Monday, October 29, 2012

Coffee-Cured Pulled Pork

My brother lives in Virginia.  If you're not living under a rock or in a house without access to the outside world, you probably have heard about Hurricane Sandy.  Although my family is 4 hours from the coast, with a nice mountain range or two separating them from any tides, schools in the area have shut down already.  My brother is a teacher.  He is contemplating a week, possibly, without school, if things go as are expected, and plans on cooking.  A lot.  This recipe is for him at his request.  If his electricity holds up, this is in his plans.

I made this last week on the day the cold front moved through Central Texas.  It's the perfect winter meal---it roasts in a somewhat low oven for 6 hours---6 wonderful hours of a meaty aroma and the warmth of an oven filling the house.  My favorite part of the recipe was the burnt pieces, which was my kids' least favorite so it worked out perfectly!  We turned these into sandwiches and may still turn them into tacos.  The only thing about this recipe is it takes some planning ahead.  The meat should cure for 12 - 24 hours before you begin roasting.

This serves a lot of people and makes around 2 1/2 lbs of meat when all is said and done.

Coffee-Cured Pulled Pork
from Food and Wine magazine

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c coarsely ground coffee
1/2 c kosher or sea salt (coarse grain)
4 lb bone-in pork butt (also known as a Boston Butt)
1/3 c molasses or sorghum
1/3 c apple cider vinegar

In a large bowl combine, sugar, coffee and salt.  Add the pork and rub the mixture all over.  Leave in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 12 - 24 hours.

After the pork has cured, rinse the pork well and set in a roasting pan.  Roast the pork, uncovered, in a preheated 300 degrees oven for 6 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 200 degrees.  After the pork has roasted 2 hours, cover--either with foil or the lid of the roasting pan (if you have the roasting pan like I do).  Once the meat thermometer reads 200 degrees.  Remove the pork from oven and let rest for 30 minutes.

While the pork is resting (all that roasting was hard work, you know), boil the molasses and vinegar together in a small saucepan.  Simmer until it is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.  While the sauce simmers increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees.  Pour the glaze over pork and roast for 15 minutes (or less).  Let cool, then shred the pork.  Serve on buns with barbecue sauce (I think I sweet sauce would be best).

**Note, you may have noticed that after the curing, no salt was added anywhere.  That's on purpose.  Taste your meat before adding more salt.  Otherwise, your pork will be way too salty.

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