- 2 pound pork shoulder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 pepper
- 1 tbsp portuguese chicken spice
As unimaginable as it may seem, I had never eaten a pulled pork sandwich before last year. My brother brought us to Le Pick Up in Montreal which I’ve already spoken about, and yes I ate the mock pulled pork-aka tofu sandwich but it gave me something new to love. My brother had himself ordered the pork version which I did taste and it was just as yummy. This event began my adventure with making my own pulled pork.
I’ve tried out a few seasoning blends and recipes, played around with dry rubs and wet rubs and braises galore. After all my tests this is my ultimate pulled pork, simple and done right.
- Preheat your oven to 250 F
- Mix all your spices in a bowl (I buy the portuguese spice at Anatol in Montreal, you can also replace it with the same quantity of salt)
- After many trials I have concluded that if the pork shoulder comes with a netting around it I personally prefer to take it off before I cook the pork shoulder…makes for less hassle than after it’s cooked. Rub the spice blend very well over the pork shoulder.
- Place in a large dutch enameled pot (my favorite of course is my Le Creuset) or whatever baking dish you have at home
- Tightly wrap with aluminum foil
- Bake for 8 hours…I know it’s long but it’s worth the wait
- Shred either by hand or with forks…the picture on the right was after I baked one for only 3 hours at a higher temp, after 8 hours it’s so tender you can almost shred with a back of a spoon!
Pulled pork is very easy to make, the longest part is waiting for it to cook. A lot of recipes will cook it at a higher temperature and for less time but I honestly love the low and slow method it develops the flavor so much more and makes for a super tender pulled pork.
I have cooked it before with beer and broths but I find that the pork shoulder is so fatty and juicy that it renders out enough liquids without any need for extra. You may do as you wish with the liquid that forms after the cooking. I like to cool it completely in the fridge to let any fat harden. Then I skim off that fat and keep the liquid as a natural ‘au jus’ for the pulled pork.
The following is one of my favorite sauces, you can either keep the pulled pork apart from the sauce or combine the two. This sauce is very sweet and tangy, perfect for pulled pork or ribs.
- 100 ml Apple cider vinegar
- 100ml Yellow mustard
- 62.5 ml brown sugar ( 1/4 cup)
- 31.25ml molasses (1/8 cup)
- 125ml ketchup (1/2 cup)
- 31.25ml soy sauce (1/8 cup)
- 1.25ml liquid smoke (1/4 tsp – also available at Anatol)
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepot, bring to a boil while stirring often. Reduce to desired consistency or thicken with a roux or a slurry. If you want some to add some heat your sauce, add a dash of tabasco or a squirt of srirarcha or even some chipotle.
How you serve it once again is up to you, I’ve put it in ciabatta buns and baguettes. Served it with a creamy slaw or daikon radish, with spicy mayo or banana peppers the combinations or endless and pleasant to discover.