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Cooking meat on a grill or smoker has become a vital test of every man’s culinary skill. My housekeeper’s unemployed husband recently bought a $3,500 smoker to expand his talents. I have tried to develop the skills of a pit master over the years but have found it to be with serious flaws, mainly because of the difficultly of controlling all of the variables that can ruin a meal. I am basically lazy, but I like to eat, and have learned how to create the flavor and texture of the food I like. For cooking meat, there is nothing better than sous-vide. Here is how I slow-cook pulled pork.
Start with a pork shoulder, 3 to 4 pounds. Cut the meat into large chunks and place in one-gallon freezer bags. Add salt and several splashes of liquid smoke. Cook in a sous-vide water bath at 165 degrees for 16 hours. Place the meat on a cutting board and use two forks to pull it apart. Place the meat back into a pan for the oven and add one cup of the liquid from the sous-vide bags. Season the meat with a pork rub that you like. I like a mixture of Butt Rub and McCormick’s Barbecue seasoning. Heat it in the oven at 350 degrees for maybe 30 minutes, then serve with a liquid barbecue sauce on top.
I have eaten barbecue all over the US, and although there are advantages to every local cuisine, I think the lightly flavored mustard sauce of the low country of South Carolina makes the best base sauce for barbecue. Just a little bit in the meat to set the palate and then add a sweet red sauce to finish it off. Have Crystal sauce available for those who like heat.Published in