Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Carolina pulled pork

Perfection can't be hurried: For fall-off-the-bone tenderness, cook the pork for eight to 10 hours over hickory, white oak or pecan wood. It's delicious in sandwiches, sliders, carnitas, flautas or quesadillas—or put chunks in your barbecue baked beans.

Marty Wells
Bad to the Bone BBQ, San Juan Capistrano

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Carolina vinegar sauce
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. dry rub
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt

Pulled pork
1 (6- to 8-lb.) bone-in pork butt
Dry rub, to taste
Sweet 'n' smoky BBQ sauce or favorite store-bought sauce, to taste


To make vinegar sauce: Place all ingredients in a small, nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Pour into a jar or squeeze bottle and refrigerate at least 1 day before using or up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 cups.

To make pulled pork: Generously season pork all over with dry rub. Set up grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 250 degrees. Place pork, skin side up, on the grate over the drip pan. If using a charcoal grill, toss a quarter of the wood chips on the coals. If using a gas grill, place chips in the smoker box. Don't grill until you see smoke. Cover grill and smoke-cook pork until it is fall-off-the-bone tender with an internal temperature of 195 degrees, 8 to 10 hours. If using charcoal, add 10 fresh coals and 1 cup wood chips per side every hour.

Transfer cooked pork to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Discard any skin. Pull pork into pieces, discarding any bones or fat. (You may wish to wear heavy-duty rubber gloves.) Using your fingertips or a fork, pull each piece of pork into thin shreds, or use a cleaver and cutting board to finely chop it. Transfer pork to a large foil pan and stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups vinegar sauce—enough to keep the pork moist. Cover pan with foil and place on the grill to keep warm. Serve with barbecue sauce on the side.

Serves 8 to 10

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