Pulled pork

So I actually made this a week ago today, but it has been QUITE a busy week, hence the tardy post…. and I guess you could call this one a bit of a non traditional brown sugar recipe.

Last Friday night (there no dancing on tabletops, Katy Perry anyone?) was Kristina’s birthday (my roommate of nearly 7 years). We went out for a delicious dinner and then danced all night. Back at our apartment at around 3:00AM, the dance party continued — this time to all of Kristina’s favorite Croatian songs… did I mention she is Croatian? Amy, sometimes my third roommate when the C train isn’t running, got to enjoy it as well. I think our across-the-airshaft-neighbors must be making some sort of a documentary film about our odd habits…

Anyway, during the Croatian dance party I assembled a delicious sweet and spicy dry rub, fit for my 8lb Boston Butt (it is actually pork shoulder — how confusing is that?), and proceeded to thoroughly coat the entire slab of meat in it. I jammed it into an XXL Ziploc bag and put it in the fridge overnight.

For the dry rub:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp smoked alder wood salt — this gem was found at a farmers’ market last year
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp dry mustard

The next morning, at about 10AM, I preheated the oven to 225 degrees, put about a 1/2 inch layer of apple cider (from Wilklow Orchards!) in the bottom of my Le Creuset dutch oven, and put the pork shoulder in (fat side up).

I checked on the meat about once every two hours, did a little basting, but it really doesn’t need much help.

During the slow roasting I organized my room, ventured to Williamsburg for a couple of hours, assembled a massive pan of baked mac & cheese (emmenthal and cheddar…delightful), and made some coleslaw.

For the slaw I used:

1/2 head of green cabbage
4 carrots
About 1/2 cup of mayo
About 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

In a food processor, slice up the cabbage and carrots. Whisk the dressing together — add more of any ingredient as necessary. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots and PRESTO, coleslaw.

FINALLY at about 6:00PM (after a leisurely 8 hour slow roast), it looked like the pork was done. I mean this was really falling off the bone, more like the bone just fell out of it… perfection.

I scooped the pork into a large bowl, and let it rest under foil for about 30 minutes.

Poor Kristina, who was lying incapacitated on the couch for most of the cooking process (at one point she watched baseball for 3 hours because the remote was slightly out of reach… but we’ve all been there), came to life as the sweet scent of slow cooked pork filled the air.

After the 30 minute waiting period, I uncovered the pork and transferred it to a large lasagna pan. Using two forks I shredded the meat entirely — what a satisfying process!

I sprinkled a bit of the original dry rub on the shredded pork, and then a generous amount of Dinosaur BBQ’s sensuous slathering sauce.

To make a really delicious pulled pork sandwich out of this shredded gold, (which is what I did, more than a few times) get some really standard potato hamburger rolls, pile high with pulled pork, a bit of extra bbq sauce, add pickles and/or slaw, and devour immediately. Follow with a generous helping of baked mac & cheese. Repeat.

So I’m not going to file this one under the “Quick & Easy” category… but boy was it all worth it. Pulled pork also keeps very well in the refrigerator, and somehow it is difficult to tire of… the last of it disappeared on Thursday evening. And now for a lovely fall weekend — except it is going to be 83 degrees tomorrow. Normal.

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