Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005
Show: Emeril Live
Episode: BBQ Across America
1 bone-in Boston butt pork roast, 6 to 8 pounds
1/2 cup Essence, recipe follows
1 cup hickory, mesquite, pecan or apple wood chips, soaked
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hamburger or hoagie buns, lightly toasted if desired, for serving
Coat the pork evenly on all sides with the Essence, rubbing the seasoning into the meat well with your hands. Wrap the pork in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
Make a homemade smoker: Start by using a large roasting pan about 11 1/2-inches long by 15 inches wide. Place a piece of dampened paper towel laid out at both ends of the roasting pan. Place 4 small, 1/2-ounce glass bowls or other small heatproof bowls on top of the paper towels, 1 in each corner of the pan. Be sure that the bowls are inverted. Lay the wood chips in the center of the roasting pan. Place a second, smaller roasting pan, (about 10 by 13 1/2-inches), inside the larger pan. Lay 2 more pieces of moistened paper towels at either end of the small roasting pan. Place 4 more bowls inside the small roasting pan, 1 at each corner as before. Position a small baking sheet on top of the glass bowls inside of the small roasting pan.
Place the pork on the baking sheet and position the "smoker" over 2 burners over medium-low heat (or over an indoor grill set at medium heat). Once the wood begins to smoke, wrap the entire roast and roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Continue to cook the pork on the stovetop for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
After 2 hours, transfer the "smoker" to the oven and bake the roast until the pork is fall-off-the-bone tender, about 3 to 4 hours.
Remove the pan from the oven and let rest, covered, for 1 hour.
While the pork rests, make the barbecue sauce by combining the white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Uncover the pork, and, using 2 forks, shred the meat. Discard any large pieces of fat. Place the meat in a large bowl and pour the barbecue sauce over the pork. Toss to combine. Serve the pork on hamburger or hoagie buns that are lightly grilled or toasted with coleslaw and pickles.
Emeril's Creole Seasoning (Essence):
Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup