Pulled pork, it’s simply southern. Serve this dish with cornbread and a sweet dessert for the perfect fall meal.
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- 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, divided
- 4 quarts cold water
- 1 (7-pound) boneless pork butt roast, cut in half horizontally
- 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 1/2 cups finely minced yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/3 cups ketchup
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- In a large, 6-quart bowl, dissolve 1 cup salt, 1⁄2 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons liquid smoke in 4 quarts cold water to make a brine. Submerge pork in brine, and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- In a small bowl, combine mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons liquid smoke; set aside.
- In a second small bowl, combine black pepper, paprika, red pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt; set aside.
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil; place a wire rack in pan.
- Remove pork from brine, discarding brine; dry pork thoroughly with paper towels. Rub entire surface of pork with mustard mixture, and sprinkle with spice mixture. Place pork on prepared wire rack. Place a sheet of parchment paper over pork, then cover pan with aluminum foil, sealing edges to prevent moisture from escaping.
- Bake for 4 hours. Remove from oven; discard foil and parchment paper. Carefully pour liquid in bottom of pan into a fat separator; reserve cooking liquid for sauce.
- Return pork to oven, and cook, uncovered, for about 2 hours, or until well browned and tender and an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest portion of pork registers 200 degrees. Transfer pork to serving dish, and tent loosely with foil; let rest for 20 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred pork into bite size pieces.
- In a medium saucepan, combine 3⁄4 cup reserved defatted cooking liquid, onion, and garlic. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Serve with pork.
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