Hey, guys. What have you been up to? I've been busy buying new sweatpants and realizing that I should have undertaken that luxury years ago. Enjoying rush hour, bright days, confusing nights. Identifying with Top 40 Radio hits, to the point where my neighboring drivers might look to their right and see a creature bumping her chest with one hand, chin jutted out, nodding fiercely. Playing chicken with a giant shank of pork left alone in the oven overnight, at a low, humming temperature, like some weird culinary version of "Mommy just needs to run into the post office!" for the new generation.
And the best news is that you don't need to worry about too many components - Cheater's sauce, where you build on the solid foundation a large packing and manufacturing plant has laid, throwing emphasis on the best parts of any BBQ sauce ends up being the only true accessory this lady needs. You can make, as I suggest for serving below, a quick, sharp but sweet and buttermilk-y slaw, a plop of which leads no sandwich astray.
You can take the time to mop buns with butter and grill or broil them until golden. You can make a batch of this, which along with a stewed motley of greens seasoned with bacon, onion and tomato, turns the porcine experience into one of haunted silence, broken only by the sounds of people chewing - a real communal moment.
Or you can just make the pork and set it out with a bag of white bread, sliced onions, tomatoes, bright pickled things and call it done - it will charm the crowds before you let go of that breath you didn't know you were holding.
All credit for this technique goes to this author, whose page showed up after I frantically googled "NEED TO SLEEP BUT PROMISED PULLED PORK FOR TOMORROW?" or similar. The directions worked perfectly, and I've done my best, with my feral words, to dictate my adaptations below.
I hope this comes in handy as we roll into the warm months. May you go to bed with sweaty shoulders, and rim almost every glass with salt. Stay out late. Let no one put asunder those DVR settings.
Meltingly Tender Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork
One 6-7 lb, bone-in if possible, Pork Picnic/Shoulder/Butt roast, with handsome, snowy fat cap intact
3-4 slices smoked (Applewood or Hickory) thick-cut bacon
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
6-7 dashes WorshorethingbySnookiPolizzi sauce
4-5 Tablespoons Spice Rub, as follows
Cheater's Sauce, as follows
Preheat your oven to 225 F. Ignore every warning bell that is shaking your core, right now. Ignore them all. Take the batteries out of your Fight/Flight Response Monitor. Just for tonight.
Slice your onion, thickly, remove the ends and peel and scatter over the bottom of a deep roasting pan - I used a 13x9-er. Heft your slippery, cumbersome armful of pork on top of the onions, fat side down - with clean hands, apply one Tablespoon of mustard and a few dashes of Wourmeireiner sauce, using the back of a spoon to really slather the pork with an even, thin layer of the stuff. Thickly apply 2 or so Tablespoons of the spice rub, using the spoon again to spread and marry the dry with the wet. Now take a deep breath and flip the Mother over, so that the fat cap is now on top. Once you've stopped weeping, repeat the process on top of the roast - Wordswithfriends sauce, mustard, spice rub. Mash and spread. Breathe deep. Drape the bacon on top of the fat cap - this seems so obscene, but what we're doing here, especially if your bacon has a really intense "Cured it myself, wearing flannel, deep in the Vermont Woods" musk, is adding in some easy smoke and cure.
Wash your heathen hands. Place the roast in the oven, shut the door, and let it go for 8-12 hours, or even longer. You want a piece of meat that is quivering in anticipation of falling apart in front of you. Like a dramatic pre-teen, except tinged with smoke and pork fat. So maybe more like a dramatic 27 year old Artisan Food Cart owner.
An hour before you'd like to serve this carnival, if you're not into major pounds of pork before noon, turn the oven up to 350 - De-bacon and return the pork roast to the oven, if you've removed it, and skim off as much fat as you can from the pan juices. Baste with Cheater's Sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce, if you like, and let a nice bark form as you baste every time you remember. Remove from the oven after one hour, let stand 15 minutes, and then begin to gently pull and tease the pork into shreds - discard the bone, sneaky cartilage or weird stuff/gobs of unmelted fat. Or don't. Save it in your purse. Do you. Transfer the pork to a waiting pan, dutch oven or hearse, and either sop with pan juices, your BBQ sauce of choice, or just let it go out to the townfolk as is. I like to serve my pulled pork on butter-crisped Kaiser rolls with slaw.
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika (mine was not hot)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup light muscavado/brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fine salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
Mash, with a fork or spoon, all ingredients together, adjusting as you see fit - you may hate smoked paprika. In that case, use all sweet, and add a pinch of cayenne. This is just making a conction. You know your tastes better than I do. That is why you returned the robe I got you for your birthday last year. I know you did. I know. You did.
In summation: throw spices you like together, so you can rub them on raw meat. Make your own damn fun.
1 1/2 cups of your favorite, not-too-sweet Commercial BBQ sauce
1-2 Tablespoons of yellow Mustard
1/4-1/2 cup of Muscavado/brown sugar
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or other suitable pepper sauce
2 Tablespoons Molasses
Combine all ingredients and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes over low heat, until smooth and the flavors have had a moment to get inappropriate with one another in the coat closet.