Happy Stampeding to everyone in Calgary! In celebration of 10 wild days in the new west I’ve decided to go for a traditional cowboy classic, pulled pork, to fill you up before you head out to the pasture. Just remember, before you head out to wrastle (wrestle for you non-cowfolk) cattle don’t forget your favorite jeans, stylish plaid shirt and the biggest, shiniest belt buckle you can find!
Pulled Pork is a south-western (and stampede) staple. It is mouth-watering, SUPER easy and can even be made in a slow cooker! How could you not love this delicious (simple) summer fave? I have a basic recipe here, but make sure to use your favourite bbq sauce (or hot sauce) and dry rub.
1 approx 5lbs boneless pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup dry rub (your favourite)
1 onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup root beer (you can also substitute a dark lager beer if you like)
2 cups bbq sauce (your favourite, I prefer something smoky)
8 sandwich buns, such as Portuguese buns or soft white buns, halved
2 tbs liquid smoke*, optional
*Liquid smoke can be found at specialty bbq stores or some higher end grocers by the bbq sauce (if you have any friends visiting the southern states, ask them to pick you up a bottle, it’s like ketchup down there).
Special equipment: a large stove-top safe dutch oven (cast iron works great)
Begin by liberally coating the pork shoulder with dry rub (make sure to get that dry rub goodness on all sides). Turn on the oven, preheat to 350F.
Place your dutch oven on the stove-top, add olive oil and turn the burner to medium-high heat. Once the dutch oven is good and warm (oil looks like it has waves in it) add the dry rub pork shoulder searing the shoulder on all sides, approximately 3-5 mins a side.
Once the shoulder is fully seared, remove the pork shoulder and set aside. Add the onion and garlic sweating them for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the pork shoulder back into the pot and add root beer (or regular beer) to the dutch oven.
Remove the dutch oven from the stove top, place the lid on and cook on the centre shelf in the oven for approximately 5 hrs, or until the meat easily pulls apart.
You can tell the meat is done when it easily flakes apart with two forks, if it’s still firm, give it some more time. Remember, keep the lid of the dutch oven ON. You don’t want the liquid to evaporate.
Once done, remove from the oven, take the lid off and let the pulled pork sit for 10 mins to cool. Using two forks, shred the pork shoulder in the dutch oven. If there is excess liquid that is not absorbed by the pork as you shred it, discard it. Add the bbq sauce to the pork and mix to coat the pork.
Meanwhile, toast the bun halves in a toaster-oven, toaster, or in the oven on broil. Serve each bun filled with a large mound of pulled pork and enjoy! If you wish, you can also add coleslaw to the bun, extra bbq sauce or whatever other condiments you like.
**LEFT OVER IDEA: Keep the left overs and put them in salad rolls with spinach, julienne carrots & cucumber.**