A Pulled Pork PartyLike everybody else, warmer weather makes me want to move all my cooking to the grill, and there is nothing I won't cook on it, from grilled pizza (another story) to grilled fruits like peaches and nectarines to top rich and cold ice cream.
But every once in awhile I get a real yearning for pulled pork, cooked not on my grill but in my slow cooker or in a dutch oven. I use a pork shoulder roast, a less tender cut of meat with a lot of connective tissue that is well marbled and just the ticket for making pulled pork.
First, I rub the roast all over with spices like a blend of cayenne pepper, chili pepper, paprika, coarse black pepper, coarse salt, cumin and fresh minced garlic. I cover the roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight to really let those spices do their work.
Next day, I chop up an onion and a couple of parsnips and cook them for a few minutes, then I sear the meal well to get the outside crusty, and pop it i along with the onion and parsnips into my slow cooker or heavy duty oven pot with a tight fitting lid.
Next I mix up some barbeque sauce using ketchup, hot red pepper sauce, spicy mustard, wine or apple cider, salt and pepper. Sometimes I add pickle juice.
Pour this over the meat and set the oven temperature to 250 degrees F if you are doing this in the oven. Otherwise set your slow cooker according to manufacturers instructions and let the meat happily cook for 4 hours, or until it is fork tender and literally falling apart.
But don't be tempted to eat it just yet!
Save yourself some calories by refrigerating the meat overnight and next day, skimming off all the congealed fat at the top. Then shred the meat into pieces, reheat in the sauce and get those napkins ready!
This is "finger-licking good"! Served in a bun or with a nice side like broccoli rape (below). A five pound roast will serve six to eight happy dinner guests.