Pull My Pork

Occasionally, while I am between steps in cooking, I will jot down a note or two, sometimes in free verse. So it was this past evening:

Pull My Pork

From an oven low and slow,
Barely more than candle flames,
Pork perfume pervades.
Garbed in Marco Polo’s to-do list
Basting like a Russian on the Barcelona coast,
One large butt.
Actually a shoulder, an innocent misnomer
From people who deceived you
Into thinking thymus glands
were sweetbreads.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I stumbled upon an article that gave me a workaround for cooking my soon-to-reach-its-sell-by-date port butt in the oven, rather than trying to smoke it in my electric pellet smoker during a rainstorm.

It couldn’t be more simple; rub the pork “butt” (actually the shoulder, but hey, this isn’t a physiology blog) with a spice blend of your choice. Then pop it in a Dutch oven overnight at a very low temp, maybe mop it (that is, squirt or daub a little liquid on it) a time or two if you feel like it, and pull it out the next day. I set mine on the insert from my Instant Pot®, just to keep the meat from sitting in its own rendered juice and also to develop some crust (or bark) on the bottom.

My rub was as simple as 1-2-3: one part sea salt (or Kosher salt) to two parts Penzeys Singapore seasoning to three parts brown sugar.

The “mop” followed a similar formula: one part Dijon mustard to two parts apple cider vinegar to three parts dark molasses. I put it in a squirt bottle and splashed some on once during the night when I woke up and again early in the AM before it was ready to come out.

The boneless pork shoulder weighed about 7.5 lbs / 3.5 kg, and it took about 12 hours at 225°F / 107°C to reach an internal temperature of 205 °F / 96°C , at which point I pulled it out of the oven, let it stand for 30 minutes or so, and pulled it apart with forks and (clean) fingers.

The “bark” was as good as its bite.

INGREDIENTS
1 large pork butt, preferably boneless, about 7.5 lbs / 3.5 kg
For The 1-2-3 Rub
sea salt or kosher salt
Penzeys Singapore Seasoning
brown sugar
For The 1-2-3 Mop
Dijon mustard
apple cider vinegar
dark molasses

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 225°F / 107°C.
If you have time, remove meat from refrigerator for about an hour.
Rub spice blend thoroughly onto meat, coating all sides.
Put pork in roasting pan or Dutch oven, preferably on a small wire rack/riser.
Cook for about 12 hours, mopping occasionally (or not), until its internal temperature reaches approximately 205 °F / 96°C. [Anything over 202 °F / 94.5°C should be fine, you just want it to be falling apart without much stress.]
Allow to cool for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, them pull apart with forks.
Refrigerate or freeze the unused portion(s).

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