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Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

Seasoned with herbs and spices, studded with cloves of garlic then slow cooked in the essence of sweet apple juice – this cut of pork turns into a succulent piece of meat, full of flavor, fork tender and falling off the bone.

I discovered pulled pork later in life while traveling to Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Much like any good brisket or roast, slow cooking is the trick. And like any brisket or roast, if you don’t season the meat the result is really quite boring.

Emily discovered this recipe and it never disappoints. As a native Texan who attended Auburn before settling in Georgia, the girl knows good barbecue!

Pulled pork starts with a generous cut of meat from the upper shoulder of the pig known as pork butt or Boston butt. It has a lot of marbling that benefits from a long, slow cooking process. The blend in the dry rub offers a mix of mild spices and herbs balanced by a touch of sweetness from brown sugar. Garlic cloves are tucked into pockets cut into the meat and soften while cooking, creating luscious layers of flavor while the pork braises in a cooking liquid of pure apple juice.

This makes enough to feed a crowd but if you’re not, you could certainly cook a smaller portion. The larger cut requires a 7-quart slow cooker for ample room. All-Clad makes an excellent large slow cooker with an aluminum insert that’s safe for oven use and quite handy for the initial roast in the oven.

A bit of preplanning is required – you want to season the meat the day before serving to give the dry rub time to penetrate into the meat. Then it’s a long, slow cook.

Your patience will be greatly rewarded.

Pulled Pork

Pork butt or Boston butt, about  7-8 pounds

14 garlic cloves, or 7 large cloves cut in half

½ cup dark brown sugar, packed

4 tablespoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons ground coriander

3 tablespoons dry mustard

4 teaspoons crushed fennel seed*

4 teaspoons garlic powder

2-1/2 cups apple juice

Using a sharp knife cut slits into the pork, creating pockets evenly spaced on both sides of the meat. Press a garlic clove into each pocket.

Whisk together the brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika, black pepper, thyme, coriander, dry mustard, fennel seed and garlic powder until well blended.

Place the pork shoulder in a large container – one with a lid is perfect. Spread the sugar and spice rub over the entire piece of pork, pressing gently into the meat as you go. You might not need all the dry rub to cover the pork. As long as you haven’t exposed it to raw meat you can save it for later or toss it into a sauce for serving.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 8-10 hours or up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to cook the pork place it in the ovenproof insert of your slow cooker. If the insert to your slow cooker is not ovenproof use a roasting pan. Roast the pork at 350-degrees for one hour.

Transfer the pork to your slow cooker and pour the apple juice into the pan.

Cover and cook the pork on the low setting for about 7 hours or until the meat easily pulls apart with a fork.

Carefully move the pork roast to a pan or cutting board with inset or grooves to catch the drippings. Using two large forks, pull the meat into pieces.

Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or ladle a portion of the cooking liquid over the meat and perhaps a bit of coleslaw on a hot roll!

If you have leftovers, store the meat in the cooking liquid, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in your slow cooker on low for 2 hours.

Serves 8 to 10.

*Crushing the fennel seeds helps to release their flavor. You can use a mortar and pestle or a small grinder.

Pulled Pork, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

September 4, 2019
: Serves 8 to 10.

Seasoned with spices, studded with cloves of garlic and slow cooked in the essence of sweet apple juice turns this cut of pork into a succulent piece of meat, full of flavor and falling off the bone.

By:

Ingredients
  • Pork butt or Boston butt, about 7-8 pounds
  • 14 garlic cloves, or 7 large cloves cut in half
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 4 teaspoons crushed fennel seed*
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2-1/2 cups apple juice
Directions
  • Step 1 Using a sharp knife cut slits into the pork, creating pockets evenly spaced on both sides of the meat. Press a garlic clove into each pocket.
  • Step 2 Whisk together the brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika, black pepper, thyme, coriander, dry mustard, fennel seed and garlic powder until well blended.
  • Step 3 Place the pork shoulder in a large container – one with a lid is perfect.
  • Step 4 Spread the sugar and spice rub over the entire piece of pork, pressing gently into the meat as you go. You might not need all the dry rub to cover the pork. As long as you haven’t exposed it to raw meat you can save it for later or toss it into a sauce for serving.
  • Step 5 Cover and refrigerate for at least 8-10 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Step 6 When you’re ready to cook the pork place it in the ovenproof insert of your slow cooker. If the insert to your slow cooker is not ovenproof use a roasting pan. Roast the pork at 350-degrees for one hour.
  • Step 7 Transfer the pork to your slow cooker and pour the apple juice into the pan.
  • Step 8 Cover and cook the pork on the low setting for about 7 hours or until the meat easily pulls apart with a fork.
  • Step 9 Carefully move the pork roast to a pan or cutting board with inset or grooves to catch the drippings. Using two large forks, pull the meat into pieces.
  • Step 10 Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or ladle a portion of the cooking liquid over the meat.
  • Step 11 If you have leftovers, store the meat in the cooking liquid, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in your slow cooker on low for 2 hours.
  • Step 12 *Crushing the fennel seeds helps to release their flavor. You can use a mortar and pestle or a small grinder.


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