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, and I belong to that school, but the flavor and (above all) texture of the meat are vital components in providing a platform.

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”). While a butt has a more fat, making it more tender, a bone-in shoulder is your best option for pulled pork, since it has more connective tissue for a better texture and the bone gives more flavor.

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. Mix with about 1/2 cup vegetable oil and rub over a 4-5 lb. 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, if the oven, set at 250. The roast will take more time in the slow cooker, about 6-7 hours, somewhat less in the oven. When the meat is fork-tender, remove and discard fat and bone, and reserve the pot liquid with most of the fat drained off. Shred the pork into a lidded container and add enough of the reserved liquid for even moisture. This freezes beautifully.