Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Picky does pulled pork

I went for a job interview and to run some errands this afternoon. I took a chance before I left the house. I opened up a recipe I had written for pulled pork on the computer and left it there, and left a defrosted pork Boston butt in the fridge.

Picky and I did a quick kid switcheroo at his school at the end of basketball practice. He was busy collecting equipment, so it was basically a hand-off. (He loves sports references). He called me on his way home with the kids, and as he was trying to end the conversation, I slipped in "Hey-do-you-think-you-can-start-the-pork-for-me-
just-a-few-ingredients-is-that-OK-huh?" After some resistance and grousing, Picky agreed. If it was anything but the pulled pork, I think he would have said no and ordered pizza.

I told him I would let him slide on the searing step in the beginning and he didn't have to go pick onions from the garden, I would add them in later. He started going over the recipe with me and asking me amounts and I said "Just do whatever it says on the recipe, but remember this is a four pound cut, not a 12 pound pork shoulder like I wrote the recipe for."

Well, he added the full amounts for everything. Not that big a deal, since I eyeball everything and am usually pretty generous, but the poor pork was swimming in liquid when I got home and rushed to the rescue. I took the lid off and turned the pork up to high heat, and boiled off all the extra liquid. It was a tad heavy on the paprika and I totally could tell he had used a spice blend instead of the red pepper flakes (BAD Picky!) but it was scrumptious.

Here is the original recipe, by me totally from my noggin.

Pulled pork

12 lb picnic pork shoulder (only size they had!)
2 T grapeseed oil (or whatever oil ya got)
2 large yellow onions, diced
2 T paprika
1 T salt
1 t red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
4 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 12 oz can diced tomatoes
1 T diced garlic
1/4 cup maple syrup

Remove as much of the large layer of fat that you can with a sharp knife. It should come off in one piece if you separate and remove it in a sawing motion from one end.
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Rinse pork shoulder and pat dry.
Put pork shoulder in hot oil, fat remainder side down. Let fat sear and sizzle for about 15 minutes. Turn the pork on one of the uncooked sides.

Add onions, paprika and salt. Make sure onions fall into the hot oil and fat. Cook until fragrant and opaque. Turn pork onto other uncooked side. Add red pepper flakes, bay leaves, water and vinegar. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium to medium low (enough to maintain a healthy simmer) and cover. Boil until tender, about 4 hours. Turn pork occasionally, and check for tenderness.

When meat is tender and it shreds with a fork, add can of tomatoes. Cook ½ hour longer.
Add garlic and maple syrup. Stir, and turn off heat.

Shred meat from bones with 2 forks. Eat and enjoy.

I served this with French hamburger buns, onion rings and fresh tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. (On the side, because Picky only likes the tomatoes plain, you know.)

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