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Consolidated "Pulled Pork" thread

Consolidated "Pulled Pork" thread

Old May 18, 08, 7:17 am
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Consolidated "Pulled Pork" thread

This is odd for a veteran outdoor cook to admit, but I've never smoked a pork shoulder (blade cut, or Boston Butt) before. Not much use for pig meat in this part of Texas, though the occasional rib is accepted. But the local grocer had a sale on Boston Butts ($0.99/lb), and the Mrs. gave me a new smoker for my birthday, so why not, says I. I even bought some applewood chunks to mix in with my usual hickory and post oak.

Last night I put a mustard coating on the meat, then a dry rub, wrapped it in plastic and put it in the fridge overnight. This morning I got up early (5AM), set the meat out to warm up, started my fire, and got my wood chunks to soaking. Just put the meat on with a few wood chunks for smoke.

About 10-11 hours from now, I'll have tender, moist, smoky pulled pork! Because I wasn't raised in the southeast, I need ideas for the right accompaniment. I know they like to use a thin, vinegary-sweet sauce that's foreign around here, and they put coleslaw on their sandwiches (but not the kind we have here).

Any good recipes for the slaw or sauce?

Should have probably asked sooner, but this is all spur of the moment. And I've got 10-11 hours till I need it.
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Old May 18, 08, 7:22 am
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Old May 18, 08, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by deubster View Post
Because I wasn't raised in the southeast, I need ideas for the right accompaniment. I know they like to use a thin, vinegary-sweet sauce that's foreign around here, and they put coleslaw on their sandwiches (but not the kind we have here).

Any good recipes for the slaw or sauce?
Ooo... ick, blah, icky.
Sorry, I grew up in the south & know exactly what you are describing. Personally, I can't stand it. I much prefer a thicker, tomato-based, smokey-sweet sauce (KC style?). I put the coleslaw on the side, but here is Mom's recipe (& she does put it on her sandwich):

1/2 head of cabbage
Carrots - 'til it looks right
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Shred or chop the cabbage & carrots. (too many carrots - or if they are too "juicy", drain them (blot w/ paper towel?) before mixing w/ the cabbage)
"drain" the relish (not dry, but w/o too much liquid) and mix-in
Sprinkle the sugar on.
Mix enough mayo. to make a nice "dressing". How much will vary, depending on how juicy your carrots and relish are.

You will also "need" some Brunswick Stew, baked beans, and a pickle to accompany your pulled pork!
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Old May 18, 08, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by scoow View Post
................You will also "need" some Brunswick Stew, baked beans, and a pickle to accompany your pulled pork!
You might also "need" some hush puppies
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Old May 18, 08, 11:15 am
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Here's what I use for my slaw. I often start with the shredded cabbage slaw mix from the store (I'm the only one who eats slaw, wife/GoFaresBoy turn their noses up at it, amongst many other good foods). For the dressing, I mix about 1/4 cup of Hendrickson's dressing (made in the STL area) with about the same amount of mayo. The Hendrickson's has a good blend of sweet and sour. The mayo makes it white. That's it.

My mom in CAK turned me onto the Hendrickson's, and I used to only get it up in that area. Now, Krogers down here in WV carry it, and so did WM at one point, but not now.

For sauce, I've been using Bone Suckin' Sauce from down RDU way. Their hotter variety is not too hot, but has a nice kick.
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Old May 18, 08, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by jimcfsus View Post
Here's what I use for my slaw. I often start with the shredded cabbage slaw mix from the store (I'm the only one who eats slaw, wife/GoFaresBoy turn their noses up at it, amongst many other good foods). For the dressing, I mix about 1/4 cup of Hendrickson's dressing (made in the STL area) with about the same amount of mayo. The Hendrickson's has a good blend of sweet and sour. The mayo makes it white. That's it.

My mom in CAK turned me onto the Hendrickson's, and I used to only get it up in that area. Now, Krogers down here in WV carry it, and so did WM at one point, but not now.

For sauce, I've been using Bone Suckin' Sauce from down RDU way. Their hotter variety is not too hot, but has a nice kick.
Hot doesn't scare me, but somehow doesn't seem appropriate with pulled pork. I have found some decent ideas for a thin, pork-appropriate sauce on the internet. Usually we either go with the flavor of the smoke and meat (& a good dry rub) on beef, or we use thick sauces, like KC Masterpiece.

Alas, no Hendrickson's in west Texas. I think I'll experiment with a variation of Scoow's mom's, omitting the sugar, which my wife would definitely not allow.
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Old May 18, 08, 12:43 pm
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Avoid at all costs sugar and sweet relish. Pork is plenty sweet without it, and besides you may want to have sweet taters....

Shredded cabbage, self or packaged, even the "tricolor" sort, but finely is best, as in "angel hair".
Very finely sliced red onion, almost paper thin, each slice quartered and "deconstructed".
Caraway or dill seed (your choice) and if using dill seed, some dill weed helps (while I prefer the flavor of caraway)
Tossed with a dressing based on a very little olive oil, "seasoned" rice vinegar, hot sauce to taste (simply to emphasize flavor, not to be "hot".

The result should be tart and not oily, designed to cut the natural fat/sweet tastes of the pork, just as the "mustard based" sauces in the Carolinas are "grease cutters".

For a nice alternative.....

Jicama, cut in matchstick strips.
Green Papaya (not sweet at all but crunchy)
Strips of red Bell pepper
Dressed with a mixture of lime juice, salt, hot sauce and mango nectar
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Old May 18, 08, 12:53 pm
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Re:slaw recipe

I grew up in Memphis, so this is the standard BBQ(pulled pork)on a bun recipe.
No measurements, but you'll get the idea.
Fine shred 1 head cabbage and 3-5 carrots.
Mix in a coffee cup(when I was a kid, the cook used an old, heavy china diner cup) about 1/2 cup Hellman's or Best Foods(in Texas) mayo. Add 1/2 tsp sugar, salt to taste, and enough white vinegar to approximate the liquidity of heavy cream. Adjust to your taste, but it should be creamy with a definite tang. Dress the vegetables and refrigerate for a couple of hours, turning a couple of times to saturate everything.

Last edited by willie--wonka; May 18, 08 at 12:54 pm Reason: spelling
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Old May 18, 08, 2:08 pm
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I enjoy slaws in many ways

My top ideas all measurements to taste:

Mayo
Balsamic vinegar
touch of salt
couple packages of splenda (or you can put some tablespoon(s) of sugar if you like)

Other methods I like Classic:
Mayo
Celery Seed
Sugar
Lemon Juice
hint of Salt

Non mayo:
Apple Cider Vinegar, Rice Vinegar for a milder touch, or best Dill(yes Dill) pickle juice(mostly white vinegar)
Hint of some pepper, of the spicy variety whatever dried type you have around
Touch of sugar or splenda/xylitol/zsweet
1 baby dill cut up(please don't use relish the crunch of the fresh cut is much better)
very fine diced onion(almost a puree)
mix this all together and put black pepper and salt to taste, some people like a hint of garlic, and while most things I do this is not a dish I like garlic with

pour it any of these over classic slaw cabbage/carrots/onions whatever you consider classic

Last edited by Steph3n; May 18, 08 at 9:26 pm
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Old May 18, 08, 4:27 pm
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I'm getting in a little late. No Mayo. No Mayo. No Mayo. Not in slaw for pork.

(and don't listen to anyone from Memphis--worst pork BBQ in the entire world. I'd take Texas beef over Memphis pork any day. Horrible, horrible, horrible tasteless pork can't figure out how they can make pork taste like cardboard but in Memphis they can and then pour this awful tomato stuff over it.)

OK so you're gonna use a SC mustard rub. Then your coleslaw needs to have a bit of mustard in it. You basically want an oil and vinegar sauce on the coleslaw as one of the previous posters mentioned. Vinegar accents the wonderful sweet taste of the pork. I'd leave out the dill seed, but that's just my preference.

Visit Lexington BBQ in Lexington NC to see what real pork BBQ is like
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Old May 18, 08, 4:53 pm
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Last edited by SkeptiCallie; Nov 3, 08 at 10:06 pm
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Old May 18, 08, 6:45 pm
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I'm getting some great ideas for next time, and want to see more contributions. For tonight, the time has run out and the choices have been made. Here's what I wound up with: about 1/2 a head of shredded cabbage, 3 small carrots shredded, 1/2 a cup of miracle whip (not mayo), 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, a liberal amount of fresh ground pepper. It's not half bad.

The pork just came off the smoker. The instant read thermometer said it was 195 degrees. It was completely black, but still soft. Before foil tenting to cool, the Mrs. & I peeled some of the outer parts off and tossed them in our mouth. After 10 minutes of nibbling, we decided we'd better stop or we'd have no appetite left for supper. Mighty good pig! Very moist.

BTW, what I put on the roast was a thin coat of mustard just to hold the rub on. The rub was a Tbsp Cayenne, a Tbsp Paprika (Spanish), 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar, a tsp each of salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and freshly ground pepper.

Should be cool enough in another half hour to start pulling.
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Old May 18, 08, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by deubster View Post
I'm getting some great ideas for next time,
Here's an idea for next time... invite us over!
Mmmm... BBQ. Guess I better put the next MCI BBQ Do on my calendar.

Enjoy your pulled pork and slaw (even though you went with the vinegar recipe ).
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Old May 18, 08, 9:25 pm
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Originally Posted by SkeptiCallie View Post
This sounds like the sort of recipe I've been looking for. Thanks, Steph3n! I'm printing it out now and will be trying it within the week. Like that idea of dill pickle juice.

For those who want mayo but find it too heavy, mayo can always be thinned out with milk or even buttermilk. That may be helpful to some.

Garlic can also produce a good coleslaw, with a thin milk dressing and with pepper or hot sauce. I don't have a recipe unfortunately.
This is a good one, and just for the correction that is cut up some dill pickle not put up(we aren't talking about canning here)
Some people also put some oil in the pickle juice recipe, but I am not too fond of oil in my slaw.
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Old May 18, 08, 9:41 pm
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I live in SC. So here goes:

1) Use a homemade BBQ sauce. Avoid store-bought pre-made BBQ sauces like it's cancerous.
2) Slaw. If you use mayo, you MUST use DUKE'S. Otherwise it won't taste right. If you use a hint of mustard, use French's.
3) Do not EVER put the slaw on the sandwich, or on top of the meat.
4) If you're making BBQ sandwiches, the only thing that goes in the sandwich is: Meat (pulled pork) AND sauce. Nothing else. Anything else comes as a side.
5) NEVER chop the meat. It has to be hand pulled. Trust me, your guests will definitely know if you chopped it.

[On that note, they like to put peppers and onions on BBQ in Delaware... Too much Italian influence I'd say!]

Edit:

While cooking and eating, Natty Light, Busch Light are acceptable. Additionally, the music de-rigueur is Skynnyrd. Just pop a Skynnyrd CD (or in the 8-track if you're old school) in there and let'er rip. Forget about Bob Seger or any other Yankah'.

JP

Last edited by HereAndThereSC; May 18, 08 at 9:48 pm
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