Latest posts by yeah right (see all)
Welcome back. That ticking noise you hear is the countdown clock to the start of the NFL season. It’s a full schedule of regular season action in just 3
short long interminable drawn out agonizing weeks.
I can practically feel the torn ACLs!
Shit. Now my knees hurt.
Once again today we are faced with the challenge of the weather dictating our cooking method.
I have all of these grandiose ideas throughout the week on what I’m going to cook on Sunday. All of these great ideas for new Sunday Gravy posts and the goddamn weather just shits all over my plans. Another reason we love football so damn much is that it is an ushering in of Autumn and cool weather and all of the good things they foretell.
I’ve got a good one for you today. It’s a little something that is now on basically every menu in the goddamn country. It’s a prerequisite for every gastropub and mid-scale dining establishment in the country.
We will be making a pulled pork sandwich.
Not the authentic real fucking deal pulled pork that’s been slow cooked over wood and fire for hours and hours. Nuh-uh. There is not one goddamn THING that is barbecue about this except maybe the dry rub. What we have today is basically what every non-authentic-barbecue food joint will serve you when you order a pulled pork sandwich.
Don’t get me wrong! This fucking thing is delicious.
But it’s just not real barbecue.
Don’t want to piss off the purists.
The first time I had a real, honest legitimate pulled pork sandwich was when I first visited this place about 25 years ago.
I’ve been to Memphis a bunch of times including fairly recently.
I’m talking about my very first visit.
True story, a previous job almost transferred me to Memphis back in the early part of the 90’s. After spending 3 weeks there and even going as far as finding a house to rent, scheduling utilities to be activated and looking into schools where my daughters would attend it dawned on me that I was thinking about moving to Memphis.
And leaving L.A.
Sanity prevailed and I stayed put. The first day I got back to L.A. I took the wife and girls out to dinner at a harbor-side restaurant in San Pedro, and we watched the cruise ships and container ships enter and exit the LA harbor and the breeze was amazing and it wasn’t humid and I just looked at the wife and said “Sorry. I ain’t leaving this.” And I’ve been here ever since.
The wife however has not.
One of the big positives that Memphis had going for it is the barbecue because goddamn do they have incredible barbecue there. The entire town smells like hickory and slowly cooking meats and it’s just fucking beautiful.
Not to start a barbecue war but my own personal favorite barbecue style is Memphis style. I’ve had ‘cue all over the country and I just like Memphis style best. Yes, I’ve had a BUNCH of Texas style including some life altering brisket but for my own personal taste, give me Memphis style and give me some damn PIG!
What we are doing today is antithetical to the entire barbecue process.
Barbecue = smoke + fire + time and we are using NONE of those. Today we are cooking quick with no smoke and no fire.
Tender cooked pig, homemade coleslaw, store bought buns and some tots will just have to fucking do.
Brother DJ Taj handled the coleslaw recipe and while it was very much homemade it was done as a “tribute” to the coleslaw from KFC. That’s the bro’s coleslaw of choice so he found a quick knockoff recipe that was not just close to the KFC version – it was better.
We gonna get after it now!
KFC “tribute” coleslaw.
The recipe comes from here so I won’t get into the complete details. I also didn’t personally make it so that wouldn’t be fair but I can walk you through the process with some photos.
The roughage for the coleslaw includes cabbage, carrot and onion.
- 8 cups finely diced cabbage (about 1 head)
- 1⁄4 cup diced carrot
- 2 tablespoons minced onions
Here you can see that they’ve been nicely shredded by the food processor.
Mother. FUCKER does the food processor make this dish easy to prepare. Can you imagine hand chopping a head of cabbage, a couple of carrots and onion? This fucking thing hacked the veggies up in seconds.
I’ve said it before but this is a must own kitchen toy.
Put all of the roughage in a bowl and combine.
Next for the coleslaw, make the dressing. That includes:
- 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix together like so.
Pour the dressing over the chopped up vegetation and combine.
Boom bitches! Coleslaw!
Put some plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate to allow the flavors to mingle. This actually sat overnight and I can attest that the results were fucking incredible.
Confession time! I’m not a huge fan of coleslaw but I can eat it. This coleslaw was GOOD. It really did work with the sandwich as a hole and it played a pretty integral part in the final product.
I referenced Summer once again for a reason as we are once again going to use…
Instant Pot! for our pig preparation.
I really do have a barbecue related recipe for you today and that would be my very own yeah right approved dry rub. Good for any and all dry rub applications. This is my take on a Memphis style dry rub and I’ve been using it for years. Back when I owned a smoker and had a backyard and did real, goddamn barbecue over hickory wood this was what I used. The only change is the sugar. You will see brown sugar in this recipe – which was great since we are “Instant Potting” (did I just turn Instant Pot into a verb?) but if you are slow cooking over wood I recommend turbinado sugar
or sugar in the raw since it doesn’t burn like processed sugar does when slow smoking over wood and fire.
Now that’s a real authentic barbecue tip for you!
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar.
2 tablespoons smoked paprika.
1/2 tablespoon of salt.
1/2 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper.
1 tablespoon of cumin.
1 tablespoon of granulated garlic.
1 tablespoon of onion powder.
1 tablespoon of chili powder.
1 teaspoon of dry mustard.
1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
1 teaspoon of cayenne.
Combine all ingredients.
This makes more than enough rub for today’s meal and will store in an airtight container in a cool place for a couple of months. I’ll be using it on some ribs right around labor day.
1 slab of pork – Boston butt please. About 3-4 pounds.
Some of that dry rub.
1 medium onion sliced.
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
A splash of beer.
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar.
1/2 cup of orange juice.
2 tablespoons of chili sauce or ketchup. I used chili sauce.
A splash of balsamic vinegar.
1 tablespoon of hoisen* optional – I was fucking around with condiments and wanted something to tighten up the finished sauce.
Barbecue sauce, some buns, and some coleslaw for serving.
Select a lovely slab-o-pig.
We’re gonna cut this fucker into chunks. I cut it into 1/3rds. I’m using a bone-in butt here so watch your knife. Cut into equal sizes if possible.
Grab a handful of the dry rub and give a liberal seasoning of the rub. Don’t be scared to work that bastard.
Let this rest for an hour or two or cover with plastic and rest in the fridge overnight.
Next get out your trusty Dutch oven or a deep skillet. Add in the oil and give the pig chunks a sear. About 4 minutes per side.
Not too much more or that sugar will indeed burn. Sear on all sides. When it looks like this…
you are doing the Lord’s work. Remove the seared chunks to a bowl and let rest for a couple of minutes.
Next we are going to deglaze the searing pan with the sliced onion.
I added a quick splash of beer – from the one that was open in my left hand – to the onion and browned bits to help deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon and be sure to scrape up the chunks of spice and pork from the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
This will again be cooking in the Instant Pot.
Put the basket or “trivet” into the pot and add in the vinegar, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, chili sauce – or ketchup – and the hoisen if using. Give a stir. Next add in the onions and browned bits from the now deglazed pot.
Last add in the chunks of seared Wilbur.
Lock that lid in place, set the pot to cook on high pressure, set the timer to 1 hour, set the warming function to on and let’s get it on!
When the hour is up, let the pot depressurize on “natural” release for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes instant release the pressure until the little pressurized doohicky thing drops and the pot is depressurized.
Carefully remove the cooked pork from the pot. Just a heads-up; this shit is TENDER! How tender you ask?
That’s the cooked piggy acid test right there. That’s the blade bone from the pig and that fucker just fell right off. The literal definition of “falling off the bone.”
Take a couple of forks and shred up the cooked pork. It will look something like this.
I added a couple of teaspoons of the leftover dry rub to the shredded pork and mixed it in. Anything to level up the flavor here.
Cover the shredded pork and let’s reduce the leftover sauce in the Instant Pot.
Turn the pot’s setting to “saute high” and we will reduce the contents by about half. Maybe 10-15 minutes.
When the sauce is reduced, turn the power off on the pot and add the shredded pork back to the sauce. Stir to combine.
Did you notice the tots up there? Of course you did. You can use whatever sides you want but I was in the mood for some damn tots. Just your basic tots today, no cheesy bacon tots or anything but do whatever the fuck you want man! That’s your call.
No, there were no tots leftover for any “pocket” tots for later.
Grab a bun, I used a potato bun today. Pro tip! Toast that bun. We want to increase the structural integrity before adding the pig, the slaw and some sauce or that bun won’t last two fucking bites before it sogs through.
Top the bun with a big scoop of pig, a splash of barbecue sauce if you wish and top with the slaw. Grab some napkins cuz this shit is about to get messy.
If you go back for seconds I would call this a “4 beer meal” minimum.
In the past I usually left the slaw off my pulled pork sandwich but this time it really just played perfectly with the pork.
The sandwich is sweet, salty, rich, tangy, savory and full of that good porky unctiousness that we’ve all grown to know and love.
As I’ve said a couple hundred times before: I love the fuck out of some swine.
Is this barbecue? No. It is not. The rub helps get it in the neighborhood but that’s all we can attest to.
Is this fucking delicious, easy to make and quicker than 14 hours on a smoker?
Goddamn right it is.
Given the option, go for authentic but also don’t discount the ease and deliciousness of this version either.
Thanks for reading everyone.
Football soon come.