Sunday, September 2, 2012

Barbecued Pork ...

My objective here was not to attempt to make pulled pork, I wanted something that was sliceable, tender, delicious, cheap and not require any sauce whatsoever. I am not a fan of BBQ sauces.

I had bought some pork shoulder at $1.99/lb from my local supermarket. It was from the blade end - still had the blade bone in it. I decided to practice the boning skills that I had learned at the hands of Chefs Christof Syre and Frederic Angevin at the 4 Seasons here in the Dallas area.

The Rub 

2T Very coarse sea salt
1T whole white peppercorns
2t whole coriander seeds
1 star anise - broken
2t whole all spice berries 
1t whole cloves
2t whole cumin
2t cardomom - whole, but just keep the seeds
2t smoked paprika finely ground
1t cayenne pepper finely ground
1t onion powder
2t garlic powder
2t dry ginger
1t dry mustard powder (Colemans)
4T kosher salt
2t white sugar

The Rest

2 pork shoulders - each weighing around 9 pounds
Soaking water
Jack Daniels oak barrel wood chips (about 1 lb)
Lump charcoal (unmeasured.)


You will want to start this about 24 hours before you plan to eat!
In this case I boned and rolled one of the shoulders and left the other intact. This was an experiment to see if there was any benefit. The boned/rolled version was slightly spicier in flavor, but the whole one looked better. In future I will leave them whole. There was another slight concern - I wasn't sure they would fit in the egg if I left them both whole. I think they would have, but it would have been tight.
The reason there are 2 kinds of salt in the rub are because the very coarse sea salt helps the spice grinder to grind up the hard spices like the cloves, star anise, coriander, etc.
Place the sea salt and the whole spices in the spice grinder (an old coffee grinder in my case) and grind finely. Mix together this ground mixture with the spices that are already ground and the kosher salt.
For the shoulder that is boned, I butterflied it. Pat the surfaces of both pork shoulders dry, and rub all surfaces with the spice rub. Roll up the boned/butterflied shoulder and tie tightly with butchers twine.
Wrap each shoulder tightly in cling wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 12 hours. 
Soak the wood ships in water for at least 12 hours also.
About 12 hours before you intend to serve, set up the smoker (in my case with the big green egg, I built a charcoal fire about 2 inches above the higher vents) and light the charcoal. Once it is properly lit, scatter the soaked wood chips over the charcoal, put the plate setter feet up, an aluminum drip pan 2/3 filled with water in the plate setter and then the grill bars on top of that. Close the lid and allow the temperature to come up to around 250F. When the thermometer registers 250, put the meat on the bars. Close the lid, watch the temperature so that it stabilizes at 250, adjusting top and bottom vents as necessary.
The first batch of charcoal held temperature for about 5 hours.
At 5 hours, I added more coals and let it cook for another 5 hours - all at 250F.
The internal temperature of the meat was 165 at that point. 

Take the meat off the grill, tent with foil and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. Being a barbecued piece of meat, it is best served warm, and not grill temperature.

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