Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Bowl Special: Authentic Pulled Pork

Whenever I visit my husband's family in Virginia (near Norfolk, for those of you keeping score), I shamelessly peer into the refrigerator for the telltale signs of my very favorite pulled pork.  My mother in law makes a giant batch of this and we wolf it down, standing up at her kitchen island, practically before we even say hello to everyone.*

*This is the south, so that actually can take quite a while.

Sure, the Super Bowl teams this year couldn't get any more northern - but that's no reason to ignore the deliciousness of my MIL's pulled pork.  She uses this basic recipe as a jumping off point for her own inspirations, which is why I can never exactly replicate her magic, but I try.

This Carolina-style recipe can be served hot or at room temperature in soft buns slathered with cole slaw, or included with scallions, sour cream, and salsa on cheese quesadillas or nachos.  I often make this for dinner and serve with baked beans and spinach on the side.  Make a lot and make it in advance! It freezes well and tastes even better the next day, if it lasts.

~4lbs pork butt (1)
1 medium onion, minced and sauteed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 to 2 1/2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (2)
2 tablespoons mustard (3)
2 tablespoons sugar (4)
dash of salt
Tabasco sauce to taste (5-6 drops)
REAL RECIPE: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake pork in oven for 40 min per pound, or until very tender.(5) Remove fat and slice or "pull" meat apart with forks.  Add meat to above ingredients and simmer 30 minutes. 
MY VERSION: I put everything in the slow cooker at once -  raw pork included - and turn it on "low" for 6-8 hours, depending on the quantity of pork.  My slow cooker is quirky and throws off a lot of moisture, so I add a bottle of beer or two (to cover the pork) to keep everything nice and moist.
(1) The recipe actually calls for "picnic shoulder," which is a cut you don't see a lot in New England, so use pork butt instead, which is similar. But you could use a leaner cut, like pork loin, or even pork chops, and cook for less time, then mix with the sauce.  You could even use chicken if you wanted to.
(2) If you don't have Worcestershire sauce, you can actually use Thai fish sauce
(3) I use Dijon, but use whatever you have around.
(4) My mother in law recommends using BROWN sugar, not white sugar
Source: Modified from Virginia Hospitality Cookbook

1 comment:

  1. Hey its really nice recipe. Can we get it at restaurants in Boston? Its also looking quiet healthy.

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