Pulled pork (BBQ) - can you make this w/o a grill or smoker?
I bought a 2lb hunk of pork shoulder/butt something roast - a cut I haven't worked with, because my d.h. asked for pulled pork. Grabbed a BBQ Bon Appetite and then it hit me - I don't have a way to grill or smoke this meat. Can it be done in the oven? Even if it won't bring the same bbq/smokey results, will it be any good? Or should I change courses altogether and do a braise - maybe some latin flavors (ala onion, garlic, vinegar)?
I once made it in my slow cooker and it turned out amazing. I think the next time I'll do a couple hours in my BBQ with wood chips and finish it in the slow cooker.
I had a 8 lb shoulder last time and left it overnight.
Good luck !
I like to make pulled pork in a crockput. Add the meat with a bottle of BBQ sauce and some water or beer. Cook on low for 8 hours, start pulling the meat apart, and then cook another 2.
Slow roasted pork in the oven is great and comes out similar in texture to a grill smoked pork roast but without the same flavor. Your two pound roast is kind of small but google the recipe for "napa style forever roasted pork." And make sure to make the fennel/coriander/sea salt rub that goes with it. It is delicious and makes the entire house smell wonderful. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time for your smaller roast.
It will be delicious but will not have a smokey taste. If that's important, you might want to add a bit of liquid smoke (go easy—too much will definitely taste artificial) to your recipe. I've been curious to try this myself either by using cooking planks on my propane grill or using a small Mini Chief smoker (will flavor meat but not cook it) and finishing the result in the oven or indirect grilling. Good luck!
I've posted this before, I think:
FAKE KALUA PIG
4 lbs. pork shoulder butt
2 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. liquid smoke
1 banana leaf
4-6 ti leaves
Score the meat on all sides and rub in the salt and the liquid smoke. Wrap in the banana leaf. Remove the ribs from the ti leaves and wrap them over the banana leaf. Tie securely. Wrap the whole thing in foil and refrigerate overnight. Next day roast a 350º for 4 hours in a pan with water in the bottom (I use a rack). Open up the parcel, and when it's cool enough shred the pork with your fingers. Add any accumulated juices and salt if necessary. Good both as a luau dish with poi and sauced as barbecue.
- paraphrased from "The Food of Paradise" by Rachel Laudan, University of Hawai'i Press, 1996
Additional comments: I've never had any ti leaves to work with - I think they're supposed to add flavor, but the banana leaf all by itself gives plenty. I have sometimes used a Reynolds roasting bag instead of foil, cutting slits on the bottom side and setting it on a rack over water when I'm cooking it. That's how I did it the first time, as I was cooking TWO pork butts (it was for a big party) and the bag just made it easier to handle.
re: Will Owen
And if you can't find banana leaf, throw a few (2-4) banana peels over the meat. Seems a little bit heavy on the liquid smoke, but not way off. Some people add garlic, others say that's not authentic. The ti leaves don't really add too much in the way of flavor. If you are going to be doing it in foil, some say the ti leaves keep the aluminum flavor away from the meat. Like Will, I like to use the roasting bag. I'm sure the overnight refrigeration helps the smoke flavor disperse through the meat... ill have to try that next time.
I did one in the oven last weekend. I threw it - plain - in a pot (covered, although I'm not sure if it matters) and into the oven at 225 degrees. I left it in overnight and into the morning - for a total of about 12 hours. Then I took it out to cool. Put it in the fridge and a little while later got all the fat off of it. I then made a sauce with apple cider vinegar (2 cups) and brown sugar (1/4 cup), salt and red pepper flakes. Shredded the pork (it just about shredded itself) and then covered it with half the sauce. Threw it back in the oven to warm through. Served it with the sauce on the side and homemade tortillas. Oh my good god - so yummy.