Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Smoky Sweet, Slightly Spicy Oven Pulled Pork Roast

Serves 8 to 10 folks

boneless roast ready for the oven

1 pork boneless butt roast, 4 to 6 pounds (or a 5 to 7 pound bone-in)

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 to 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup apple cider juice

1/2 teaspoon salt or as needed

Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts about 1/2-inch deep in the roast. Mix the 7 spices together and rub over the pork on all sides, forcing some into the cuts. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 4 hours, turning once, leaving the fat side up for cooking.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Remove the wrap. Place the pork in a oven-proof pan or dish that is just large enough to hold the roast and has a lid. Sprinkle the roast all over with the Worcestershire sauce. Press the brown sugar coating on all sides of the pork and slowly pour the apple juice down one side of the pan being sure not to drizzle it on the sugar crusted meat. Cover with the lid or tightly with foil. Place the roast in the oven. After 30 minutes turn down the temperature to 325 degrees and cook an additional 2 hours. Baste every 30 minutes or so with the pan juices after the first hour.

Test the meat to make sure the internal temperature is at least 175 degrees F. on a meat thermometer. Remove the lid and using a fork, test the meat by pulling it apart. If the meat does not pull apart easily, cover and return to the oven and cook 30 minutes more. Check again, cook 30 minutes more as needed.

Remove meat from pan and spoon off the grease from the drippings. Pull the meat apart. Stir the salt as needed into the juices at the bottom of the pan. Return meat to the pan juices and serve meat with the tantalizing juice warm or also good served at room temperature.