From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Well, we are halfway home. Yesterday, a moving crew at one end of town temporarily moved our furniture to storage, while an installation crew at the other end, finally pulled up the sub-floors in our new home. It was heavy work for both crews, the kind that builds hearty appetites as well as headaches. While I can't help with headaches, I can field hunger. I always try to feed the folks who help us with big jobs around the house. The meal I made for the crews yesterday was simple and transportable, and given the number of people being feed, surprisingly inexpensive. I made coleslaw and potato rolls to serve with the pork and had German chocolate brownies and lemon bars to finish off the meal. The pork is not inexpensive to make, but it feeds so many people that its per serving cost brings it into the realm of possibility for a Frugal Friday feast. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try the next time you have the equivalent of a crew sitting at your table. The apple lends a sweetness to the dish that is unexpected, but that sweetness is balanced by the heat from the chili flakes that are used in the marinade. The pork is simple to make, but it needs a day to marinate and because it cooks at such a low temperature, you'll need to roast it for at 7 hours before it can be shredded. While this is a two day commitment, very little of it is active, hands-on, time, so I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. The pork is different, tasty and worth every second it takes to prepare. Here is how it's made.
Pulled Pork...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Darin and Greg Bresnitz from The Way We Ate
6 cups warm water
2 cups dark brown sugar + additional for coating
2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup whole black peppercorns
1/2 cup chili flakes
1/2 cup dry mustard
10 pound bone-in pork shoulder, rind removed
1/4 pound unsalted butter
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and quartered
2 quarts sparkling cider
1) Combine water, sugar, salt, peppercorns,chili flakes and mustard in a large container. Submerge the pork shoulder, cover and refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours.
2) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
3) Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed roasting pan set over medium heat. Add apples and saute until soft. Push apples to sides of pan.
4) Remove pork from brine, brushing away any excess before drying with paper towels. Place pork in center of pan and sear on all sides, ending with fat side up.
5) Use a knife to slash crosshatch diamond pattern 1/4 to 1/2-inch into fat,taking care not to expose meat underlying fat.
6) Fill pan with cider until it reaches 1-1/2 to 2-inches up sides of pork. Cover pan with foil and roast for 7 to 8 hours, basting pork once an hour with braising liquid.
7) Once pork is tender enough to shred, coat surface with additional dark brown sugar, set under broiler until sugar has caramelized.
8) Remove pork from roasting pan and set aside.
9) If any braising liquid remains in pan, blend it with a hand held blender until smooth. Reduce to 1/4 its original volume over high heat.
10) Shred pork with tines of fork onto a large serving platter. Pour reduced pan sauce over all and toss to coat. Yield: 12 to 14 servings.
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