Monday, March 19, 2012
Pulled Pork. Oh Mah Gawwd, Y'all.
Until I moved to the south, I had never heard of pulled pork before. I think you can actually get it up north these days, but 20 years ago it was definitely a southern specialty.
The other morning on the Today Show, one of my fave bloggers, The Pioneer Woman, was demonstrating this recipe for pork roast. It looked really trailer-trashy at first glance. Any recipe that just requires you take a slab of inexpensive meat, then open cans and bottles of stuff and dump it on top, then shove the whole dang thing in an oven, arouses my suspicion.
But when she unveiled the finished pork roast, Andy Cleveland and I sat transfixed and salivating in front of the TV and vowed to try it.
Of course, I had to complicate matters by spilling a whole container of black peppercorns on the floor. Do you know what a pain in the ass this is? Those little black spheres do not stay put when you try to sweep them, and they are like walking on tiny marbles.
I have never cooked such a massive slab of pork before, and I was befuddled as to what to do with the thing. Which way do I put it in the pan? What is this thick slab of fatty stuff? Do I cut it off? Does it go on the bottom or the top? Andy Cleveland sagely suggested, "I think you're over-thinking this, Sweetie."
So I cut up some onions and layered them in the bottom of the trusty dutch oven, salt and peppered the roast and stuck it in the pan.
Next, I opened a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and dumped it on the slab.
Then I poured a bottle of Dr. Pepper on top of the whole mess. I did not have quite enough Dr. Pepper--the recipe called for 2 cans and I used a 20 oz. bottle. To make up the rest of the liquid, I added some cider vinegar with brown sugar dissolved in it.
Then I covered the pot and stuck it in a 300 degree oven.
And then there's the waiting. Like 6 hours of it. This was a 5 pound roast and we cooked it low and slow. We turned the beast over at about 2 hours into the cooking, and didn't touch until we returned home. To pass the time, we went down to Legend Brewery and swilled beer and listened to bluegrass music. Four hours and three beers later, the house smelled Ah-May-Zing when we stumbled drunkenly through the door!
When I tried to lift the pork roast out of the pan, it was so tender that it literally fell off the bone. It pulled apart with forks like buttuh, and we ate it with some homemade apple sauce on the side. This pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Today, we ate it again with fresh coleslaw on Andy Cleveland's home made buns!
This is a wonderful and inexpensive way to serve a bunch of people. We ended up freezing half the pork, eating it two nights in a row and taking sandwiches over to the neighbors.