Low and slow is one of the best methods for cooking pork and it is no different when making pulled pork. Cooked in a low 300 degree oven for 6-7 hours until the pork is falling apart tender, then doused with some of the pan drippings and topped with your favorite barbecue sauce. Sit a big pile of luscious pork on a roll with a huge dollop of cole slaw and you have yourself a gosh darn good sloppy sandwich that is perfect for picnics and warm weather eating. Tagging along side, some baked beans. Life is good when you have a little BBQ sauce dripping down your chin.
I have never ever made pulled pork in my life until now. So of course I ventured around the web viewing dozens of recipes and came upon a spice rubbed pork from Tyler Florence of the Food Network. I tweaked the recipe just a bit to suit my own personal tastes.
While the pork was slow roasting, the aroma in the first two hours was intoxicating. I kept thinking, "I surely hope this comes out as good as it smells." I've been to events where they roast whole pigs and thoroughly enjoyed the pork. I believe the key to the fantastic flavor was not just the fabulous blend of spices but the fact that after roasting I took a look at those pan juices and caramelized fat drippings and thought it would be sinful to toss it. So I didn't. In the instructions you read about what I did.
For the pork:
- 4 1/2 - 5 lb. pork picnic shoulder
- 3 tbsp. paprika
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. dry mustard
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- barbecue sauce
- In a small bowl add all of the spices listed above. Mix well.
- Rub the spice mixture over all of the pork. Let this marinate, refrigerated over night or for at least one hour prior to roasting.
- Add the rubbed pork to a roasting pan that has a lid. You will use the lid later on but for now you roast the pork uncovered. Place the roasting pan with pork in a preheated 300° oven. Roast for about 6 hours or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat reaches 170°.
- Pull the roast out of the oven and place on a cutting board. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- While the pork is resting, drain off the fat from the roasting pan. To the pan drippings add 1 cup of water and lid the roasting pan. Over medium high heat let the mixture come to a boil, take the cover off, then begin scrapping all of the good bits from the bottom of the pan. Keep scraping until you have cleaned the bottom of the pan well. Lid it, turn the heat off and let it rest.
- Now you're ready to pull pork. Using two forks pull the meat away and place it in a waiting bowl. Be patient - this takes a bit of time.
- When you are done pulling the pork, add it to the pan juices and mix well. Trust me this adds more moisture and tons of flavor to the pork.
- 1 bag coleslaw mix
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/8 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. celery seed
- 1/4 tsp. mustard seed
- pinch salt
- pinch sugar
- black pepper to taste
- Make the dressing for the coleslaw by combining the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and spices. Whisk well to incorporate.
- Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mix you've placed in a bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust for any additional seasoning to suit your own personal tastes. Refrigerate for a while with a covering of plastic wrap.
- Makes about 1 cup of dressing.
This method of cooking coupled with the spice rub mixture and utilizing the pan drippings took this pulled pork over the top!
My husband (who as you know if you read this blog is my number one critic) said of this pork:
"I've had pulled pork before and even at the restaurant we went to after golfing. I always thought theirs was good, a little dry, but good. Theirs was nothing compared to this. This pulled pork is simply the best I've ever eaten."
And this morning he complimented me again on a job well done and told me he can't wait to dive into the left overs.
There was enough pulled pork to make at least 6-8 sandwiches. The roast cost me $6.89. It was on sale for a super duper price of $1.00 per pound. Add the spices and you are around $7.89. The coleslaw mix was $1.99 for the bag and the dressing cost about $1.10 to make. Baked beans - I doctored up a can of BandM beans which cost me $1.69 for a medium sized can. Just the pulled pork feeds six for $1.31 each and eight for .98¢.
This is definitely a great dish to serve at picnics and made over a weekend when you have more time. Your family and friends will be astonished at how good this is.
For a weeknight (or weekend) pork loin roast, you may want to check out my Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin. We absolutely loved, loved this. It too was full of flavor and tender and moist!