Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

It's been forever since I've had a delicious pulled pork two weeks ago. I live in the South so to many people it probably doesn't seem feasible, but I always though of myself as a "New Yorker" even though I moved here when I was five. You know how kids are, they want to be just like their parents when they're little. When I first moved to the South I was submerged into a different culture it seemed, everybody talked differently and said ya'll and "tennis shoes" (sneakers, I prefer to call them) and try saying "ya'll around your born and raised Italian, New York mother. Let's just say, she wasn't having it. I learned that very quickly. Although I tried to rebel against the Southern culture and uphold my New York roots, I've gotta say now that I've been here over a decade, I have proudly embraced many things southern, especially the food.

Which brings me back to pulled pork sandwiches. Up until a few years ago, I didn't even know what pulled pork was. And since I'm not the biggest fan of pork in general, there wasn't really an overwhelming need for me to try it. But then my fiance and I moved into a house and found ourselves five minutes away from a barbecue joint that is out of this world. I'm talking muy delicioso, as backpack from Dora the Explorer would say. Can you tell I live with a two year old?

Anyways, long story short, I fell in love with yet another food item. So to appease my pulled pork cravings for those nights when the place by our house isn't open, (they have weird hours, like most barbecue joints in the south tend to) I decided to put my crock pot to good use. Really, fricking good use, let me tell you. This recipe is easy and delicious. All it takes is a little bit of prep work, then you toss the pork in the crock pot, and 8 hours later, you have yourself a fanfreakingtastic meal. Yeah, buddy.

Pulled pork sandwiches:
  • a 4-6 Ib Boston butt
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 16 oz bottle of your favorite bbq sauce
  • 1 package of sandwich buns
  • dry rub
Dry Rub:
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs pepper
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • I Tbs crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
Mix all of the spices together and store in a sealed container.

The night before, dissolve the salt in 2 quarts of water in a large stockpot big enough to hold the Boston butt. Stir in the sugar and 3 Tbs of the dry rub. Rinse the pork shoulder and submerge the entire thing in the brine (the water/spice mixture you just made). Cover and refrigerate overnight for at lease 8 hours.

In the morning, take the pork out of the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub in more of the dry rub all over the pork. Place in the crock pot with 1/4 cup of chicken stock, 2 Tbs minced garlic, and the sliced onion. Cook on low, fat side up for 6-8 hours, or until meat falls off the bone. Once meat is ready, pull it out of the crock pot and pull apart with two forks in a large bowl. Add desired amount of barbecue sauce to the pork, just enough to moisten, and mix well. Assemble the pork onto the sandwich buns, add more barbecue sauce and enjoy! Makes 6-8 servings.

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