Pulled Pork

So far, this is the best pulled pork recipe I’ve found. Like a lot of my other favorite recipes, this one comes from Alton Brown

 

Brine:

  • 8 ounces or 3/4 cup molasses
  • 12 ounces pickling salt
  • 2 quarts bottled water
  • 6 to 8 pound Boston butt

Rub:

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

Directions

Combine molasses, pickling salt, and water in 6 quart Lexan. Add Boston butt making sure it is completely submerged in brine, cover, and let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours. 12 hours is ideal.

Place cumin seed, fennel seed, and coriander in food grinder and grind fine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in chili powder, onion powder, and paprika.

Remove Boston butt from brine and pat dry. Sift the rub evenly over the shoulder and then pat onto the meat making sure as much of the rub as possible adheres. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing latex gloves during the application.

Preheat smoker to 210 degrees F. Place butt in smoker and cook for 10 to12 hours, maintaining a temperature of 210 degrees F. Begin checking meat for doneness after 10 hours of cooking time. Use fork to check for doneness. Meat is done when it falls apart easily when pulling with a fork. Once done, remove from pot and set aside to rest for at least 1 hour. Pull meat apart with 2 forks and serve as sandwich with coleslaw and dressing as desired.

Oven Braised Asian Short Ribs

These things are so good – and cheap! I found this recipe here and pretty much didn’t change a thing except I’ve done this with the ginormous package of boneless country ribs from Costco and they come out great! Another note – you can make these in the pressure cooker in a fraction of the time. Set it on high and cook for 55 minutes.

Oven-braised Asian Short Ribs
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3-1/2 to 4 pounds bone-in short ribs (or boneless, whatever)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 6 scallions, cut into 2-inch sections [reserve the green tops of one]
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 whole star anise

cooked white rice
zest of 1 orange
reserved green onion tops, sliced

Special equipment: Parchment paper, cut to fit just inside the pot

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Trim any excess fat from short ribs, but don’t go crazy—fat equals flavor. Season generously with black pepper, but do not salt. Heat a heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and brown short ribs on all three meaty sides [but not on bone side] for about 8 minutes total. Work in batches if necessary, to avoid overcrowding the pot. Transfer ribs to plate with tongs.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add scallions, carrots, garlic and ginger to pot. Cook, stirring frequently [you want to sweat the vegetables, not brown them], for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add orange juice, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, brown sugar and crushed red pepper flakes to dutch oven, stirring to combine. Scrape up any browned bits. Return short ribs to dutch oven, arranging in a single layer—it’s okay to crowd them together now. The liquids won’t completely cover the ribs—that’s perfectly fine. Tuck star anise in among ribs, submerging them in the braising liquids.
  4. Place parchment paper over ribs and braising mixture. Cover pot with lid and place in oven on middle rack. Braise until ribs are tender, about 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours, turning ribs once about halfway through cooking.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer ribs to platter and tent with foil. [The slablike bones will likely have separated from the meat; you can discard them if you wish, but I prefer the look of the short ribs with the bone, so I reunited them when I plated the ribs.]
  6. Strain braising liquids, pressing with a spoon to get as much of the liquids as possible. Spoon off some of the fat or use a gravy strainer—again, don’t go crazy here. Return braising liquids to dutch oven and boil over medium-high heat to reduce a bit to create a sauce, 5 or so minutes. To serve, mound cooked rice on each plate and spoon sauce over it. Top with a short rib and garnish with orange zest and scallion tops. This last step is key—the zest and scallion tops add a fresh brightness that balances the richness of the meat.