August 23, 2013

Oven BBQ Pulled Pork

I just successfully brought a goldfish back to life!! Stephen got a goldfish for his birthday this year. It's an odd little thing, all patchy, with one giant eye and one small one. His name is "GoogleEye". We've slowly realized we may have jumped the gun on the whole "pet responsibility" thing. Stephen's a little absent-minded. He likes his goldfish, but forgets about it for days. I check on the poor fishy once in a while, and remind him to feed it. Today I found it floating nose down at the top of the tank... when I tapped the tank it kinda spazzed around, but definitely didn't look happy. I fed it, LOTS, and cleaned it's tank... kept checking on it, and feeding it more when it finished off it's food... I could have sworn he was a goner at one point, he kept floating back up to the top of the tank, belly-up... So I would tap the tank to wake it up again... But now he's fine!!
I am a goldfish doctor. That's me! Savior of goldfishes. Hey, we all have undiscovered talents, right?

Oven BBQ Pulled Pork (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
Printable Recipe

1 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tb brown sugar
4 Tb plus 2 tsp liquid smoke
1 boneless pork butt (4-5 lbs), cut in half horizontally
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 Tb ground black pepper
2 Tb smoked paprika (see note)
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Dissolve salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 4 tablespoons liquid smoke in 4 quarts of cold water in large container. Submerge pork in brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

While pork brines, combine mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons liquid smoke in small bowl; set aside. Combine black pepper, paprika, brown sugar, and cayenne in second small bowl; set aside. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub mustard mixture over entire surface of each piece of pork. Sprinkle entire surface of each piece with spice mixture and pat it into the mustard. 
Place pork on wire rack set inside foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Place a piece of parchment paper over pork, then cover with sheet of aluminum foil, making sure the edges are well sealed. (The parchment keeps the mustard from eating through the foil. Crazy, huh?) Roast pork for 3 hours.
Remove pork from oven; remove and discard foil and parchment. Carefully pour off liquid in bottom of baking sheet into fat separator and reserve for sauce. Return pork to oven and cook, uncovered, until well browned, about 1½ hours. Transfer pork to serving dish, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.
When it's done resting, shred your pork. What you do with it next is up to you! The Geologist loves the meat plain at this point, but we usually toss it with the de-fatted pork juices. You can also mix about 1/2 a cup of the juices with your favorite BBQ sauce and mix it all together. We serve sauce separately because only half of us like it.
The Geologist is a carnivore purist. He loves this pulled pork just like this, I like to toss it in it's juices and smother it with sauce. To me, BBQ requires sauce. I am pretty sure this is considered blasphemous in some BBQ circles, but oh well!
In all honesty, I have yet to have better pulled pork than this. Truly. Especially this last batch. If there is any way you can get a pork roast that is hormone and additive free, it makes a massive difference to the flavor! Really!! But even if you can't, it's fantastic. Tender and deeply flavored, smoky and tangy, juicy and positively mouthwatering, this is a summer classic!
I know I posted two BBQ recipes in a row, but I figured hey, Labor Day is coming up, and what better way to celebrate than with BBQ? So now you're all prepared! By the way, this makes TONS, so half it for an average sized family or serve it to a crowd, or you'll be eating it for a week!


  1. You have to be careful, maybe your son overfed his fish, because that can kill them too. Make sure the fishbowl's getting cleaned out regularly too. The oxygen can be depleted and goldfish can asphyxiate if the water isn't replaced and the bowl cleaned out, based on the size of the bowl, container it's in. A medium sized fish bowl needs it's water replaced once a week.

    1. Yep, I've heard that you can over-feed them, but that's definitely not the problem here! Although we should clean his bowl more often. My bad. But then, it's not my fish! :) Ah, tis a fine line...

  2. Oh boy . . . that pulled pork looks sooooo good. I must be feeling better! We have goldfish in the pond in our back garden. They thrive out there and have even survived the coldest winter on record! They even had babies a few years back. Kudos to you for bring Google back to life. I am sure that made you an even more awesome mom in the boys eyes! My lads never had a goldfish that survived for very long. Each had a burial at sea . . . Love ya! xxoo


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