Pulled Pork with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce: Bring the South to the North
It happened just the other night. I couldn't concentrate and my mind couldn't think of anything else. It was a craving and it came fast and hard, like a left hook from a heavyweight fighter. I didn't see it coming but I definitely saw how it would play out and, ultimately, end. I'm talking about my craving and love for southern-style barbecue and pulled pork.
Pulled pork begins at the market with a succulent, tender cut of pork shoulder smoked or roasted for hours and then slathered with barbecue sauce. The result is sweet and tangy shredded meat with a smokey aroma. Low and slow wins the race in this case.
For me it starts with a dry rub consisting of smoked paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, dry mustard, coarse sea salt and a few other spices. I rub it all over and press it into the meat, ensuring there's a full coat of rub on the pork shoulder. I roast it for 6 hours at 300 degrees until the pork is falling apart with a nice crust on the outside. Tender meat inside with a few crusty bits that add a crunch.
I finish off the meat with a Bourbon Barbecue Sauce that's both sticky and sweet. My sauce is simmered for 20-30 minutes and is made up of ketchup, water, cider vinegar, honey, brown sugar, garlic and bourbon. It also has a few other ingredients that help give the sauce the sweetness and deep amber colour. I think this sauce is the perfect complement to the sweet and somewhat spicy flavour of the pork.
Once the pork has cooked until it's falling apart I remove it and tent it for 15 minutes. Using two forks, I shred the meat into a bowl and slather on the barbecue sauce. I mix it together until it's fully immersed with sauce and flavour and I plate it on a fresh roll with a side of Cilantro-Lime Slaw. You can also load up the slaw on top of the meat for a crunchy and savoury sandwich.
Happy eating my foodie friends!