If you’re a frequent reader, you will no doubt be aware of the love Mr Kitty and I share for Memphis, and all who sail upon her. This extends quite fervently to having a borderline obsessive love of Southern Cooking, or Soul Food.
One of the cornerstones of Southern Eating, for us anyway, is a good portion of Sticky BBQ Pulled Pork. We shoveled it in during our stays in Memphis and Nashville, and missed it wholeheartedly every time we returned home.
I tried, and failed, a few times, to follow endlessly difficult recipes for Pulled Pork. Concocting insane potions of cider vinegar, molasses, wine and other unexpected ingredients, we never ended up with much more than a charred stump. Charred stumps are okay when smothered in my already perfected BBQ sauce recipe…but something was amiss…
Then it hit me.
Southern Cooking is supposed to be easy, delicious and soulful.
I just had to simplify my method!
So, if you want to cook killer pulled pork and succeed, check out this recipe! I can totally vouch for its success – we have it every Sunday now, instead of a roast dinner.
Ingredient-wise, it’s really that simple.
Pork, basic spices, water.
Remove the pork from its packaging, cut off any string ties etc, and leave in a large bowl.
Mix together the following measures of each per 1lb of pork. 1tbsp Mustard. 2tbsp Paprika, 2tbsp Cayenne (more if you want it spicy), 1tbsp ground Black Pepper.
Use 1/2 of the spice mixture and vigorously rub it into the pork – all over. Front, sides, back. Make sure that bad boy is thoroughly coated. Loosely cover with anything (foil, plate, clingfilm) and pop in the fridge for at least 1, and up to 3 hours. The longer the better.
This is where I would make up the BBQ Sauce for later (see below for the recipe).
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. NO HIGHER.
Remove the pork from the fridge and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Using the rest of the rub, vigorously coat the pork again. When done, place on a wire rack in a deep dish or tray.
Pour over about 200ml of water, make sure you pour it ONTO the pork. Let it sit in the bottom of the pan. Here, you can add a drop of Cider Vinegar if you want, but I don’t.
Every other recipe will tell you here to tightly cover the pork with foil. I will not.
Cover the whole tin in foil, loosely, but leaving no gaps. Make sure the foil on top has a bit of separation from the pork – if its pulled tight, it will burn.
Put it in the oven for five and a half hours. DO NOT open it to check on it AT ALL.
DO NOT adjust the temperature.
It will be fine. I promise.
5.5 hours later, when your stomach is rumbling, you can remove the pork from the oven. It will smell delicious.
Take it out of the tray & place it in a cool, large dish, cover, and leave to stand for about 10 minutes (perhaps while you prepare the accompaniments?)
Using 2 forks, scrape the meat away from the shoulder. There may be some bark (crackling), but try to break this down too, as its really delicious. If the recipe has gone right, it should be crispy but easy to pull apart.
Pour in the BBQ Sauce and stir while the pork is still hot.
Serve on fresh buns with Sweet Potato Fries and Coleslaw.
BBQ SAUCE RECIPE
This is ultra easy, and can generally be made with ingredients you have at home. Normally people would suggest using brown sugar in BBQ sauce, which I would normally agree with, but Pulled Pork Sauce is best when it’s lovely and sticky.
This is really simple.
4tbsp Ketchup per person
1tsp Garlic Powder
1tbsp Sugar per person
A big ole splash of Lea & Perrins (about 2tbsp)
Chill, stir into the Pulled Pork, Enjoy!