Everywhere I look online lately, I’m tempted and delighted by Thanksgiving recipes – and trust, I will share some of my own with you in the coming days. 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!
Crazy-Good Barbecued Pulled Pork
(I smoke mine on a gas grill. I am not a BBQ purist; I’m a pragmatist.)
4-5 boneless or bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt (basically, a big ol’ hunk of pork)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (optional: omit for Whole30)
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups wood chips
1. 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.
2. 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. Get yourself a large piece of aluminum foil and place the damp wood chips on the 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!
3. Place the butt. (Heh. I said ‘butt’ again.) When the grill is hot and the chips are smokin’, turn the primary burner to medium and shut off the other burners. Place the pork on the cool part of the grill, close the lid, and let it smoke for about 2 hours. You want a dark, rosy crust, like this:
4. The Big Finish. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 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.
5. 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)
- shredded into this coconut pumpkin soup from PaleoBlocks
… it’s just damn good, no matter what you do with it.
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