Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Miss Congeniality

This shredded pork is not the most photogenic entry at the pageant, but it's more like Miss Congeniality, and everyone loves it. It's versatile and easy to work with, and although it's a bit "plain-Jane", you can dress it up with some guacamole or a bit of pico de gallo or some sauce and it takes on a new life.

So... let's talk pulled pork; some of the "best you've ever smacked-a-lip-over", to quote a friend of mine from Texas.  It's spicy, sweet, and just plain good.  Not fancy but versatile.  Serve it in tortillas with taco fixins', on a bun, or just mound it on a plate with some sides.  This recipe calls for with soda (I used Dr. Pepper) and chipotle adobo sauce.  If you don't like it spicy (and it has a bit of heat), cut the chipotle sauce in half.

Here's the ugly part of the post (Ok, the color's pretty, but that's where it ends my friends).  This lump of fat went straight into the garbage bag.
This is the greasy fat (after chilling) that was rendered out of the pork shoulder (sometimes called pork butt, a less-appetizing name, for sure).  I shudder to think of all that pork fat headed for my arteries (I prefer to fill mine with butter, given the choice), so to control that large amount of saturated fat, I like to roast the meat, shred it, and pour the liquid into a bowl.  Let it chill in the fridge for a few hours, then peel back the congealed fat and discard it, leaving the jelled broth in the bowl.  Next, melt the broth and add it back to the shredded meat.
The meat will soak the broth in, taking back moisture and flavor.

This freezes well and some of this shredded pork will be going into freezer bags for a quick meal at a later date.  Now that's what I consider pretty!

Spicy Pulled Pork

7-8 pound pork shoulder roast (sometimes called pork butt)
24 ounces of Dr. Pepper (you can use Coke)
14-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I used half a can)
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered

Pre-heat the oven to 300ยบ F.

Scatter the onion pieces in the bottom of a roasting pan or Dutch oven. Sprinkle salt and pepper liberally over your pork roast. Set the pork on top of the onion and pour the chipotle sauce over the pork.  Pour the Dr. Pepper around the roast and cover the meat with a lid.

Roast the meat for 5-6 hours, turning the roast four times, intermittently.  When the meat shreds easily and falls apart, it's done. Remove the pork to a platter. Pour the broth into a heat-proof bowl and let cool slightly, then cover and put it in the fridge for several hours to let the fat harden.

In the meantime, shred the pork roast with your fingers or using two forks. Discard any fat left on the roast. Put the shredded meat into a bowl and refrigerate.

When the fat has congealed, remove it and heat the jelled broth. Pour it back over the shredded meat.
Reheat the shredded pork and serve with tortillas, or on buns.


  1. That IS pretty food! Dr. Pepper? Interesting!

  2. I prefer my fat in the form of butter too LOL! Thanks for a great-looking recipe. And for the tip to reduce the heat -- I'm definitely not a spicy girl! ;-D

  3. This sounds great Bonnie! I never thought of using coke or Dr. Pepper, but I imagine it adds a wonderful sweetness.... I also cut that fat off before cooking my pork roasts - it's gross!

  4. Adele, I totally agree with you about trimming the fat before cooking. I always do, but that gigantic, thick disc of fat is what rendered out of the inside of the roast after cooking. Unbelievable huh? Thanks for the reminder of "roast trimming". I'm not sure I mentioned it in the recipe.

  5. Oh yum! We love pulled pork & I don't have a good recipe so I'm trying yours asap!
    And look at all that lovely snow you have -- envy ;). I just might take you up on your invite and head your way -- at least for June, July, & August!

  6. Oh, pork is one of my favorites. Just imagine that lump of fat under my skin - gross! Wish we could just throw that away too.

  7. Your post had me cracking up!

  8. That pork fat picture is something. I love this kind of pork, well any kind. We just had a pork roast for dinner today. Those Texans know their meat! My sister from San Antonio has on occasion brought some brisket (yes, on the plane) when she visits -- it's to die for. Joni

  9. YUM! I made a pulled pork something like this recipe and it was delish!