Monday, July 23, 2012

Raging Pig Pulled Pork

As my beautiful wife can tell you, I love pulled pork.  It is probably my favorite kind of barbecue.  Every year, I try to smoke a couple of pork shoulders, using different rubs, mops and sauces.  As much as I love to barbecue, it takes a lot of time.  By July, I would have been able to smoke at least two pork shoulders.  Unfortunately, this year, I have been very busy and have not been able to dedicate a day to barbecue ... until just recently. 

I decided that I had to make the time to smoke a small pork shoulder.  I chose a pork shoulder that weighed about four and one-half pounds.   The question first turned to the rub.  I have a lot of ground hatch chile peppers, which I decided to use as the base.  I found a recipe for a Southwestern Style Chile Rub in Cheryl and Bill Jamison's classic barbecue book, Smoke & Spice.  Their recipe called for 1/2 cup of New Mexican chiles and 1/2 cup of ancho chile pepper.  Given that I would be smoking the pork, I did not think that I needed the ancho chile.  After all, ancho chiles do not have a lot of heat, their primary use is to provide some smoke flavor.  I also dialed back the New Mexican chiles to 1/3 of a cup of medium hatch chiles, but I added a healthy tablespoon of hot and an another, equally healthy tablespoon of extra hot chiles.  I also added some rub basics -- salt, onion powder, and garlic powder -- along with a tablespoon of dried oregano.  I decided to call this my "Raging Pig" Rub, for reasons that will become clearer as you read this post. 

I then turned my attention to the mop sauce.  Once again, I consulted Smoke & Spice, which had a recipe at page 46.  I decided to use their beer mop sauce.  The Jamisons did not identify any particular beer to use for the mop, it called only for twelve ounces of beer.  I opened the refrigerator and pulled a bottle of the only beer that we had at the time ... Flying Dog's Raging Bitch Belgian Style Pale Ale.  That beer transformed an ordinary mop sauce into a Raging Bitch Beer Mop Sauce.  

The beer also inspired the name for the pulled pork ... Raging Pig Pulled Pork. I would soon discover, however, that there was more to the "rage" than the beer.  While I was pulling the pork,  I sampled a couple of bites from different parts of the shoulder.  Each bite was accompanied with a spicy kick, which sometimes resembled an afterburn, lingering long after the taste.  In the end, the two parts to this barbecue experience -- the Hatch Chile Rub and the Raging Bitch Beer Mop Sauce -- gives rise to Raging Pig Pulled Pork.

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves Many

Ingredients (for the Hatch Chile Rub):
1/3 cup of hatch chiles, medium
1 tablespoon of hatch chiles, hot
1 tablespoon of hatch chiles, extra hot
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of oregano (preferably Mexican)
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of kosher salt or sea salt

Ingredients (for Smoking Pork):
1 pork shoulder (preferably boston butt), around 4-5 pounds
Apple wood chunks for smoking.

Ingredients (for the Raging Bitch Beer Mop Sauce):
12 ounces of beer
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped

1.  Marinate the pork.  Combine all of the rub ingredients.  Rub the mix over all of the pork, making sure that the entire shoulder is covered, including any crevasses in the meat.  Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

2.  Smoke the pork.  Place the apple wood in a bucket for at least one to two hours before you start the smoking.  Start a fire in a smoker (using a chimney) and bring the temperature to 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add one or two pieces of apple wood to the charcoal.  Add the pork.  Smoke the pork for about 1 and 1/2 hours per pound of pork.

3Mop the pork.  Prepare the mop sauce.  After about four hours,  remove the lid of the smoker and mop the pork a couple of time.  Return the lid.  Repeat this process about every half hour until the pork is done.  

4.  Finish the dish.  When the pork nears the appropriate temperature (190 degrees Fahrenheit), pull the pork out of the smoker, wrap with foil and let sit for about fifteen minutes.  Remove the pork from the foil and pull, shred or chop the pork. 

So far, I made a simple pulled pork sandwich ... slice of tomato, slice of red onion, topped with pulled pork.  I did not use a sauce because I wanted to taste the pork itself.  It was a very delicious sandwich. 


This recipe calls for a good beer to be paired with the barbecue.  Given the spiciness of the rub, I would go for something a little lighter and crisper.  A pilsner or a pale ale would work well with this barbecue.  A couple of options include:

Schlafly Beer -- Pale Ale
Pale Ale
St. Louis, MO, USA
Flavors with hops and malts, well-balanced

Abita -- Save Our Shores
New Orleans, LA, USA
Flavors have a hint of hoppiness



Molly said...

Yum! Pulled pork is my favorite kind of bbq, too! You'll have to let me know the next time you need someone to share the deliciousness with you. :)

Keith Bolek said...

I will definitely keep you in mind the next time I make pulled pork! Thanks for reading the post.

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