Pulled Pork Sandwiches

July 19, 2013

With the record heatwave bearing it’s full force down on use poor north-easterners, keeping my kitchen as cool as possible is an absolute requirement. I had originally made this recipe about a year ago (during a similar heatwave), and the meal turned out fantastic. The only problem was that I ran short of BBQ sauce. Today, I rectified the problem be increasing the sauce ingredients by 50%. To make the sauce even more flavorful, I also reduced the pork drippings and incorporated them into the sauce. The sauce was rich but not too overpowering, and not too vinegary like the Lexington pulled pork. Overall, I give this recipe a delicious 4-1/2-star.

Delicious pulled pork takes 24 hours to make

Delicious pulled pork takes between 1 and 3 days to make

Because the base recipe was written 15-years-ago, I adopted some recent techniques by placing a few unlit charcoal briquettes technique underneath the lit charcoal. This extends the life of the fire so that the temperature stay just above 300-degrees for at least two hours. For the third hour on the grill, I still had to add more briquettes.

Rating: 4-1/2 star.
Cost: $16.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 12 Noon. Dinner time 6:30 PM. (Rubbing spices into the roast up to 3 days prior)

Here is the original Cook’s Illustrated link to for this recipe. The recipe for the sauce is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today is as follows:

Pulled Pork Recipe:
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 bone-in Boston butt pork roast, 6 to 8 pounds

  1. From 1 to 3 days before cooking, combine all spices in a small bowl and stir to combine. Evenly spread the spice rub into the roast. Use two layers of plastic wrap to tightly wrap, put on a plate and refrigerate overnight. (This step needs to be done at least 3 hours prior).
  2. Remove roast from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Soak four 3″ wood chunks in tap water, using a plate to ensure that the wood stays below the surface of the water.
  3. About 15 minutes before cooking, light a chimney starter half-filled with briquettes
  4. When the charcoal is ready, spread 10 unlit briquettes on one side of the grill. Even spread the lit charcoal ontop of the unlit coals, leaving half the grill completely empty. Put the soaked wood chunks ontop of charcoal, and replace the cooking grate. Open the bottom vents completely and the top vents half-way.
  5. Put the roast in a disposable aluminum pan, and put it on the cool side of the grill. Cover so that the vents are over the meat, which will draw the smoke to better flavor the meat.
  6. After two hours, add 8 to 10 additional briquettes so that you can maintain a cooking temperature of 275-degrees. Cook for a total of 3 hours on the grill.
  7. About 15 minutes before the meat is ready to come off the grill, set a rack to the middle of your oven. Preheat to 325-degrees.
  8. Cover the pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and bake for 2 more hours; until the meat is “fork-tender”.
  9. Put the entire pan in a brown paper bag and fold it shut. Let the roast rest for an hour inside the bag, but after 15 minutes begin making the sauce below.
  10. Empty the meat onto a cutting board and use your hands to separate into large sections along the lines of the fat. Scrape away any excess fat. Use your fingers (or forks) to thinly shred and put meat into a large bowl. Add 1-1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and stir to combine. Serve of buns or bread as sandwiches.

Western South Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce Recipe:
1-1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion
3 medium cloves garlic
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
1-1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoon paprika
1-1/2 teaspoon table salt
1-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cup ketchup

  1. After 15 minutes of the pork resting in the paper bag (step 9 above), slightly peel back one corner of the foil and empty drippings in a 2-qt saucepan and bring to boil. Re-close foil and return pork to paper bag to continue resting. Simmer pot with the lid ajar to reduce for 30 minutes. Pour reduced sauce into large bowl (bowl will also be used in step 10 above).
  2. Mince the onion and peel the garlic. Put saucepan over a medium burner and pre-heat oil  until shimmering. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Press garlic directly into the pan and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the reduced drippings and all the remaining ingredients (except for the ketchup). Stir to combine, bring up to a boil.
  4. Reduce burner to low and add ketchup. Cook for 15 more minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Well cooked and easy to shred.

Well cooked and easy to shred.

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