BBQ pulled pork is a game day favorite. Pork shoulder slow cooked in garlic and orange juice until it is fall-apart tender is mixed with your favorite barbeque sauce and piled high on toasted buns.
This is the kind of food I want to have bubbling away in the oven making my kitchen smell of divine porkiness while I am preparing to entertain a group of friends waiting for my beloved Buckeyes to take the field.
(whew… how’s THAT for a run-on sentence?!)
For most people, this is summer food… For me however, I equate having my oven going for over 4 hours with cooler temperatures and for me, cooler temps automatically mean football.
I’m sure this seems absurd to most of you. Everyone else in the blogosphere is making pumpkin this and cinnamon that and here I am making pulled pork. Well, I’m sure someone somewhere understands my particular brand of crazy… it’s called football people and it’s not just football, it’s my Ohio State Buckeyes.
If you are from the Midwest or the South where meetings are rescheduled and Saturday afternoons are off limits “on account of there’s football”, then I needn’t explain any further.
To the rest of you who can’t quite conceive of this, it’s irrational. Those of us that love football with the fervor of a sale-seeking Jersey Housewife with a platinum card understand what it’s all about.
This is one of those great “do ahead” meals that you can cook the night before and then put in a crock pot to stay warm for game day! I will admit, I ate this for 3 days in a row. It was that good. One thing concerns me though, the amount I consumed and that old saying “you are what you eat”… oink oink.
Oh yeah, I’ll try to get to that pumpkin-cinnamon thing soon…
5 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cleaned
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
2 cups orange juice
4 cups water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 + cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Season pork with salt & pepper.
Sear pork on all sides.
Add onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, orange juice and water. Cover and place in oven for 4 hours. Check liquid level after 2 hours and add an extra cup of water if needed.
After 4 hours, remove pork from oven and let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes, then place in a large bowl or on a platter. With two forks, pull the meat apart until all of it is shredded. While warm, add BBQ sauce and mix well to completely coat pork with sauce.
Pile onto your favorite roll or hamburger bun, sit back and watch some football…