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Super-Fabulous Pulled Pork

This has become one of our Main Meats. We eat it frequently & we make it for our friends- it’s moist & flavorful & it’s hard to get tired of. On top of all that, I’d say it’s virtually foolproof- every single time I’ve made it, it has turned out perfectly. Now that’s what I would call super-fabulous.

Super-Fabulous Pulled Pork

The first thing I’d like to point out about this recipe- I do use a little brown sugar. You don’t have to. If you like, you can use honey- I usually don’t, because I like the “dry” part of the dry rub. You could also try leaving it out- perhaps ending with a bit more of a bite- but it should still be delicious.

Most recipes I’ve found tell you to use something called Boston Butt, but as Czech butchers don’t seem to call any of their meat by that fancy name, we went searching for an alternative. What we found were inexpensive chunks of side-pork (plec), without bones, & each with some fat.

Vepřová plec

Vepřová plec

(Pork side/pork shoulder/pork butt)

For this recipe, you can really use however much meat you’d like- you’ll vary the amount of rub accordingly. These pieces of pork come in random-sized chunks- all with some fat on them- & I’ve made it with 2½ kg all the way up to 6 kg (which is probably the most that can fit in my pan).

First off, prepare your dry rub:

15 g (1T) salt

15 g (1T) ground pepper

15 g (1T) ground cumin

15 g (1T) garlic powder

15 g (1T) ground cumin

15 g (1T) chili powder

15 g (1T) cayenne pepper

15 g (1T) paprika

60 g (1/3 c) brown sugar

Mix well and store in a jar.

& then, your Brine:

100g (1/3 c) salt

45 g (3 T) dry rub

1 l (approx 8 c) cold water (or as much as needed to cover pork)

& to the Pork:

Rinse the pork and place in a large container (because I have a small fridge I use one of my refrigerator drawers), Cover the pork completely with the brine. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, dump the brine & put the pork into your baking pan- I use an old, coated cast iron which cooks things perfectly- although I’d prefer it to be a little deeper (dreaming of my future dutch oven). Generously coat all sides of your meat with the dry rub. Depending on the amount of meat, you may have some dry rub left over (which you can add to next time or use in other recipes- I always have some in my cupboard).

coat in dry rub

Arrange the meat so the fatty sides are facing up. Place, uncovered, in a 105*c oven (225* f). The goal is to let it slowly cook until it reaches 93*c (200*f). At around 65*-70*c (150-160*f) there is a fatty pool of liquid in the bottom of the pan- periodically distribute this over the top of the meat. If it seems to be getting overly dark, I will (gently) flip the meat & leave it upside down for an hour or so. At this point I may even increase my oven temperature slightly (no more than to 150*c- 300*f) in an attempt to hurry things along. When I flip the meat back, towards the end of this long process, I once again decrease the temperature. At the end, there should still be a bit of liquid & a soft crust around the pan.

nearing the end

While the meat is still warm (you will be very sorry if you let it cool- it is much more difficult to separate)- pull it apart with two forks- removing the large chunks of fat as you go- letting that remaining liquid & crust become part of the shredded meat.

pulling the pork

Very delicious served with a side of creamy coleslaw (recipe coming soon)…

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