North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork

12. February 2007 Pork 1

The Dr. called it dedication to my meat. When a friend asked me if I was interested in going out on Saturday, I had to decline. I said I was going to be busy smoking and roasting an eight-pound pork shoulder. I don’t know why that sounds funny, but it does, because I think I’ve come a long way from cooking small dishes. Now I’m roasting a part of a pig with a bone as large as my arm. What’s even funnier is that my friend reacted nonchalantly because I know she’s heard something similar from me before. I don’t think I can say anything anymore that would surprise the people who know me so well.

The recipe looked easy enough. It’s from an article written by Dana Bowen in The Times. All I had to do was buy a tin can of hickory-wood smoking chips from Zabar’s uptown and a large piece of pork from Bayard Meat Market that fit in my tote bag. I love my barbeque, I really do, and if I can produce a good version at home, I’ll be happy. Almost six hours later, I was; the entire family was. Serve with toasted rolls and of course, pickled scotch bonnet peppers.

1 8-pound pork shoulder, bone-in
3 tbsps of hickory-wood smoking chips
2 cups of cider vinegar
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
salt and pepper

1. Massage pork with salt and pepper. Scatter the smoking chips at the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the pork on a rack and then on the roasting pan. Cover with two long pieces of aluminum foil, folding them together tightly and forming a closed tent. Make sure there is room for the smoke to circulate between the pork and the foil. Place on stovetop and turn on the heat to medium and smoke pork for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
2. While pork is smoking, preheat oven to 300º. Whisk the rest of the ingredients in a bowl to make sauce. Season to taste, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Uncover the roasting pan and transfer it to the oven. Cook for 40 minutes per pound, or about 4 hours, turning the pork over every hour until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork reads 190º.
4. Remove pork from the oven and rest on a large cutting board for 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. While still warm, pull meat away from bones and shred chunks of meat into long strands into a bowl. Chop crustier bits into smaller pieces and add to the bowl. Season with some of the sauce and mix well.

Related post/s:
Smoking with Chicken
Match with pickled scotch bonnet peppers
Where to buy hickory-wood smoking chips

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