Friday, September 28, 2007

Easy NC Style Pulled Pork

If you don’t have a smoker but want to make some North Carolina style pulled pork, here's a "cheater's recipe" that's a lot less work (and less tricky) than smoking and produces delicious results. Purists may complain that it's not authentic NC barbeque, but why get hung up on terminology when the end result is good food with great flavor?!? Heck, most NC barbeque restaurants no longer smoke their pork, but they still call what they serve "barbeque"! So here goes:

Rub a Boston Butt or pork shoulder with a spice rub and cook it long and slow in an oven or on a grill until it’s cooked through and tender (internal temperature of about 180 degrees). We like to use Adams Rib Rubb or Pig Pen's Original Seasoning when we make this recipe, and if we want to recreate a smoky flavor we use Pepper Dog Dry Rub. When the pork looks like it's done, you'll want to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure. If you pierce the meat and the juices running from the meat aren't clear, or if the meat is still pink inside, or if it doesn't pull pretty easily from the bone, you need to keep cooking it. Once the pork is cooked through, remove it from the oven or grill and pull or chop the meat off the bone and place in a serving tray. Mix in your favorite NC BBQ Sauce, seal the tray with aluminum foil and put it in a warm oven or on a grill at low heat for at least 30 minutes, or until you're ready to serve. One NC BBQ sauce that works particularly well with this recipe is Pit Road BBQ & Dipping Sauce. Serve the pork as is (perhaps with some collard greens and hushpuppies or fries on the side), or on a bun with slaw, and have plenty of the barbecue sauce available for your guests to add to taste. The pork won't be smoky and I can’t call it "authentic" NC barbeque, but I can tell you from experience that it will taste pretty darn good!

Zestfully yours,

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