June 26, 2013
Hot, lazy days and nights when you sit out with a fan and hope for a bit of a breeze. Lightening bugs and children squealing with delight as they catch one in a jar. Sweet tea and rockers on a porch, family picnics and pork barbecue.
It’s summer in the south.
Coming from the north I had never really had barbecue until i moved here almost 26 years ago. Ever since that time I first held a pulled pork sandwich in my hand, I have been in love with it. The vinegar sauce dripping down my fingers, the hot spice subtly controlled by the coolness of the rich coleslaw resting on top. It was that first bite that made me realize I was destined to live in the south.
I have tried to make it many times over the past years. Once I almost got it right and then somehow lost the recipe and it’s been a struggle ever since, trying to recreate it.
Once again, I have gone back to my friend, Patrick Evans-Hylton’s cookbook “Dishing Up Virginia” and gotten the most incredible tasting recipe for dinner. It was not what I expected when making it because of the ingredients, but definitely worth keeping it as written. I want to tell you when you make this, open all the windows and doors because the flavorful scent of pork mixed with onions and garlic wafting throughout the home will make it almost impossible to wait the five hours it needs to cook. I don’t recall how many times that day I almost dove head first into the oven.
The pork just fell apart, and it was so moist. I cannot tell you in words how tasty this was. With every bite I couldn’t wait for the next one. To quote Patrick from his book and this recipe, ” No doubt other states do remarkable things with barbecue, but this Virginia recipe that combines tradition and time with spice and smoke is unequaled.” So very true.
Eating dinner with my husband that night, I had the feeling there was a red checkered tablecloth on the table, grandma, grandpa and all the cousins were arriving with their pot luck and the fireflies were lighting up the evening.
Summertime in the south. It can’t get any better than this.
Pulled Pork BBQ with Piquant Sauce and Classic Southern Slaw
- PIQUANT SAUCE
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- **NOTE: Sauce needs to be made at least 24 hours ahead of time.
- PORK RUB
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- PULLED PORK
- 1 (6-pound) bone-in pork shoulder roast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup beer, preferably lager
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- CLASSIC SOUTHERN SLAW
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium head green cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
Pulled Pork BBQ and Piquant Sauce
1. Make the sauce: Pour the vinegar into a glass jar and add the sugar, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and pepper flakes. Put on the lid and shake well. Allow to sit at least 24 hours before using; shake before use.
2. Make the pork rub: Whisk the paprika, sugar, pepper, salt, mustard, cayenne, and cumin together in a medium bowl.
3. Make the pulled pork: Rub the pork thoroughly with prepared spices on all sides and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
4. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook the pork until brown on all sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove pork from dish and set aside.
5. Pour the beer into the dish and stir to deglaze. Bring to a simmer and add garlic and onions. Remove from heat. Add pork, cover, and bake for about 5 hours, basting occasionally, until very tender and pulls apart easily.
6. Shred the pork in the casserole dish using tongs; transfer the meat to a platter. Discard the bone.
7. Serve alone or on a bun, with sauce drizzled on top and if desired, southern slaw.
Classic Southern Slaw
1. Make the dressing: Put the mayonnaise, sour cream, cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper in a jar and seal the lid; shake well to incorporate all the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, shake again before dressing the slaw.
2. Make the slaw: Put the cabbage and carrot in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
3. Toss again before serving; serve with a slotted spoon.