Wednesday, November 16, 2005

In a mood for BBQ!

A gigantic, madly swirling cold front whipped through this neck of the woods last night, bringing forth a dramatic chiming from the Booth Bay Harbor bells hanging on my front porch. Thankfully, none of the severe storm activity that had been predicted for this area materialized. My brother, The Peace Warrior, has just left for home after an all too brief visit and I miss him already.

While he was here, we went shopping at Home Depot and Target with my friend Mary and her precocious son, Ian, for winterazation supplies. Feeling hunger pangs after having walked for what seemed like miles -- big box stores are SO huge! -- we decided to stop in at a little place called Barbecue Revue in Madisonville. There, I had my first pulled pork BBQ sandwich in many moons and decided that it was high time I learned how to make this tasty southern delicacy myself.

After much food blog searching, I concluded that it wasn't all that difficult, just time-consuming. And since I have way more time than money, that was OK with me!

I had lucked out last week at the grocery, discovering a great sale on the preferred cut for this dish -- pork butt (actually part of the shoulder) on sale at $1.19 pound. I snapped up a 4+ pound roast and began my recipe search. I ended up making a basic rub from ground black pepper mixed with cayenne (generous amounts of each) and massaging it gently all over the meat. With the oven pre-heated to 300'F, I placed the roast into a non-stick roasting pan, fat side up, and covered it lightly with aluminum foil (shiny side down). After 4 hours, I removed the foil and let it cook for about 1 1/2 more hours. After allowing time to cool down, it was a simple matter to pull off the fatty parts and shred the meat with my fingers. The outside edges were nice and crisp, the inside tender and succulent. After pulling an all-nighter to get to this final point, I was too sleepy to make my own sauce so I added a bottle of Jim Beam's Original No. 7 Barbecue Sauce to the melange and worked it in with a spoon. Served on sesame or onion buns along with some creamy cole slaw. I highly recommend this dish!