Recipe, S'il Vous Plait (RSVP)-Make mine 'Que

I don't know the first time I had a pulled pork sandwich, but the first good one I had was in the summer of 1984, when Dad, Giggles and I were on vacation. The smoky flavor (that didn't come from a bottle of liquid smoke), the tangy barbeque sauce and the perfect bun. I was hooked.

Since then, I've had my share of good 'Que and bad, but the purchase of the grill last year made me want to perfect my own 'que at home. I'm not there yet, but the most recent offerings I made on the grill were deemed so good by Chef that he insisted no barbeque sauce was needed.


I think the key to satisfaction from all three menfolk was the dry rub I used this time. Put a good one on a pork butt or picnic, let it sit and then grill for half the day, and your family will be raving, too.

While you may not have the means to grill something low and slow at home for 6 or so hours, you can do the same in the oven. It won't have the smoke ring, but it will have some good flavor.

Dry Rub for Pork

1.5 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup kosher salt

3 tablespoons onion powder

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

The night before you're going to roast or grill, generously apply this rub to a 6-8 lb pork butt or picnic (there will be enough rub for two servings), wrap in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

You will want to slow roast/grill this at 250 degrees for 6-8 hours, until the internal temperature is at 185-200 degrees and the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.

If you're worried about dryness when roasting in the oven, a cup of apple juice in the pan about halfway through will impart some great flavor and enough moisture.

Serve on buns with cole slaw on top or on the side.

Now, if you'd really like to make the family happy, make this guy's Pig Pucker sauce and you, too will send him an email thanking him profusely for sharing it. I have not doctored it in any way, which is highly unusual for me. There's almost 2 quarts of it sitting in my fridge right now, the second time I've made a batch (recipe makes a little over a quart).

Yes, I know Labor Day is coming and you're thinking that grilling time is over. Make it in the oven, then, and have a taste of summertime when the weather outside turns nippy.


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