Okay, here we go. Either we have you hooked at "Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork" or this book is headed straight for the library's used book sale. We know that. You know that. So, let's drop the chitchat and make some cheater barbecue.
In short, you drop a pork butt into the slow cooker, add dry rub and bottled smoke, close the cover, go away for a while, pull or chop the meat and pile it on a bun, add sauce, get out the pickles, open a beer. BOOM! That's barbecue, baby. Can you feel it? That's Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork.
For the pork:
For the rub:
Makes about 2/3 cup
To make the pork:
1. Cut the pork butt into medium (2- to 3-inch) chunks (the ribs don't need to be cut up).
2. Put the pieces in a large slow cooker (at least 5 quarts). Sprinkle the meat with the rub, turning the pieces to coat evenly. Add the bottled smoke.
3. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours, until the meat is pull-apart tender and reaches an internal temperature of 190 F.
4. Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a rimmed platter or baking sheet. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Pull the meat into strands. It should shred very easily. Serve the barbecue piled on buns with your favorite barbecue sauce.
5. To serve the barbecue later, cover and refrigerate the meat when it has cooled. Pour the meat juice into a separate container and refrigerate. Before reheating the juice, skim and discard the congealed fat layer on the top.
6. To reheat the barbecue, place it in a saucepan moistened with some of the reserved juice. Gently heat the meat on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Or, place it in a covered casserole with some of the reserved juice and heat in a 350 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
7. While the meat warms, combine the barbecue sauce and some of the additional reserved meat juice in a saucepan. Heat through and serve with the barbecue.
To make the rub:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend.
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Reprinted from Cheater BBQ: Barbecue Anytime, Anywhere, In Any Weather by Mindy Merrell and R. B. Quinn (Broadway Books, A Division of Random House, Inc., 2008) Copyright 2008 by Mindy Merrell and R. B. Quinn.
Mindy Merrell previously worked for Marian Tripp Communications and served as director of culinary services at Dye, Van Mol and Lawrence. She is a former restaurant reviewer for CitySearch, has written for American Profile and wrote a weekly column for The Tennessean called "Drive Thru Review." She is co-author of the books Cheater BBQ and Cooking with Jack.
R.B. Quinn is the founding legal director of The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and previously served at Middle Tennessee State University as an associate professor. He wrote a weekly column called "The Fire Zone" for The Tennessean and is co-author of the cookbook Cheater BBQ.