18 March 2009

pulled pork

this is one of my favorite things for mike to do on the grill.  it takes a little while, but it is worth it!!  the leftovers are great with the root beer bbq sauce on sandwiches.

1 boneless pork shoulder (about 4 to 41/2 pounds) 

4 tablespoons kosher salt 
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar 
1/4 cup paprika 
2 to 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only 
4 cloves garlic 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
Scant 1 tablespoon cayenne 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  1. place the salt, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, thyme leaves, garlic, vinegar, and cayenne in a food processor and pulse until well combined. add extra-virgin olive oil until you have a nice paste. rub all over the pork, being sure to get into the nooks so the salt can penetrate the meat and pull out the moisture - this will help form a crust on the outside when cooked. cover the pork with plastic wrap or freezer paper and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. 
  2. allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. set up a charcoal grill for indirect cooking, adding pecan wood chunks to the charcoal for smoke.
  3. position the pork fat side up on the grill. there’s no need to turn the meat during cooking. cook slowly with the lid closed on low heat (325° to 350°F).  After about 3 hours, wrap the meat with aluminum foil and continue to cook for a total cooking time of 5 to 6 hours. the meat should be very tender and easy to pull apart. (If using a bone-in cut, you’ll be able to wiggle the bone free.)
  4. let the meat rest on a cutting board or clean tray until just cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. (It will pull apart most easily while still somewhat hot.) pull the meat from the skin, bone, and fat working quickly, shred the chunks of meat with two forks by crossing the forks and “pulling” the meat from the roast into small pieces. 

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