Sunday, June 30, 2013

South Carolina Style Pulled Pork

June 9, 2013

Pulled Pork on Homemade Buns
White Sweet Corn
Fruit Salad
Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL and Vella Merlot
Mixed Berry Galette

  Pulled Pork with Mustard Barbecue Sauce from Cook's Country
Beautiful Burger Buns from King Arthur Flour

Making pulled pork has been an annual summer tradition for a few years. Because a pork shoulder roast can weigh 5 pounds we have leftovers that last for months. Fortunately, it freezes well.

There are several styles of pulled pork as different regions of the country prefer different sauces. For each, a pork shoulder, or Boston Butt, is cooked low and slow, often with smoke, to break down the plentiful fat and connective tissue. The meat is shredded and sauced, often using a sweet and sour sauce of tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar. However, the version we had this Sunday was made with a mustard sauce, the way they like it in South Carolina.

I was able to buy a small roast, just 2.8 pounds compared to the 4-5 pounds that are normal for this cut of pork. This worked out well for the two of us, we had enough to have pulled pork sandwiches for dinner 4 or 5 times (several times on slider buns) but not so much that we needed to freeze it. I applied the dry rub on Saturday afternoon and put the roast in the refrigerator overnight. It smoked on the grill for a little over 2 hours and was finished after another 2 hours in the oven.

I used a King Arthur recipe to make buns. I was originally planning to make slider buns (24 portions of dough) but I ended up making kinda normal-sized buns (12 portions of dough). I liked the buns which had more structure than store-bought buns. They were tender but not as soft as most store-bought buns.  I didn't take photos and publish my own version of the recipe but I should have as the published recipe was not the easiest to follow.

To complete this summer meal we had white sweet corn, cooked in the microwave, and a fruit salad composed of watermelon, fresh local yellow peach, and an orange. For dessert I bought a Mixed Berry Galette at Whole Foods which disappointed. You shouldn't go shopping when hungry. I was trolling for free samples and had been thinking of fruit pies now that summer is here when I came across the good-lucking dessert. I wasn't worth the $16 cost.

We enjoyed the pulled pork and the interesting, and different, mustard sauce. The pork was tender and sweet. But after having these sandwiches several times we came to the conclusion that we prefer a tomato-based sauce. Perhaps because it's we are are used to, perhaps we just prefer ketchup to mustard, but the next time we make this we'll use a different sauce. Sorry, South Carolina, no offense intended.
Pork shoulder only 2.8 pounds, recipe is for 4-5 pounds. I didn't have enough dry mustard, about half what the recipe called for so I went with that. I made the full amount of dry rub and plenty left over. It went into the refrigerator around 4:30

I started smoking the pork later than I should have, around 3. It stayed on the grill for over two hours.  It was done after 2 hours in the oven.

I followed the King Arthur recipe as best I cold but it is not particularly well written. I was going to make slider buns (24 portions of dough) but ended up making just 12 (easier, less dough to shape, easier to portion the dough.)

Used this method to cook corn
Removing the husks was difficult because they were so hot, perhaps 4 minutes an ear is too much, but otherwise it makes the process of husking the corn easier.

I enjoyed the buns. They had more structure than store-bought buns, while tender they were not quite as soft.

The pork was good. The amount from a ~3 lb roast was about right for us. The sauce was interesting with its focus on mustard. The meat was tender and flavorful. I didn't use all of the sauce to dress the meat after teasing it apart with two forks.

Dessert was purchased at Whole Foods and I probably paid too much money for it, $16. But I was hungry when I went to the store and saw this dessert while trolling for free samples in the store. I had been thinking of fruit pies now that local foods are coming into season in San Jose.

Fruit salad: watermelon, fresh local yellow peach, organic orange

Another method for making slider buns

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