Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork - International Picnic Day - Outdoor Wednesday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Tomorrow is International Picnic Day; a day, that in my book, should be spent communing with nature in places of incredible beauty while consuming food meant for the gods. I'm no slouch when it comes to picnics. I earned my merit badge when the children were small and we'd cycle to the park. My bicycle had the air of an armoured personnel carrier about it. Each child had a bicycle seat; one child rode in front, the other in back and a wicker basket, strapped to the handle bars, held our feast. In retrospect, it's a miracle we all weren't killed, but this was long before bicycle helmets or accident statistics concerned anyone and I did have one spiffy safety feature - a ring-a-ding bell that kept other drivers at bay. Can you hear it? We made lots of PB&J sandwiches back then. Our picnics changed with the times and the repertoire now includes delights from France, Italy, Spain, Vietnam and Texas - yes Texas. Texas barbecue became a favorite of mine once I'd learned how to order and make it. My first foray - in Texas - was a real bust. I asked for, and received, Texas-style barbecue. I expected a warm bun smothered by a pile of shredded pork that dripped barbecue sauce. I received a slice of spongy white bread and a pile of unsauced brisket on a paper plate. Disappointed doesn't begin to describe my reaction. Fortunately, I'm a fast learner and can handle myself pretty well at a Texas barbecue these days. A few months ago I was thrilled to find a crock-pot recipe for pulled pork at The Splendid Table; it's called Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork and it's extraordinarily good. They reprinted it from Cheater's BBQ: Barbecue Anytime, Anywhere, In Any Weather by Mindy Merrell and R. B. Quinn. Their recipe is so good that I threw away one I'd used for years. The recipe utilizes a rub and does not include a sauce, so you can use your favorite barbecue sauce after the meat has been pulled. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup liquid smoke. That's not a mistake. I've just checked the labels of three brands of smoke because I thought that might be a concern to you. They all contain just 2 ingredients; water and liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is a condensate that forms when wood chips or sawdust is burned. It is passed through water to create a solution that can be bottled. I am not a food chemist, but that seems safe enough to me. I have a large pork butt simmering in the crock-pot for our picnic tomorrow. I'll pack it in an insulated container and reheat it on a grill when we're ready to eat. I really like this recipe. I think you will, too..
Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
Cheater Basic Dry Rub
1/4 cup paprika (I use sweet and smoky Spanish Pimenton)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
Cheater Pulled Pork
1 (5 to 6-pound) boneless pork butt
1/4 cup Cheater Basic Dry Rub (see above)
1/2 cup bottled smoke
Barbecue sauce of your choice
1) To make Cheater Dry Rub, combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend. Yield: 2/3 cup.
2) To make Cheater Pulled Pork: Cut pork butt into 3 or 4 large pieces. Place into a 5-quart slow-cooker. Sprinkle meat with 1/4 cup rub, turning pieces to coat evenly. Add bottled smoke. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours or on LOW for 10 to 12 hours. Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a rimmed platter or baking sheet. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Pull meat into strands. Serve piled on buns with your favorite barbecue sauce. To serve barbecue later, cover and refrigerate meat when it has cooled. Pour meat juice into a separate container and refrigerate. Before reheating juices, skim and discard congealed fat layer that forms on top. To reheat barbecue, place in a saucepan moistened with some reserved juice. Gently heat on medium low, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, place it in a covered casserole with some reserved juice and heat in a 350 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes. While meat warms, combine barbecue sauce and some of remaining meat juice in a small saucepan. Heat through and serve with pulled pork. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
I'm sending this to Outdoor Wednesday, an event sponsored by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.
I'm also going on a picnic and I'm bringing pulled pork. My letter is U.