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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pulled Pork, oh the tradition

I made pulled pork today, not some fancy plated braised in stout pulled pork or raised by loving hands of Russian maidens and allowed to eat only Italian acorns pulled pork. Just plain old traditional pulled pork, from an unnamed pig, slow cooked over charcoal and wood. I chose to use a mix of "Cherry Rub" and "Sweet and Spicy Rub" made by Steph Franklin from Simply Marvelous BBQ, Steph is making some of the best rubs out there and it is my go to rub. I mixed these two half/half mostly because I wanted to rub heavily and I didn't order soon enough to have a full bottle of either.

I had the kettle set up for off-set heat, settled in at 275F and waiting for the pork. I had purchased a 3.5lb partial butt, since my usual folks that I dump my leftover sack-O-pork on are traveling. It was a mediocre piece of butchering, but, an excellent piece of pork. Here it is with the first coating of rub.
As you can see, the butt is a little loose, it was partially separated in the fat vein and at the bone, I had to practice a little butcher twine work to get it to a more or less uniform shape (depending on your feeling in uniform). In this next image, the pork has been tied and sat for 40 minutes with a fan running, this sets a skin (pellicle) to adhere the second coating of rub to. The combination of sugar, salt and the proteins drawn from the meat forming the pellicle allows for adhering the rub without using any other ingredients. Next image is with the second rub.
Basically, once this was done and the rub was set a little more, I placed the now well coated hunk of meat into the kettle at 275F for the next 6 hours, this created a very nice bark, a deep rich color and a very tender pork butt. Here is it just prior to resting.
I wrapped into the foil, then inside of a warmed towel to rest and continue to cook slowly and cruise down to pulling temperature. This process takes an hour, believe it or not, an hour is really minimal for this part of the cook. Then I pulled the meat into chunks for cooling and storing, as I intend to eat tomorrow.
Initial taste testing and snacking indicates that this is some terrific pulled pork, I actually added in some more of the original rub mix and will allow to cool. Tomorrow, I will reheat for sandwiches, I can't say how many at this point. Here is a close-up showing the texture, which I hope you can see, is not the least mushy.
A funny aside, I forgot that I had tied the butt, so when I went to pull it, the meat would not pull. My first thought was 'oh no, I pulled a rookie mistake! How could I do that?'. But, no, it was then I noticed the string, cut it and the whole thing came right apart. Whew!

1 comment:

  1. This pork but is chewy...and tough....kind of stringy.

    Nice cook and thanks for sharing the funny twine story.