Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beer-braised barbecued pulled pork

Will and I made this on Sunday and it was SO good! This is actually my inspiration for this blog. It's from a cookbook from the library (a Food tv chef whose initials are D.L. - if you watch that channel ever). (note: From what I've read, as long as you make a couple changes to the recipe that you are posting on the internet, it's not a copyright issue, so I've modified the title and I'll re-word some of the instructions.)

We had the pork as a sandwich on hamburger buns, but the recipe as I'll type it calls for serving over cheesy grits. I've never had grits before. Greg - you're practically a southerner by now, have you had them? Wikipedia tells me that it's a corn porridge similar to polenta. "Traditionally the corn for grits is ground by a stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer part being corn meal, and the coarser being grits." I think the pork would probably be great that way too - and fancier for a special meal.

Here's the recipe:

For the pork:
3 T. canola oil
2 T. salt
1 T. sugar
~50 grinds black pepper (we used ~1/4 t.)
2 T. chili powder
1 T. garlic powder
2 t. ground coriander
2 t. ground mustard seed
1 pork butt, about 5-6 pounds (I think this recipe is supposed to use pork with the bone. We used a 3.4 lb boneless butt - and we probably got ~8 nicely stuffed hamburger bun sandwiches out of the recipe)
12 oz. good ale or dark beer, such as Bass (we used Leinies Ocktoberfest Amber beer)
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. dijon mustard
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c. dark brown sugar

**Best to start this recipe the night before!** Combine the oil, salt, sugar, pepper, and all dry spices in a small bowl and mix well. Rub all over the pork but. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight. (we just did 2 hours)

Preheat the oven to 500 deg F (nope, not a typo). Unwrap the pork and place in a roasting pan with sides just a couple inches high. If your pan is too high the meat won't brown well. (we don't have a roasting pan, we used a fairly shallow 9 x 13 inch pan and I think it worked fine. The only problem is that the pan was really tough to clean out afterward... maybe line with aluminum foil or something? That might work.) Cook ~45 minutes, until dark browned and blackening in places. (This dish may take a long time to cook, but it makes your place smell amazing while it's cooking!) Remove from the oven. Lower the temp to 300 deg F. Pour the beer over the top and add the sliced garlic to the beer around the pork. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or twice with regular foil and poke ~10 holes all over the top of the foil. Cook the pork ~2 1/2 hours longer, until it is so tender it comes away from the center bone. (we didn't have a bone, it was plenty tender. I don't think you can overcook this. In his recipe intro the chef says the recipe is based on a roadside stand in Georgia that cooks their pork up to 18 hours.)

Place the meat onto a plate, and pour the pan juices into a saucepan (most of the garlic just naturally stuck to the roasting pan for me, and I left it there, a few pieces went into the pan and dissolved easily when making the sauce.) To the pan juices add the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, and brown sugar. Stir together and bring to a boil. Simmer until thick and reduced by ~half (around 20 minutes).

While the sauce is boiling, pull apart the pork with two forks. (Make sure you try some of the pork at this point... especially outside bits! I almost ate it all at this step before even getting to the sauce!) Pour the sauce over the pulled pork and work until fully absorbed.

Making the grits: (if you want something fancier)

Scald 3 c. whole milk with 1 t. salt in a saucepan over medium heat until little bubbles appear around the outside. Slowly whisk in 1 c. instant grits and continue whisking until the mixture barely simmers. Cook, whisking often, until very thick, which might take about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 c. grated sharp white cheddar cheese until melted and smooth. Serve the savory pulled pork over the hot grits.

Serves 8.

If you try it, let me know what you think! I don't eat meat all that often, actually, but I've decided that pork just might be my favorite, so if you have any great pork recipes, please share!

What have you guys made/eaten lately? I'll try to take some pictures next time while cooking and the finished product to liven up the blog! Who doesn't like food pictures?


Greg said...

"I think the pork would probably be great that way too - and fancier for a special meal."

Being a "southerner" as far as our family goes, I have indeed had grits. I don't think they would be considered fancier than hamburger buns. I've had cheesy grits with breakfast from a Waffle House. They were pretty good. Imagine Cream of Wheat, only with corn. Cream of Corn. Delicious.

Greg said...

Oh, and I'm going to try this recipe ASAP. Maybe when I'm back at home?

Ellen said...

This does sound good! I have a recipe I'm thinking would sound good on a cold day like this one, so I'll probably post that soon.

Kate said...

Well, I still think you'd be more likely to see the pulled pork served over grits at a fancy restaurant than served on a hamburger bun. But I'm just guessing!

(Maybe if you make this at mom and dad's you can invite us over for dinner??? ;o)

Stalin said...

With my recent experience I'm pretty sure the 2.5 hours only applies to that 3.4 lb cut. My guess is you need weight of cut - 1 hour, so 5 hours for a 6 lb cut. (this is after the 45 minutes at 500).