Carolina Style Pulled Pork
Carolina pulled pork is a venerable tradition in western North Carolina. Once the sole purview of artisan pit masters, this recipe brings the authentic taste of Carolina-style barbeque to your own back yard.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes active time, Cooking Time: 9 hours
- 7-8 pounds pork shoulder (Boston butt)
- 1 pint apple cider
- 1 pint apple cider vinegar
- 2 ancho peppers
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1/4 cup granulated garlic
- 1/4 cup granulated onion
- 3/4 cup Montreal steak seasoning (available in most grocery stores)
- 1 tablespoon dry English mustard
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
Prepare the Mop: Place the mop ingredients in a small sauce pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool.
Prepare the Rub: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well. Reserve 1/2 cup of the rub for the final seasoning. Rub the pork butt liberally with the remaining rub. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to smoke.
Producing authentic barbeque at home in the absence of a real barbeque pit requires cooking in two stages, smoking and slow roasting.
Smoking Method: The ideal way to smoke pork butt at home is to use a barrel smoker. (It’s possible to use a Weber-type barbeque grill if it is large enough to accommodate the indirect smoking of the pork butt.) Using a barrel smoker, fill the water container with hot water and start a small charcoal fire underneath. Use chunks (not chips) of any hardwood (oak, hickory, apple, etc.). Place the pork butt in the top of the smoker and place 2–3 chunks of hardwood on the smoker to produce a good smoke. The interior temperature of the smoker should not exceed 225°F. Smoke the pork for 6 hours, or until it attains a dark caramel color.
Slow Roasting Method: After the pork is smoked, place it in a small roasting pan on a roasting rack. Tent the pork with aluminum foil being sure to get a tight seal. Roast in an 250°F oven for 2–3 hours or until you can insert a fork in the meat and turns 180°F with minimal effort. Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 1 hour. Remove the “h” bone and pick or chop the pork into small pieces. Then season with 3/4 cup of the pork mop and 2 tablespoons of pork rub, or to taste. Serve either plain or with barbeque sauce.