Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
I think summer is definitely the season of pulled pork. I've been seeing it all over the place! In last month's issue of Gourmet, on several food blogs, and in some stores - it seems like pulled pork is everywhere I look. So, I thought I should hop on the bandwagon and try it out for myself. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of the sweeter side of things, so I was looking forward to manipulating a recipe to appeal to my more savory taste buds. This was the first time I ever tried roasting pork, so first I tried to get an idea of how exactly you go about making one of these babies so tender you can shred it with a fork.
I was interested in using Gourmet's recipe, but as the name would imply, it was pretty gourmet. I wasn't really looking to make this some extravagant ordeal. I knew for sure I wanted to use the Apple Cider Sweet Onion Sauce over on How To Cook Like Your Grandmother (No, Drew. I promise I'm not stalking you, you've just inspired some heady cravings the last few days.)I ended up just combining a bunch of different recipes and flew by the seat of my pants. Thankfully, my pants are pretty damn good at flying.
I didn't make the onion sauce exactly the way I was supposed to, well, because sometimes I just don't like to follow directions. Instead I caramelized about 3 lbs. of Walla Walla onions in a 1/4 cup of butter for about two hours. Then I added a half cup of brown sugar and a half cup apple cider vinegar to the mix and pureed with my immersion blender until smooth. I'm sure the original recipe is better, but I'm lazy. I did like what I ended up with though, and will continue to use it next time I roast a big ol' pork butt.
So, I made the onion sauce the day before and left it in the fridge overnight. The next day around noon I put the 2 1/4 lb. Boston Butt in a stoneware 9 x 13 baking dish and seasoned it all over with sea salt, cracked pepper, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder. I then poured the onion sauce all over it, added about 1/2 cup chicken stock and then enough water to come about halfway up the roast. I covered it tightly with foil and put it in a 275 degree F oven for 5 hours.
When I pulled it out....whoo boy was it tender! I barely touched it with a fork and it just fell apart. Absolutely amazing! I would however recommend trimming as much fat as possible off the butt before putting it in the oven. I skipped this step and it was a real pain in the butt (oh, ha ha. me so funny.) trying to separate the super tender, falling apart meat and the gelatinous fat. After shredding the meat I removed about 1 cup of the liquid left in the pan and drizzled about a half cup of my favorite bbq sauce over the meat. I seasoned it with some more sea salt and cracked pepper and added about a tablespoon and a half of a spicy Dijon mustard.
Let's just say it was friggin' delicious.