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Crazy-Good Barbecued Pulled Pork
Everywhere I look online lately, I’m tempted and delighted by Thanksgiving recipes. But Thanksgiving is just one day. One awesome, delicious day… but one day, nonetheless.
There are 364 other days this year on which we need to eat.
For your consideration: Crazy-Good Barbecued Pulled Pork. This tasty hunk o’ meat will feed you through many delicious meals and snacks with minimal effort. Y’all know how much I love it when the magic of heat and time do all the work! (I smoke mine on a gas grill. I am not a BBQ purist; I’m a pragmatist.)
Crazy-Good Barbecued Pulled Pork
Serves a lot | Prep 10 minutes | Smoke 2 hours | Oven 2-3 hours | Whole30 compliant when you omit sugar
4-5 boneless or bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt (basically, a big ol’ hunk of fatty pork)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (optional: omit for Whole30)
2 tablespoons ground paprika
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups wood chips
Season the butt. (Heh, I said ‘butt.’) Mix all the spices together and massage the blend all over the pork; be sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies. Amuse yourself by saying, “Wanna pat the butt?” or I’m massaging the butt!” or “This butt massaging sure feels good!” When you’re finished, it will look something like this.
Bonus points if you cover the meat in spice blend, then wrap it tightly in plastic, and refrigerate it overnight. This is not required, but the flavor is even better if you take the time for this extra step.
Smoke it, baby. Place the wood chips in a deep bowl and cover them with water. Allow them to soak for 15 minutes, then drain off the water. Place the damp wood chips on a large piece of aluminum foil in a thin layer. Fold the foil to make a packet, then poke a few holes in the packet so smoke can escape. Place the packet on the primary burner of your gas grill, turn all the burners to high, and preheat with the lid down. After about 15 minutes, the wood chips will start to smoke. Rejoice!
The Big Finish. Preheat your oven to 325F. When the pork is done smoking, place it in a roasting pan, wrap it tightly with foil, and roast in the oven for 2 to 3 hours, until you can insert a fork and remove it with no resistance. Now you need to be patient just a little bit longer: take the pork out of the oven and let the butt rest (Rest your butt!), still covered in the foil, for 30 minutes.
Dig in! It’s done. You may now pull off big hunks with your hands and shove them directly into your face – not that I have ever done that. You can also shred the pork with your hands or two forks so the crusty, crunchy outer bits mix into the tender, juicy inner bits. This is sublime, people. Sublime!
We usually eat it just as it is, with some vegetables alongside. It’s also delicious:
— piled on a salad
— tossed with cubes of avocado, diced onion, and a squeeze of lime juice
— diced and made into paleo egg foo yung
— stir-fried with cooked spaghetti squash
— made into hash with cubed sweet potatoes (add cumin and thyme)
Vinegar-y BBQ Sauce
Makes 2 1/2 cups | Prep 5 minutes |Whole30 compliant when you omit sweetener
This slightly-acidic sauce is the perfect partner for the luscious, fatty pork.
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup Kickass Ketchup
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (omit for Whole30)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Place all the ingredients in a 1-quart Ball jar and shake it like you mean it.
Shred the pork and douse with some of the sauce. CRAZY GOOD!