Earlier this week, I did pulled pork from someone who lives in Amsterdam. To get closer to home, here is a pulled pork recipe from a nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn. When we visit family in Texas, we tour the barbeque spots that bejewel Austin. I’m a rib man. Suzen is pulled pork. She does not eat it. She devours with relish. No, not relish relish. Just a dash of good red Texas sauce.
It’s called pulled pork because you cook it so long, you don’t need to cut it. In fact, it’s not easy to cut since it is falling apart. Instead, you just use a pair of forks and separate out the meat in strands.
Suzen is proud of this recipe for multiple reasons. It really tastes authentically wonderful. The cooking technique generates a very moist result. This meat is not dry. You can really just pop this meat on a roll and eat away. Sauce is not mandatory or necessary. But I find it good to slather it on, despite the curious look Suzen gives me.
Another reason she loves this recipe is how remarkable it is to craft a true feast from a modest slice of meat. She uses pork shoulder at $1.89 a pound. If we were barbequing steak, the price would be about the same with just a move of decimal point.
This is a recipe you will delight in, possibly in proportion to your family size. Delicious, economical, and easy to prepare. That preparation does start the night before and includes a six hour stint in the oven. Greatness does take time.
Suzen’s Pulled Pork
Yield: servings for 6+ people
- 1 4-8 pound pork shoulder, the bigger the better
- 10-20 garlic cloves
- Several sprigs of thyme [plus other herbs of your choice]
- Salt and pepper
The night before, as pictured, make thin slices into the meat and deposit peeled garlic cloves. At least ten, twenty is fine, more is up to you. Place the herbs on top of the meat and tie in place. Put the meat into a large plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, take the meat out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Generously salt and pepper the meat on all sides and end. Place the meat in the bottom of roasting pan. Do not use a rack. Securely and tightly cover the pan with foil. If you have a lid for the pan, put the lid over the foil so it improves the seal.
Technically, this meat will be cooked in about 2 hours. You are leaving it in the oven for 6. In that additional time, the meat breaks down — so you can pull it. With the tight seal, all the escaping vapors do not escape the pan. They are there to steam the meat to ultimate tenderness.
Cook for 6 hours, remove from the pan, allow to rest for 15 minutes, then devour at will.
Source: Suzen O’Rourke
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55MM macro lens, F/2.8 at 1/100th second and ISO 2000
Pulled pork. Where would you go to find a recipe? The Carolinas for sure. And that very reply will draw fire from friends in Texas and Memphis and … There are a hundred brilliant ideas for pulled pork Americana style.
Which is why I am giving you this very authentic recipe from Yvette van Boven’s wonderful book Home Made Winter. Yvette was praised extensively for her first book Home Made. Now, in the Winter book, she focuses on treats, like pulled pork, that make for hearty winter menus.
I know, it’s only August but the headlines today were that the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a cold winter. A brutal winter. Time to plan ahead.
Yvette does have a new book out, Home Made Summer, and I’ll post from that, too. But for now, let us work with Winter. You can eat pulled pork year round. And Yvette is clearly an expert. Technically, she’s not quite American. She splits her time between Amsterdam and Paris.
Apparently, pulled pork has gone worldwide. No safe haven for the hogs.
This recipe is easy, but takes time. You will get an exceptional hunk of meat. We used a real stovetop smoker and the lid barely fit on our thick slice of pork shoulder. The result was a deep cocoa color on that final meat, which was delicious and a tad on the dry side. Here you’ll want barbeque sauce on the side to go with the deeply smoked flavor.
If you don’t have a stovetop smoker yet, what is your issue? Look up the Cameron line of smokers and woodchips. You will thank me.
Yield: enough for 6+ people [assume they all want seconds]
- 2 tablespoon paprika [the best you can find]
- 2 tablespoon chile flakes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 1 3 ¼ pound boneless pork shoulder
The night before, make the rub with the paprika, chile flakes, brown sugar and salt. Rub your meat around all sides and corner with the rub, then refrigerate in a plastic bag. [You can do this step the same day but overnight is overnight.]
Preheat your oven to 300⁰F. Place 6 or more tablespoons of wood chips in your stovetop smoker.
Place the meat on top of a rack in the smoker, cover and place in the oven. Wait 5 hours. You can check the temperature then. You want an internal temperature of 175⁰F.
Pull the meat away with 2 forks. Eat on a roll with a lick of mustard or your favorite barbeque sauce. Pickles are a welcome addition.
Source: Home Made Winter by Yvette van Boven
Photo Credits: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro lens, F/2.8, 1/40th second, ISO 3200