are. I will serve on hamburger buns or toasted white bread with coleslaw, baked beans, corn, roasted potatoes, whatever summery sides I have on hand.

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