I am writing this with an intention to escape writing too much. And to run away from school work, of course. Like this recipe itself, I am able to do away with minimal effort – not that I don’t try but this is truly a lifesaver when you hardly could crunch the time for things in a world full of opportunity costs.
Of course, nice things don’t come cheap and paradoxically, you are paying with time, except it’s time when you are not fretting and fussing . I literally heat the oven, do the meat rub, lay it on a sheet pan, set up the smoke pouch, dump it in the oven, and set my alarm. And forget all about it – until it shrouds your kitchen with that smell of bacon. Truly, nothing beats coming home to crackling, ready to be eaten.
Normally, pulled pork will call for a smokehouse and constant basting. All that is not only impossible for the average home cook, but also, you’ll need to tend to them constantly. This method does away with it but to further save your sanity, I recommend laying the meat on some aluminum foil, as the browned scum you get is really beyond your normal roasting (black and charred, and not something you want to scrub when you return to your oven some hours ago).
Trust that your oven is not going to fail and just go for the long slow roast. It takes some faith to know you’re not a fire hazard as you leave your house alone with a running oven. If you’re using a timer-dial oven, you have my sympathies as, which reminds me, that is what I have back home. (I have to reset it every 2 hours.) For now, I’ll be content with whatever time I have left with this baby while I am here in this foreign land that I am appreciating. And I’ll be getting the pulled pork in this country to see for myself how it’s done. For real.
Now, as for the sauce…
- 1 3-5 lb (1.3 – 1.7kg) bone-in pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (white will do too)
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle
- 5 tablespoon liquid smoke (mesquite or hickory)
- Set oven to 125 degrees Celsius or 250 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pat dry pork shoulder and lay it on a large piece of aluminum foil on a sheet pan.
- Combine all the other ingredients except for the liquid smoke.
- Rub the mixture of sugar and salt onto the pork. You may leave it overnight if you wish although that is not necessary.
- Tear out 3 pieces of foil, each roughly big enough to form a palm sized pouch. Form one pouch and wrap another piece from the bottom. Repeat with the other piece. This is to create a smoke pouch without having leaks in the pouch. Pour the liquid smoke into this pouch and lightly gather the edges to create only a small opening at the top. Place this pouch next to the meat on the sheet pan
- Cook the meat for 6 hours.
- After six hours, turn the heat up to 220 degrees Celsius or 425 degrees Fahrenheit and continue cooking for 10-15 mins, depending on how long it takes for the pork skin to crisp up. It may help to use the broiler function instead if the skin doesn’t crisp up. Prick the skin with a fork. It’s ready when you hear a hollow thud.
- When done, remove from oven and let rest for 10 mins.
- Shred the pork with a fork. Serves 4 or 2 very greedy adults.