Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A pig's tale

It was a glorious weekend flooded with warm rays, the contagious squeals of delighted children and early morning stroll through the farmer’s market. Yes, summer has arrived for most of us, and the garden’s cup is starting to run over.

Though this particular weekend I tackled a long desired adventure – I did a pulled pork.

Fortunately, I rise like a farmer with the first piercing light of the day, which definitely helped get this pig to the table for a late afternoon feast. For 10 hours a pork shoulder, bone-in, sat dutifully over in-direct heat bathed in fumes from burning herbs stems. As our pool party bar-b-que splashed away the air was redolent with a daylong cooking process overtaking the flower plot in full bloom. Everyone was warned to measure their snacking for the pig was coming – even the kids took heed. Ahh, the power of an olfactory assault…

After hours of waiting and wanting the shoulder fell apart on command with crisp shards of the skin strewn throughout the mix of meat. It was a picking worthy of the wait.

Pulled Pork – yields 8 to 10 servings
9-pound pork shoulder – bone-in
1-tablespoon ground cumin
1-tablespoon celery seed
1-tablespoon paprika
2-teaspoons ground black pepper
1-tablespoon salt
1 cup cider vinegar

Mix together the cumin, celery seed, paprika, pepper to together. Rub the spice mixture into the pork shoulder, and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to placing on the bar-b-que. Season with the salt.

Heat the bar-b-que leaving an area on the grill without a direct heat source. Save all the herb stems, onion skins, garlic peelings you may use over the course of a few days (this is the smoking device). This is where the shoulder will sit. Place the shoulder on the grill, and the herbs over the direct heat. Place the lid over the pork, and cook for 7 hours.

After 7 hours remove the shoulder to a roasting pan, and pour over the vinegar. Place the pork in a pre-heated 300-degree over, covered. Cook for an additional 3 hours. Remove from the oven, and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Pull the shoulder bone from the pork, and discard. Then just pull the meat apart, and toss with additional salt if necessary.

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