Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Family's Favorite Pulled Pork

My son, Nick, was visiting from Culinary School for the holidays. Having a child in Culinary School can be a bit intimidating. Nick raves about the amazing food he enjoys on a daily basis. One of the benefits of attending Culinary School is the wide array of gourmet food you have available to you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unlimited food, unlimited desserts... sounds like heaven to me. So cooking for Nick while he was home was challenging. I knew his palate had changed and become more sophisticated, but would he still have the same appreciation for good old-fashioned, home cooking made with love? As it turns out, he did.
One of our traditions for New Years, is eating Soul Food (paying homage to my Dad's side of the family from the South) and of course, the must-have dish is black eyed peas to bring good luck for the new year. This year, I made Pulled Pork to go with the black eyed peas and rice. It's slow roasted, succulent and delicious. The basic recipe is one I use to make a variety of dishes; BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Carnitas, Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese with Carmelized Onions, Baked Sweet Potatoes stuffed with BBQ Pulled Pork (my personal favorite) or just plain with your favorite side dishes. No matter how you serve it, this recipe is a winner.
It all starts out with the Pork Butt (aka Pork Shoulder). Pick one with a good fat cap (the layer of fat covering the top). This fat will baste the roast as it cooks and keep it juicy and succulent.

Marinating overnight with a good rub is a must and low and slow cooking is the way to go. This recipe takes
6-7 hours in the oven, so plan ahead.
My Family's Favorite Pulled Pork

One Pork Butt (aka Pork Shoulder) average 6-7 lbs
Rub Ingredients
3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoons ground mustard
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
This makes enough rub for a 6-7 lb Pork Butt. If your roast is larger, increase amount by using a proper ratio of each of the ingredients.
Rub dry rub all over the surface of the Pork Butt. Use all of the rub. You want to liberally coat the meat.
Place the Pork Butt in a pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove Pork Butt from the refrigerator approximately 2 hours before roasting to bring to room temperature. This is essential for even cooking.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Place Pork Butt on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and roast uncovered for 6 hours. My roast was slightly larger than 7 lbs so I cooked mine for 7 hours.

Remove Pork Butt from oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Shred using 2 forks, removing any large chunks of fat.

If making BBQ Pulled Pork, add your favorite BBQ sauce (my family's favorite is Sweet Baby Ray's) and toss to coat. Serve on Hamburger Rolls (or Dinner Rolls to make sliders) topped with your favorite toppings (cole slaw or cripsy onions are great).

If making Carnitas, I fry some of the shredded pork in a hot frying pan with a little oil to crisp up some of the pork.
Or try my personal favorite - BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potoatoes.


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