20 April 2010

Southern Pulled Pork

OK so I have a confession. Cupcakes aside, my biggest weakness is southern US and central American cuisine. TexMex, soul food, Creole, Yucatan, Mexican, Cuban - I love them all. When I was a teenager, a group I performed with did some touring in that area and I just fell in love with the cuisine.

Pork is a huge part of the diet over there. It's much cheaper than it is in Australia, and pork can be slow cooked in a myriad of ways - and every time it seems to come out moist and sumptious. I was feeling terribly nostalgic last week, and was craving the pulled pork I had in Dallas. Sweet, meaty, sticky and covered in a unctiously smoky barbecue sauce, it was a dish I'll never forget. Problem is, you can't seem to find that type of food anywhere in Australia - so I decided that I was craving it enough to make it for myself.

Since I don't have a slow cooker, I used an oven baked recipe. I was pretty happy with how it turned out - the barbecue sauce was quite acidic and runny, so I only ended up using half - but a small amount make the pork simply perfect! I'd never acutally used a dry rub before - this one is delicious, but makes much more than you need! I'm using the leftovers to make chicken wings - yum!

Southern Pulled Pork

You will need:

Dry Rub:

3 tablespoons paprika I used smoked paprika - it made it that much better!
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse salt I used 1 Tbsp fine salt
1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt I used a 1.8 kg deboned rolled shoulder

Cider Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard I used seeded mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for as long as you have time for, as little as 1 hour or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator. This rub sma

Preheat the oven to 150 C.

Put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours. Basically, roast the pork until it's falling apart. Mine took 4 1/2 hours because it was a little smaller

To make the barbecue sauce: combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves.

Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, take 2 forks and "pull" the meat to form shreds. Using 2 forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat. If you can stop licking your fingers when you do this, you have much more restraint than I do!

Serve on tacos or fresh bread with coleslaw or guacamole. This is finger-licking food - the best kind of food. Yummo!


  1. This sounds very tasty - I haven't tried anything like this before.

  2. you gotta give it a go cakelaw - it's soooo worth it!

  3. All of those spices mixed together must be magnificent! I'm a big fan of slow cooked shredded pork so I think I'll be printing this recipe out!