Sunday, December 7, 2014

Easy Oven Pulled Pork

With the weather turning colder, being able to go outside and enjoy the deliciousness of pulled pork on our smoker gets more difficult. The long hours outside keeping watch on the meat, adjusting the settings to account for the colder air, and, frankly, spending all day working on a meal when you really have other things you need to be doing. So what do you do when you want the tender pulled pork you enjoy in the summer months without all the hassle? You make Easy Oven Pulled Pork.
This recipe combines many of the flavors my husband and I love in our favorite pulled pork recipes. There is a sweetness from the brown sugar, a tanginess from the vinegar, a spice from the chipotles in adobo, and a unique pepperiness from the hoppy India Pale Ale. Unlike when you are working with a smoker, the oven provides a consistent temperature without adjustment while the use of the heavy Dutch oven traps in all the moisture, creating a decadent pan sauce for spooning over the final product. Even if you do not think you like chipotles, you must try this recipe. It is so perfectly balanced that the spice is not an issue. Serve this on dinner size sweet Hawaiian rolls for a festive finger food at your holiday party. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised!
4 Pound Pork Blade Shoulder Roast
1 Cup India Pale Ale*
6 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
1/4 Large Onion, Peeled and Halved
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
3 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Barbecue Rub
1. Combine the IPA, garlic, onion, liquid smoke, sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a large Dutch Oven.
2. Coat the outside of the blade roast with your choice of barbecue rubs. I used on that contained coffee and sugar along with garlic, onion powder, and the other usual ingredients. I would recommend using one that has a slight sweetness.
3. Place the coated roast in the Dutch oven.
4. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2.5 hours or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat reads 205 degrees.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and place on a large cutting board.
6. Using two forks, shred the meat. It will pull very easily.
7. Serve on your favorite rolls.

Note: If desired, you make place the meat in a container with some of the residual pan juices to retain moisture during storing. Just make sure to skim some of the excess fat from the top of the liquid first.

*For this recipe, Hoopyum from Foothills Brewery in Winston-Salem, NC was used.