|City style pulled pork with confetti collards and pickled red onion|
- Eastern North Carolina - uses a thinner vinegar based sauce.
- Lexington, North Carolina - located in the central part of the state the barbecue sauce common here is a ketchup-vinegar based sauce.
- Western North Carolina - this area uses a thicker tomato based sauce.
- South Carolina - here you can find the three aforementioned styles of sauce as well as a mustard based sauce. In all of the Carolinas barbecue generally means pork but diners can almost always also find chicken on the menu as well.
- Kansas City, Missouri - here the barbecue is different not so much for the sauce but because all varieties and cuts of meat are used, including but not limited to: pork, chicken, turkey, beef and sausage. The sauce is tomato based and can be sweet, tangy or spicy.
- Texas - most people generally consider Texas barbecue to be strictly beef based and often enormous beef ribs. It's helpful to remember, however, that Texas is a truly vast state (trust me, it took nearly three days to drive across from Louisiana to New Mexico including stopping at the Alamo) and its barbecue has been influenced by Northern Mexican cooking styles, by German immigrants and their traditional butcheries, by the tomato and pork based sauces that migrated west from the Southern US and by the "cowboy" style of cooking directly over a mesquite-wood fire (as opposed to indirect heat from smoking).
So what's a girl to do when she wants pulled pork, doesn't want to drive out to Arlington and the local fire laws don't exactly allow for a smoker to be installed on her oh-so-enormous back alley "patio"? City-style pulled pork is what to do!
Oh Cake's City-Style Pulled Pork
Bone-in pork shoulder - approximately 7-8lbs
1T mustard powder
1T garlic paste - 1 extra large clove or 2 medium cloves
1/2 T cumin
1/2 T dried oregano
1/2 T black pepper
1t coarse salt
1t red pepper flakes
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2T sriracha (hot sauce) - optional
Preheat oven to 450º F. Note - this is a great recipe to make in the middle of winter when it's freezing out. The oven is on so long if you truly have a tiny apartment you can turn off the heat and just bask in the glow of slow roasting pork shoulder!
I happen to be a fan of a combination of using a dry rub as well as a tomato-vinegar sauce with bone-in pork shoulder. This recipe features both a dry rub and a homemade sauce. Begin by trimming the skin from pork. If you're so inclined you can make pork rinds but since I'm not a fan and Thom doesn't need any help from me to keep his cholesterol raised I discard the skin.
|It appears as though the blade is flat against the board; it's actually at about a 15º angle|
Place meat in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 325º F. You will cook it for one hour per pound. During the first hour of cooking prepare your sauce. I wish I had an exact recipe to offer you here but I really think "to taste" is best when it comes to barbecue sauce. In a small sauce pot over a low heat I combine ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, sriracha, and depending on what I have on hand and my mood I may also add honey, homemade beef stock, and finely minced and caramelized onions. I am sometimes the recipient of various brands of red pepper sauces or barbecue sauces. Taste these jar sauces before you use them. Rounded out (or as Grammie would say, "doctored up") with your own touch they can produce a good, basic sauce. If you put sriracha directly on the pork I would probably err on the side of a sweeter sauce (unless you are a serious heat seeker) since it's pretty easy to add more hot sauce to the finished product. When your sauce is basically where you want it turn off the stove and let sit until you need it. Once the pork has about 1-2 hours left to cook pour about a third of your barbecue sauce over it and continue cooking.
Once the pork has finished its allotted cooking time turn off the oven and let the pork cool. You should be able to just pull it right off the bone and shred with two forks. Mix your pulled pork with the rest of the sauce and any collected juices. Serve with collard greens and cornbread or on a roll with fresh made coleslaw.