"LizaJane: You really should patent that pulled pork recipe, tis' heavenly.
Me: The secret weapon being pork fat, that would make for an interesting patent application."
So, now you know my secret. I'm a firm believer in the power of pork fat. After you try this recipe, you'll understand.
This pulled pork recipe is part Carolina BBQ, part St. Louis BBQ--meaning, it's tangy from a good dose of cider vinegar, with some spicy, sweet tomato-based BBQ sauce just for fun. I serve it on a toasted bun, topped with creamy coleslaw, so that the whole experience is one of toasted, creamy, fresh, tangy, spicy, sweet pork fat.
BBQ Pulled Pork:
5 lb. pork butt or pork shoulder roast
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil, or another oil with a high smoke point
2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Onion, thick sliced
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbs. apple butter
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. hot sauce
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
Salt, Pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Trim any sinew off of the pork. but leave the layer of fat on the top. (If the fat is egregious--and you'll know when it's egregious--you can shave some of it off.)
2. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Rinse and pat the pork dry, and season with salt and pepper immediately before browning. Sear pork on each side until well browned. Remove from the heat. Place pork skin/fat side up in the dutch oven, and add the cider vinegar, water, and onion.
3. Cover and bake for for 3-4 hours, turning the pork once halfway through. (The pot is hot! Ouch!) Once the pork is tender and shreds easily, remove the meat and braised onions from the dutch oven and chop or shred into large pieces, trimming the large pieces of fat that did not render. Reserve 1 cup of the vinegar/braising juices (skimming the liquid if necessary) and place the meat back in the dutch oven.
4. Place the dutch oven on the stove on medium-low. Add the vinegar and the sauce ingredients to the pork and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook JUST until the pork breaks down a little further. Serve on toasted buns and topped with creamy coleslaw or raw, thin sliced white onions.