Pulled Pork

As I wrote in my last post, this recipe is a marriage of two recipes, both found on the Food Network. The method for brining came from Alton Brown and the bulk of the recipe was from a light cooking website; I can’t remember precisely where I found it. Suffice it to say that I’ve changed it somewhat and we keep coming back to it. That makes it a winner in my book!

No pictures in this post as all the meat (2 pork roasts worth) is in the freezer until Saturday. I will post pictures when I have them. As we say in Dutch… eet smakelijk!  (Which is the same as bon appetit!)

Ev’s Pulled Pork

[printable version]


  • 8 oz (or 3/4 cup) molasses
  • 12 oz pickling salt
  • 2 quarts water (or enough to cover the meat)
  • 5-8 lb Boston butt (or pork shoulder roast)

Combine molasses, pickling salt and water in a large pot. Stir, or heat, until the salt has dissolved. Add the pork, making sure it is completely submerged. If necessary, place a plate on the roast to help keep it sumberged. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator a minimum of 8 hours; 12 hours is ideal, but I’ve left it for up to 24 hours. Reserve about 1 cup of the brine for the cooking sauce.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced (or 1 large onion)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or to taste – you can always add more, you can’t take it out)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 12 oz beer, preferably lager (1 can or bottle)
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup of the brining liquid, plus 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Preheat the oven to 300ºF

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add diced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and very soft, about 20 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high; add chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce  s slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the pork, spooning the sauce over it. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the pork over and bake, covered, for another 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake until a fork inserted into the meat turns easily, 1-2 hours  more, basting occasionally with the sauce.

Transfer the pork to a large bowl and cover with foil. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce, remove the bone from the roast if there is one, and pull the pork apart into shreds with two forks (or your hands; that works, too – just make sure you wash them first). Serve over lightly toasted or warmed buns. Serve with coleslaw.

To reheat the meat, preheat the oven to 300ºF. Place the meat in a baking dish and heat until it’s warmed through. The sauce may be incorporated into the meat or kept separate and spooned over the meat when serving but should be served hot.


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