Saturday, January 22, 2011

GUY'S EAST CAROLINA PULLED PORK BBQ AND PEPPER SAUCE

My hubby's at it again -- competing for kitchen space.  He whipped up a 5-1/2 lb. Boston Butt complete with  barbecue sauce and knocked all our socks off.  He found recipes for the pulled pork, the rub and the barbecue sauce on TexasBarbecues.com, and tweaked the recipes just a bit.

Barbecue is quite regional, in case you didn't know.  For example, Texas barbecue is usually made with beef.  North Carolina, however, uses pork shoulder.  Some use a rub to season the meat, others use a mop-on marinade, and some do both.   Even the sauces that are served with the cooked meat differ from region to region.  Texas has a thicker tomato-based sauce.  North Carolina is split:  Eastern North Carolina uses a vinegar-based sauce with red and black pepper and some spices.  Western North Carolina adds ketchup to it, making the sauce thicker and a little sweeter.  And I'm not even talking about other regions like St. Louis or Kentucky.

Since we're East Carolinians now, Guy felt he had to make a local-type barbecue.  First, he rubbed the pork  with spices, wrapped and refrigerated it overnight.  Then he slow-cooked it on a grill for about 11 hours, to an internal temperature of 170-180F.  The long, slow cooking melts the fat and tenderizes the meat so that it pulls apart easily.  Our recipe below is for a 5-6 lb. pork shoulder, aka Boston Butt.
Guy's East Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue and Pepper Sauce
Inspired by texasbarbeques.com
Rating:  10 out of 10
DRY RUB:  
3 Tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper (bought at Wal-Mart)
3 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp. paprika (not smoked paprika, just plain paprika)
2 Tbsp. coarse Kosher salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

5-6 lb. pork shoulder (Boston Butt)

EAST CAROLINA BBQ PEPPER SAUCE:  
1 quart cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. fine sea salt
1-1/2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 Tbsp. Louisiana hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)

Mix all rub ingredients in small bowl.  Rub all over meat.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or, better, overnight.

In the meantime, make the BBQ pepper sauce.  Making it early gives the flavors time to blend together.  In a medium-large bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and Tabasco.  Stir until salt and sugar have dissolved.  Cover and let stand at least 3 hours before serving on meat.  It's even better to make this a day or two ahead.  (Note:  You can also use this sauce as a basting sauce while the meat is cooking on the grill.  We did not do this.)

For extra flavor, put some wood chips in a small plastic resealable sandwich bag.  Fill bag with water, seal and let sit in sink overnight.  Drain the chips in the morning and add the drained chips to a smoker box that you can purchase at Lowe's for about $9.00.  Place the smoker box in back of the roast on top of the grill grates.
Start the middle burner of a 3-burner gas grill.  Get temperature to 250-275F.  When you have the temperature up, unwrap roast and place on V-rack, over a foil-lined metal tray to catch drips, directly on the center burner that is lit.  Close lid; cook 9-11 hours, or till internal temperature registers 170-180F.  Be sure to check the grill temperature throughout the cooking time.  Transfer meat to a clean rimmed baking sheet.  Let stand until cool enough to handle, then shred into bite-size pieces.  Mound on platter.  Pour any juices from the baking sheet over the meat.  (You can prepare the meat up to this point a day ahead and refrigerate.)
When ready to serve, transfer meat and any juices to a baking dish.  Cover with foil.  Rewarm in 350F oven about 30 minutes.  Serve on seeded or plain hamburger buns with the sauce and coleslaw on the side.  Yield: About 10-12 sandwiches, depending on size of roast and how big the bone is.

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