Before I start, this is NOT barbecue pork. That involves 4-6 hours of smoking, which is great but it’s cold out and nobody wants to be outside for half of a day. This is PULLED pork, which is similar. It may not be as smoky or traditional as a barbecued pork shoulder, but it’s easier, faster, cleaner and (as we’ll see later) more versatile.
1 Boston Butt (bone-in pork shoulder), around 3-5 pounds
Dried spices (salt, pepper, cumin, thyme)
1 six oz can tomato paste
1 small to medium yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Lots of cheap beer (at least 6 tallboys)
Big stock pot
Oversized spatula/tongs/giant fork
1) Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large frying pan on HIGH heat. Liberally season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper on all sides, really cake it on. This hunk of pork is enormous and it’s hard to over season it.
2) Sear the meat on all sides for AT LEAST 4 minutes a side. It will look super burned but this is good, it adds flavor.
3) After searing the meat, transfer the pork to the large stockpot. Add a tablespoon each of cumin and thyme, the tomato paste, and the chopped garlic, onion, and jalapeño. Fill the pot with beer until the pork is covered.
4) Turn the heat under the pot to medium low, stir the pot well, and put a lid on it. Set a timer for 5 hours. Walk away. Come back every 20 minutes or so, just to make sure it hasn’t boiled over.
5) After the five hours, use tongs and transfer the pork into a large mixing bowl. It should be falling apart. Get a fork in each hand and just shred it all up.
This stuff is one of the most versatile meat-stuffs on earth. You can put it in a hamburger bun, cover it in bbq sauce, add pickle chips, and have a sandwich. You can put it in a flour tortilla with cabbage, avocado, and pico de gallo/hot sauce and it’s like a Mexican carnitas. A flour tortilla, a handful of cabbage, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha makes something like a Korean bbq taco. A big white hoagie roll, ham, swiss cheese, dill pickles, yellow onion, and mustard makes a Cuban sandwich. There are so many more options, but I’m running short on space.