It’s way too cold to tend a smoker for hours on end, but the craving for a pulled pork sandwich must somehow be satisfied.
Let’s stay inside and use a slow cook method called braising to get a tender and succulent result. I’m using a boneless pork shoulder (butt end) that has been trussed. It weighs about 1¾ pounds and should easily feed 2.
Make a rub. I wanted to stick with a basic BBQ theme, but use your imagination. About a teaspoon each of thyme, granulated garlic and onion, cumin, paprika and crushed red pepper work with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and a ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Coat pork thoroughly with the rub and place into an airtight container. Refrigerate overnight.
We’ll need an acid to balance out the richness of the slow cooked beast. Real easy…go with pickled onion. A sweet onion sliced into rings, a pinch of oregano and about a teaspoon of kosher salt go into a quart jar. Add a cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of water. Cover with clear wrap and place into the fridge overnight.
The longer they stay in the brine, the more “pickled” the onions will become.
Preheat the oven to 275° F. Chop carrots, onion and celery and place into a dutch oven along with a few bay leaves and a couple cloves of garlic. Place the rubbed pork on top of the veggies and add about 1 cup of water. Cover and pop it in the oven.
Then find something else to do for a while. Cooking time will vary based on the size of the shoulder you’re using, but start checking it after about 3 hours. When it easily pulls apart, it’s done! Mine went for 3½.
Serve on a toasted brioche bun with a squirt or two of [simple_tooltip content=’Quick & Dirty: expedient and effective, but maybe not perfect.’] Q&D [/simple_tooltip] BBQ sauce.
Top with pickled onion.