Sunday, February 05, 2012

Perfect Oven Roasted Pulled Pork

Do you love pulled pork but don't want to mess with a grill or smoker? Or you simply don't own a grill or a smoker?

You can make great pulled pork in your oven. It is easy and tastes great. I use my sister Heather's (aka Hez) recipe for the dry rub. The "pig juice" sauce is a recipe that I've adapted from a couple different Carolina style vinegar sauces.

Active Prep - 30 minutes
Inactive Prep - 8 hours
Cook Time - 6 to 7 hours
Yield - 16 to 20

Oven Roasted Pulled Pork


Brining the roast:
  • 2 quarts Water
  • 1 cup Pickling Salt
  • ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 2 whole Bay Leaves
  • 6 to 8 pounds Pork Shoulder Roast (Boston Butt or Picnic)
Hez's dry rub:

  • 4 Tablespoons Paprika (Try smoked paprika if you can find it!)
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt (I like to use Hickory Salt, it lends a slightly woodsy/smokey/bbq flavor that plain table salt can't)
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Sage
  • 1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
Pig Juice
  • 2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cups Ketchup
  • ¼ cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Black Pepper
Combine the water, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, and black pepper and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Place the pork roast in a large Ziploc bag (I use the 2 gallon size for mine) and pour the brine over the roast and add the bay leaves. Seal the bag, squeezing out any excess air. Place the roast in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

While the meat is brining make the dry rub by combining all ingredients by hand mixing or whisking together.

Store in an airtight container. The dry rub recipe makes enough for 2 to 3 roasts, this rub also works well on smoked turkey.

*Yes i realize I spelled RUB wrong, I plead temporary insanity*

For the pig juice combine all ingredients in a large mason jar, screw the lid on tight and shake well to combine. This sauce can be decanted into a plastic squeeze bottle for easy dispensing or left in the jar and spooned over the meat. If you like a thicker sauce place the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium high heat, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, allow to cool, pour into a mason jar or plastic squeeze bottle and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.

When the brining is completed discard the liquid and pat the roast dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 250F. Season roast well with a couple scoops of dry rub, make sure the roast is completely coated.

Place the roast fat side up in a roasting pan, place parchment paper over the pan and wet the parchment around the rim then firmly place the lid of the roasting pan down over the parchment. Place the roaster in the preheated oven. Cook for 6 to 7 hours or until internal temperature reaches 200F. Leave the roast in the oven, turn off oven and crack the oven door open. Allow the roast to cool for about half an hour.

The meat should have a dark brown or almost blackened crust, don't worry, it isn't burned. Remove roast from oven and place on a cutting board. When cool enough to safely handle, shred the meat with your fingers or use two forks to pull the meat apart, it should separate easily, if it does not it hasn't been cooked long enough. Some people like to place the shredded meat on a large cutting board and then chop with two knives, some people prefer the large pot roast style chunks of shredded meat. Serve hot with generous helpings of your favorite BBQ sauce or Pig Juice. We like to get deli rolls and toast them, then spoon some pig juice on the roll and over the meat.

Note: I always start this the day before I am serving it. If I plan on serving it for a Saturday lunch I make the brine and put the roast in it on my lunch break from work, usually about 1 or 2pm on Friday. Later that night (about 9 or 10pm before I go to bed) I take it out of the brine, season it, and put it in the oven programmed to turn on at 1am. When I get up at 7am I take it out of the oven, wrap it in foil and then wrap it in towels and place it in a cooler until I’m ready to shred and serve.

When I am cooking this my poor dogs watch the oven like it is TV. They get even more intense when we bring it out and shred it, I guess dry dog food just can't compare.

No comments: