Normally after I cook things I try and get some pictures of the dish and provide some semblance of a recipe to share with you all. At least, that’s what I decided I would do after my last cooking excursion. I shall be known as that cook guy who also writes books.
As I mentioned last week, my big Labor Day attempt was going to be the making of pulled pork. However, I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures of the food that was made. I did get a lot of pictures of the sorts of waves a hurricane stirs up when it’s passing by miles away, as that is precisely what Hurricane Earl was doing. So we’ll do a sort of hodge podge here of pictures of waves and descriptions of pork and it will make perfect sense.
First, here is what I drank:
I love that picture and I think Maker’s Mark or Canada Dry should buy it off me.
As for cooking, and as I just said, the main dish was pulled pork. I had to go with cooking in a normal oven as my smoker has been banned from my family’s house. But it turned out marvelously. Not that I have any real recipes to come away with, but I learned a lot about the various techniques. First I brined the pork:
I basically kept putting salt into water until it tasted brackish to me. This measurement means a lot more than cups and gallons as I can never remember that, but I will remember how salty the water tasted. Then I dumped in sugar until it wasn’t horrible to taste. Then I soaked the pork shoulder for about fifteen hours. I think I could go ahead and soak for much longer as well as add some spices to the brine. The finished product, while delicious, could have used some added seasoning and brining supposedly lets the flavors in the soaking liquid fill up the inside of the meat. I’m told that purists don’t like to brine pork shoulder as they prefer a milder flavor and brining tends to make things taste “too much like ham.” But it’s my damned pork and I wanted more saltiness so a longer soak next time I think.
Then I made up a spice rub and applied it:
No idea what was in it. I smelled the spices I had until I had a pungent, spicy mess of powders which I then coated the meat with once I had removed it from the brine. I let this sit for awhile in an attempt to brine the meat and dry rub it…no idea if that’s legal but it’s what I did. I’m not entirely sure how much this added as I had to use a semi-wet cooking method so all the spices might have simply dripped off in the oven. I would probably pay more attention to my brine next time and less to my rub. But I wouldn’t cook my meat naked, either.
Then I put the pork into a disposable roasting pan and threw in some quartered onions and some celery. Then I added some Maker’s Mark and water. Not a lot, maybe enough until the liquid came half an inch up the sides of the pan:
Next I set the oven for 250 degrees, covered the pan in foil and let her sit in there for about nine hours. The resulting meat was utterly wonderful. It was so tender that I didn’t really pull or shred it so much as tap it with a spoon and watch it dissolve into moist pieces of pork:
And that’s really it. A simple easy recipe. Once shredded, the meat was wonderful by itself or spread on a potato roll with a slice of swiss cheese to top it.