This is a recipe created by a friend of mine with a keen interest in pork (in fact any kind of meat) and inspired by the good old BBQ Pit Boys from the deep south of the USA. Paul has a reputation as being something of a master of the Weber kettle bbq so when I learned of his intention to slow roast a whole shoulder of pork, I watched on with interest.
First a 3kg top of shoulder blade cut (bone in) was rubbed with a dry rub mix consisting of brown sugar, salt, pepper and paprika. While being allowed to sit and come to room temperature, the bbq was lit and the coals allowed to burn down. Internal temperature should be around 300F or 150C when the pork is placed onto the grill in the bbq over a drip tray in the base. By putting a little water in the drip dray you can be sure the air in kettle will stay moist. A couple of times an hour you can baste the roast with a mix of apple juice and vinegar, other than that it’s time to relax or get on with other things.
Paul uses hickory wood chips to add a delicious smoky flavour to his pork, also giving it a distinctly dark red, almost black colouring. The outer skin and fat can be turned into crispy crackling by increasing the temperature substantially for around 10 minutes before the end of the cooking period.
8 hours of smokey slow-cooking later, when the internal temperature of the meat reached 190F or 88C, the roast was removed from the kettle. Now comes time for patience. The freshly removed roast needs to be wrapped well in foil and allowed to rest for up to an hour. Good luck with this challenge and well done to anyone who achieves it regularly! once the meat has had a chance to rest, it’s business time!
This is about the time excitement starts to accelerate, just make sure the finished product passes the taste test. You may need to do this several times just to make sure! Using hands and fingers, or even a fork, all the meat was removed (very easily) from the bone, shredded and placed into a serving dish.
Accompanied by a little salad, fresh bread and Louisiana style hot sauce made from a combination of apple cider vinegar, tomato ketchup, brown sugar and tabasco sauce, this batch of succulent pulled pork went down very nicely indeed. I even managed to score a serve of leftovers for myself at work the next day! Cheers Paul and well done!