Monday, January 11, 2016

Pulled Pork for the Playoffs!

Over the summer Shaw's had a terrific buy on country style pork ribs, cut from the shoulder. They were normally $2.19/pound but if you bought 4 pounds or more they were $0.89/pound! A bargain! I bought two 5-pound + packages and popped them in my freezer for future use.

A few weeks ago I was bitching to myself that my freezer was jammed and I needed to get rid of some stuff so I pulled out one of those packages of pork, thawed them out and decided to make a nice French pork stew. Pork, aromatics, white beans, tomatoes,.. you get the idea. Turned out delicious but I was still left with a huge block of frozen pork taking up valuable space in my freezer. I decided to take them out of the freezer and smoke them in the BBQ kettle and make pulled pork for the big game next Saturday.

The ribs needed serious trimming (for $0.89/pound, I expected as much), but they were meaty, had some serious collagen and marbling and would make great pulled pork. What I did is below. No recipe on this one, kids. This is a 'technique' post, not a recipe. Give it a shot.

Pulled Pork using country style pork ribs

Season the ribs with your favorite rub and let sit overnight in the fridge. Build a 2-stage fire in your barbecue (one hot side, one cold side), add some soaked wood chunks to the fire (I use applewood for pork) and add the pork to the grill over the cold side. Put aluminum foil over the ribs while they are cooking. Cover the grille, adjust the vent on top to 2/3 open over the ribs and cook for 1.5 hrs. without opening the cover.  
Once the ribs have been smoked, put them into a heavy pan or casserole. I used my big Le Creuset braiser for this. 
I painted a bit of my favorite bottled barbecue sauce (KC Masterpiece) over the ribs. Not too much! 
Cover tightly with foil. If the foil is going to touch the ribs, put a piece of parchment paper on the ribs to keep the foil from touching the acidic sauce. We don't want a metallic flavor. 
I also added the lid from the braiser so it would be a really good seal. Cook in a 265-270 degree oven for 2-3 hours or until the ribs are 'fall-off-the-bone' tender. 
Use a fork to test that the ribs a falling off the bone. Looks yummy doesn't it? My house smelled fabulous all afternoon too! (New fragrance for an air freshener maybe?) Let cool covered until they are easy to handle but not cold. 
Take a pair of forks and 'pull' the meat from the bones, discarding any fat blobs and cartilage. Don't make the chunks too small. You're not looking for cat food here. 
Once done, add some of your favorite sauce (heated) to this and serve on white bread (traditional) or a nice roll with coleslaw on top and some dill pickles and chips. I took this, before saucing, and put it into 2 zipper lock storage bags, squeezed the air out and froze them until I use one of the packages this weekend for the playoffs. The other one will be a treat to be discovered later. Just remember to let it thaw gently before reheating and don't mix it too much. Again, you want nice chunks of meaty porkishness. Enjoy!

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