Pulled Pork

You’ll find pulled pork with barbecue sauce as a sandwich filling is just about every roadside eatery across the South. Most people will argue that it’s the sauce that makes these sandwiches sing, and I belong to that school, but the flavor and (above all) texture of the meat are vital components as well.

The secret is the right cut braised slowly in a low heat, and the right cut is a shoulder roast, also known as a Boston butt or “picnic” shoulder. This is an inexpensive cut of well-marbled meat that comes from the top portion of the front leg of the hog (despite the name “butt”). I prefer to use a bone-in shoulder, since I think the bone gives added flavor.

For a 6-8 pound butt (with a fat cap), make a spice blend of 3 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons granulated garlic, 2 tablespoons black pepper, and about 2 tablespoons of salt. You can add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar to this. You don’t have to score the fat.

Mix with about 1/2 cup vegetable oil and rub over   shoulder roast pork, bone in. Peel and chop 2 small white onions, and place in the bottom of an oven roaster or slow cooker. If using a slow cooker, set it on low, and cook for about an hour a pound. If in the oven, preheat to 400, place roast on a mid/low rack, and after one hour, reduce heat to 250. I place a sauce pan of water in the oven with the roast to help keep it moist. The oven method will take slightly less  time than  the slow cooker and gives better results,  since the hot oven will sear the meat.

When the pork is fork-tender, remove and discard fat and bone, and reserve some of the pot liquid with most of the fat drained off. Shred the meat into a lidded container and add enough of the reserved liquid for even moisture. This freezes beautifully.