Slow-Roasted Pork BBQ
4-6 Pounds Bone-In Pork Shoulder
BBQ Spice Rub* (see notes)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Paprika
1/2 Tablespoon Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Pepper
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Yellow Onion, sliced (optional)
1 Medium Carrot, chopped (optional)
3 Stalks Celery, chopped (optional)
4 Cloves Garlic, smashed (optional)
1 Cup Chicken Stock (or other liquid)
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke (optional)
1/2 Cup Barbecue Sauce, for serving (optional; see notes for sauce options)
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place an oven rack in the lower-middle of the oven.
Trim large pieces of fat from the outside of the pork shoulder.
Mix together the salt, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and dry mustard. See notes below for other seasoning ideas.
Rub the seasoning into the pork until the meat is evenly coated on all sides. You may have seasoning left over.
Warm the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until fairly hot. Then add the pork to the pot.
Sear the pork on all sides, working in batches as necessary. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside on a tray or plate.
Add the chicken stock and apple cider vinegar (or other desired braising liquid) to the Dutch oven.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to mix in all the spices and browned bits.
Roughly chop vegetables (if using), such as onions, garlic, celery, and carrots, and add to the pot.
Add liquid smoke (if using).
Add the pork back to the Dutch oven, in pieces if necessary. Nestle it in around the vegetables. The pork will only be partially submerged in the liquid.
Set the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and bring the liquid to a simmer.
Once simmering, cover the Dutch oven and transfer the whole pot to the oven.
Let the pork cook for 2-4 hours, or until fork-tender. If using bone-in pork, the meat should fall off the bone when pulled with a fork. Starting at 2 hours, check the meat for tenderness and continue cooking in half-hour increments until tender.
When finished cooking, transfer the pork to a large bowl. Allow to cool slightly.
Strain the cooking liquid into a measuring cup. Skim the fat off the top. You can reserve the vegetables for serving later, if desired.
Using forks or your hands, shred the roasted pork into chunks. Remove any bones or large pieces of fat.
Two serving options:
– You can add some of the cooking liquid back to the pulled pork to make it moist. Depending on the seasonings you used and how you are serving it, this may be the preferred option.
– Alternatively, you can mix in your choice of barbecue sauce if serving BBQ pulled pork. See BBQ sauce options below.
– Serve open-faced on Martin’s Butter Bread: Add some of the cooking liquid back into the pork, then top with a drizzle of BBQ Sauce.
– Coat the pulled pork with your favorite BBQ Sauce and serve on Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls.
Alternate Cooking Methods:
– Slow-cooker variation: In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine the meat (with rub), vegetables, and liquid. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
– Roast the pork in a roasting pan in a 300°F oven for about 6 hours.
Alternate Spice Rubs:
For a universal pulled pork recipe that can be used with any type of cuisine, simply cook the pork without the spice rub (just use salt and pepper). Then add your desired spices at the end of cooking, just enough for serving, and use the remaining pork for a later meal with different seasoning.
– BBQ Spice Rub: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup paprika, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dry mustard
– Italian Spice Rub: 2 tablespoons dried rosemary, 2 tablespoons oregano, 2 tablespoons thyme, 2 tablespoons marjoram, 1 tablespoon fennel seed, 1 ½ tablespoon garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper
– Mexican Spice Rub: 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon Ancho Chile Powder, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper
– Asian Spice Rub: 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon cloves, 1 tablespoon star anise, 1 tablespoon fennel, 1 tablespoon coriander (or Chinese 5-spice powder); ½ tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1 teaspoon ginger
Alternate Cooking Liquid:
– Broth or Stock – chicken, beef, or vegetable
– Beer (light or amber)
– Cider with a splash of cider vinegar
– Dry Wine (red or white)