VPulled Pork - rated 18 for alcohol content, potential violent scenes if sharp knives misused
What to do on a wet autumnal Weekend? Ransack the cupboards for a few underused gadgets - flame thrower and smoke generator - and put together a feast.
At Easter, we had a road trip around the Florida peninsula. One restaurant we went to had a very extensive menu. I recon at least a hundred items, which centred around one main ingredient - their home made hot smoked pulled pork. The other things that distinguished them as individual menu items were the sides, the bun/wrap/corn bread etc and the intensity of heat you preferred on your tongue.
This is not a recipe for those lovers of precise measurement, but for those who can accept experimentation with their flavours (so I know you wine lovers can tolerate this approach). to suit your taste.
Large piece of pork shoulder, bone on. I, like Nick, live near the Gog Butchers, but any butcher would help you get the piece of meat as you want it.
Large casserole big enough to accommodate said piece of meat.
The Dry Rub
Dark muscovado sugar
Smoked Paprika (+/- cayenne, chilli)
Mix all the dry spices together in a bowl wide enough to get your mitt into and then apply liberally to your meat, ensuring it’s all covered.
Keep a reasonable quantity of the dry rub mix to put into your stock.
Put in a large container, cover and leave in the fridge until just before you go to bed
The rubbed meat, smoking the burger meat, prepping the sweet potato wedges.
Finely chopped onion
As many garlic cloves as you prefer, squashed with the flat blade of your sharp Santoku Knife.
Throw into casserole large enough to accommodate your pork, sweat, add the dry rub mix, sweat some more, add a liquor of your choice (I had a dark rum, but I know many of you enjoy a bourbon or two). Add a cup of chicken or pork stock.
Put the meat into the casserole with a tight fitting lid, place in a 100oC oven, go to bed.
Next day, when you are ready, remove the skin and pull the meat apart with a couple of forks and put into your serving tray. You could put in a splash of the stock to keep it even more juicy but ensure you put the remaining stock into a bowl that, when you’ve stacked your bun with the meat, you can dip it in.
The sides I’ll be offering to stack the bun or wrap will include sliced gherkins, grilled red onion rings, slices of beef tomato, guacamole, salsa, mustard, smokey Chipotle sauce, coleslaw, butter laden corn on the cob, sweet potato wedges, smoked pork and sausage meat burgers, cheddar cheese.
After that, and possibly an hour or two later, a marmalade brioche bread and butter pudding with a clove custard.
Edit 1 on this iterative process
The bone on really helps the meat fall to pieces. The remaining stock needs to be put through a stock strainer, and, because of the quantity of fat in it, I’ve put it in the fridge to separate. Once I’ve taken most of the fat off, I may fiddle with the sweetness and heat of what’s left.
I stirred a bit of Jack Daniels BBQ sauce into the pulled pork.
Emily Barker and the Red Cley Haloes playing in the background to evoke European equivalent of stomps from the southern States’ swamps.
I was really pleased with the hickory smoking of the burgers. They have retained a lovely smokiness after being formed into patties. I used Heston’s cold smoke generator which you can use to smoke cocktails too (think dark and stormy; negroni).
The stock I reduced by 2/3, nothing else needed, it was a yummy dip.