If you love to BBQ, if, when you see a red-hot grill, your heart starts to beat faster and you have butterflies in your stomach, then you will surely have heard about Pulled Pork: American style shredded pork. It is one of the most popular recipes in BBQ culture, much loved by grill professionals, and a truly irresistible delicacy. Before lighting the charcoal you need to be prepared: to get good results it takes time and, above all, you need the right ingredients.
Here is everything you need to know about making perfect Pulled Pork (including its accompanying wine).
How to make Pulled Pork
Before rushing to the butcher's shop, let's make sure we have the utensils needed to make impeccable Pulled Pork. What's needed? To begin with, a BBQ thermometer and a meat thermometer: these are useful for obtaining the correct temperature for the pork. A metal marinating syringe will also be needed. A good supply of wood (walnut, cherry, apple) and rosemary branches is indispensable. If you really want to go overboard, a pair of bear claws for shredding the cooked Pulled Pork wouldn't hurt!
At least 2kg of pork shoulder (or neck), 150g of sugar, Paprika, Chilli pepper, Cumin, Black pepper, Two cloves of garlic, ½ golden onion, 1 bottle of Imperante Vino Bianco d'Italia white wine, 200ml of vegetable broth per 2kg of meat
Arrange the charcoal on about half the available space, bearing in mind you will need a lot of it: a starter chimney could be useful for adding hot charcoal from time to time. Place an aluminium pan under the free part of the grill; the pan will collect the fat and cooking liquid released by the pork during grilling. Light the charcoal and brush the grill with extra vergin olive oil. Brush the shoulder (or neck) of pork with extra vergin olive oil and the indicated mix of finely chopped spices and aromas. Finally, arrange the pork on the hot grill, above the part without charcoal: cooking must be indirect. Put a small aluminium baking pan with two or three fingers of water next to the pork: this will keep the meat moist during cooking and keep the temperature stable.
Make sure the barbecue temperature never exceeds 120 - 140 ° and start cooking. Uncork the Imperante Vino Bianco d'Italia, and have a glass with friends, because it will be a long time before the Pulled Pork is ready!
Cooking time: about 8 hours. If your BBQ has a cover, now is the time to close it. If you don't have a cover you can place an inverted terracotta vase (preferably free of flowers and earth!) over the pork. Add charcoal if it runs out, or if the temperature drops too low.
After a couple of hours, place wood and rosemary directly among the charcoal pieces: this step, so-called smoking, will give the meat the distinctive flavour that distinguishes it. A trick for an even more intense taste? Add a red onion and sprigs of aromatic plants of your choice to the charcoal, the blend of aromas is wonderful.
Insert the probe thermometer in the meat and take a break, checking the temperature from time to time. Use the metal syringe to inject a little broth if it seems the meat is too dry, but don't overdo it: even if the meat should dry a little, this is possible to adjust at the end of cooking.
When the temperature of the pork reaches 80 °, remove the meat from the grill and place it in a pan with the broth, then transfer it back to the grill and continue cooking. At this point the BBQ can go up to 140 - 150 °; continue to cook the Pulled Pork until the classic surface crust has formed.
Eight hours later, our adventure begins: the time has come to take our Pulled Pork off the grill. Now it will have to rest for no less than two hours before being served.
Once the rest period is over, it is time to carve the Pulled Pork. Bear claws apart, a couple of forks will be enough: slow cooking will have tenderized the meat and, indeed, the pork will have shredded. True wonders begin with the simple crossed movement of the two forks' prongs: succulent strips of pork will be ready to be tasted!
Does the meat seem too dry? Have no fear. Dip the pork strips in the broth: the meat will quickly absorb it, rehydrating and becoming super tasty again.
Serve the Pulled Pork with barbecue sauce in soft rolls, and get ready for an unforgettable experience!
Which wine to serve with Pulled Pork?
Barbaresco, Barolo or Nebbiolo are favourite choices The tannins are important in helping to clean the mouth of excess fat. Additionally, the structures of these wines are particularly well suited to accompanying an elaborate, richly aromatic dish like Pulled Pork. Choose your favourite...and get ready to grill!