Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Best BBQ Pulled Pork

A long, long time ago (think high school) I used to work in a butcher shop. It was owned by my aunt and uncle and, although there were some fantastically disgusting elements to the job, it was actually a pretty decent time. I learned to chop meat, cook animals, and made the best bacon and havarti sandwiches ever - the type of sandwich that can only be consumed during that special period in your life before your metabolism checks out and your ass fat checks in.

While that sandwich will forever hold my heart (in the form of clogged arteries), my favourite part of the job was the Saturday Barbecue. My aunt would cook three delicious, juicy meats looooonnng and slow on the grill. Usually it was turkey, beef, and - the best ever - pulled pork. The smell would waft through the small city streets, and customers would drive hours to come every weekend. The loyalty was well deserved because, god damn, you couldn't find anything else as delicious within a 50km radius.


While the barbecues have long been packed up, and the shop is now closed, I still love to follow in my aunt's footsteps and make the best pulled pork on the grill ever.

I've included her recipe here, along with her famous barbecue sauce to get the authentic Saturday Barbecue experience. The sauce makes about ooohhh a dozen batches, so feel free to scale it down if needed (if you have trouble, email me and I can do it for you! leannebakes [at] gmail [dot] com). The pulled pork recipe uses a honking shoulder, but you can use the same seasonings and method for other cuts, too. If you're a purist, just slap your pork shoulder on the grill with no extra fuss and muss and let it do its thing.

Best BBQ Pulled Pork

1 pork shoulder roast, about 6-8lbs, preferably bone it (bonus points if you can score some crackle)
1 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons salt

Rub the pork shoulder down with all the spices, and let sit in a bbq safe roasting pan while you heat the grill.

Light the outer burners on your bbq (the ones on the side, so there's a centre grill space with no direct heat) and heat to about 325F. It's a good idea to use a thermometer to make sure you get the right temperature, but it's totally okay not to, too. I don't, but sometimes I pretend I do, which is pretty much what I'm doing right now.

Once it reaches temperature, place the roasting pan with the roast in the centre. I use a cheap one I bought at Safeway, and it works great! Close the lid on that bad boy, and go grab yourself a beer, or a book, or finally take the time to watch the rest of Orange is the New Black because this is going to be on the grill for a long time.

Let the roast cook low and slow for about 4-5 hours. Check frequently (okay, like every half hour or so) to make sure the temperature is okay and nothing is burning. Sometimes I like to pour the pan fat over the roast. Just because.

Check the temperature about 4 hours in. It should be about 190-195F, and meat should be ready to fall off the bone. If it doesn't fall away easily, cook for another hour or so. Don't force it. Good pork comes to those who wait.

Once you get the right temperature and the right texture, turn off your grill (including the gas! Don't forget the gas!) and set the roast aside, tented with foil, to rest for about 15 minutes. Then gently pull the meat off the bones, and serve in a bun slathered in delicious bbq sauce.


Aunt June's Famous BBQ Sauce

2 large cans Ketchup (Heinz)
2 cups minced garlic (fresh)
6 cups water
2 cups dried minced onion flakes
3/4 cup Mesquite smoke
3/4 cup Worchestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups hot sauce

Bring to a boil simmer for 5 minutes remove from stove and add 16 cups brown sugar (yellow) packed.


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