Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Root Beer Pulled Pork

Today's grand ambition relates to our big plan to host a Texas style BBQ in the summer, once Jong has the backyard suitable groomed... I'm trying a very special pulled pork recipe with a twist, a Root Beer Marinade.  This recipe has received rave reviews for a while now, from chefs of all calibres and I'm eager to see if it holds any merit. Cavaet... I'm not following the recipe. In traditional Ivy style, I'm just doing what I think looks best.

First I bought a well marbled pork shoulder butt from Save-on foods. A good sized roast was about 4 lbs and $20. the price seemed a bit high to me as I've heard this cut of meat is reported to be super cheap. Perhaps look for it on sale. A half lb per person is a generous serving.... so I'm ready to serve 8 people. (In the end it made 10 very meaty sandwiches)

I began by rinsing the roast, the rubbing it with some Maison Cote Smoked Sea Salt (smoked 4 days with red alder wood). You could probably just use Salt and pepper. Option here to do a real pulled pork marinade with paprika, italian spices, etc... but this recipe said it wasn't required so I didn't bother.

Maison cote is a local supplier of fine ingredients such as fresh vanilla beans (which I use to make Cold Press Vodka Vanilla Extract.) and a variety of special salts. I've also a raspberry salt I plan to use in future culinary endeavors. Just a matter of how and when.... Maybe sprinkled on home made truffles?

Digressing... sigh. After rubbing the roast generously with the smokey salt, I seared all sides in a frying pan, olive oil heated to medium high heat then transferred the roast to this casseroule dish and covered with root beer ( 1 cup for every 2 lbs). Bake at 300 in the oven until tender and internal temperature reaches 190-200 degrees... about 6 hours for this 4 lb roast. Slow, low heat is the key here.

Don't touch the roast, don't turn it, just leave it until the internal temperature is around 190, then take out of the oven, remove the meat from the liquid, and let sit for 10-15 mins to let the fats cool and stick to the meat instead of running out onto the cutting board. Shred with two forks, in a large bowl, then top with your favourite bbq sauce (I used a guinness hickory sauce from the grocery store. No need to be too fancy.) Delicious. Seriously the BEST pulled pork I've ever had.. even better than Memphis Blues, Hog shack, and yes.... even anything in Texas...

I served this meal with oven fresh corn bread (Try this recipe for corn bread, It's amazing and I made it in advance, just baked it just before I needed it. 5 ingredients, whip it til smooth then bake for 20 mins. Can't get any easier than that and it was excellent!), kaisser buns, a simple coleslaw (cabbage, carrots, corn, yoghurt, mayo, sunflower seeds, dill, vinegar), fresh watermelon, sweet corn, and cinnamon chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean butter cream icing.

A decadent meal for an awesome sunday afternoon. Nom!

- Ivy

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