Wednesday, October 3, 2012

POTUS - Pork of the United States of America

Oh lawd, what is today? Could it be the first presidential debates for the United States of America for the 2012 election??? It absolutely is!

Today, while at Publix, trying not to drop dead from the raising costs of meat products, I found a boston pork butt. I put it in my basket and began to day dream. How shall I make this important pork on this very important day? I'm fixin' to tell you, just keep your pants on. However, first, let me just say, I make my pulled pork a little different each time - I use different cuts of meat from different stores, different ingredients, different brands of spices and veggies - but it can be your own thing.

5.5 lbs boston butt pork
2 jalapenos 
1 long green hot pepper 
1 habenero pepper 
1 white or yellow onion
1 lime 
1 grapefruit
4 cloves of garlic smashed and diced 
fresh thyme 
fresh oregano
fresh rosemary 
1 box of chicken stock 
1 awesome craft beer (I prefer Magic Hat today)
dried ginger 
greek seasoning (all-purpose greek seasoning, I'm feeling all sorts of patriotic)
rice wine vinegar 
apple cider vinegar 
local honey 
brown sugar
olive oil
hot chili oil

Side bar: the seasonings are meant to cover the meat in a dusting, but use your rational judgment. 

Directions: Today, I am using a crockpot, but you can still use your oven and cook low and slow at 200-250 degrees in a dutch oven or other comparable unit.

First, stab the meat all over with a fork. Depending on what cut of meat you decide to use, it may have a bone in it. DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE BONE. That will only drive you insane and wreck your day. Also, DO NOT take the fat off. This might feel gross and weird, but it is going to keep things good. So, please, resist temptation.

Next, give the meat a good rub down with all the dry spices. After that is done, pour the beer over everything.

Then, cut up all the onions, peppers, and garlic. Add them to the crockpot with the meat.

Now, drizzle with honey, molasses, brown sugar, chili oil, and olive oil.

Then, squeeze the juice of one lime and one entire red grapefruit over the meat in the crockpot.

Lastly, add enough chicken stock to cover all the business. Put the lid on it. Set it on low for 8 hours (or high for 6). Walk away.

Pulling the Pork: The best way I have found, is to take the pork out of the cooking container and into a big bowl or other pot and use two forks to pull it apart. When it's ready, it should pull apart very easily.

Making that Sauce: This is my favorite part. :) Once you have removed the pork from the pot, you are going to want to reduce the juice in the bottom. To do this, you can pour it into a sauce pan with high sides and with the lid off, put on medium heat or until it begins to boil and let it reduce for 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir it every so often. You are going to want to add approximately a cup to 1.5 cups of apple cider vinegar or more rice wine vinegar. This will help to thin it, but also give it a good flavor. Once it has reduced, you have let it cool a little bit and put a few cups in the blender to make sure it's smooth and less chunky, or you can use a hand blender and accomplish the same thing.

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