I have lived in five major US cities. Memphis, where I live now, is the first BIG southern "city" that I have every lived in. I've noticed that food in Southern cities is generally more influenced by rural culinary traditions than in other region of the country. I recently read an article called "Southern Fried City" in a really great lifestyle magazine called Garden and Gun
. It wasn't an article about Memphis or Atlanta..it was about Southern food invading New York City!
Here in Memphis, however, southern food is not a trend but rather a way of life. It is Mississippi catfish , garden collards with fat back and beef broth, cornbread and chess pie, and the whole nine yards. And of course, THE BARBEQUE. Memphis is home to the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Competition. Every May people from all over the world come to pay homage to the most rural (the cheapest) cuts of meat. In Memphis the pig is worshiped and given hours and even days of smoking attention. Then it is slathered with a sweet tomato based sauce.
Because I am not a Memphian, though I am a Southener, I can semi safely say that I prefer North Carolina style Barbeque. This passed Monday I smoked an local and organically farmed Boston Butt (pork shoulder), and dressed it up like a North Carolina lady. So if you don't live in the trendy city, or in the South-try some smoking! Here is my recipe, and here are some pictures:
Jayne's DIY North Carolina style pulled pork sandwiches with Slaw
You will need:
dish towel soaked in vegetable oil
for the pork and sauce:
1 pork shoulder atleast 3-6 lbs.
3 cups soaked hickory chips
1/2 cup sage and rosemary
salt and pepper
3 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbl. red pepper flakes
buns for sandwich
for the Slaw:
1 head shredded cabbage
1/2 red onion chopped
3 medium carrots peeled and shredded
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbl salt
1 tbl pepper
1 tbl.smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
To make Slaw (day before smoking)
Shred the cabbage, carrots, and onion in a food processor. Make sauce in a large bowl- Combine mustard, vinegar, mayonaise, sugar, salt, pepper, and spices. Add the shredded cabbage mixture to bowl and fold to combine sauce with the veggies. Refrigerate until use. Its best the next day.
The night before you plan to smoke, cover your pork with salt and pepper, cut a little sliver in the middle some where and stuff the herbs. Refrigerate over night.
Combine Vinegar and red pepper, and 1/2 cup sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves and the turn off heat. Reserve one cup of this sauce for the sandwiches. The other two cups will baste your pork shoulder every hour.
Take pork out of fridge 1 hour before it hits the grill. Create a "smoker" with your grill. Using indirect heat method, make two piles of coals on each side of your grill and leave a dripping pan in the middle. Let grill cool to around 300 F ( I use an oven thermometer and it took about an hour..make sure coals don't go out). Remove grill grates and add 1/2 soaked hickory chips to each side. Use a dish rag soaked with vegetable oil to oil the grill. Put the pork fat side up in the middle of the grill over the drip pan. Cover grill with vents open. Add 2 cups (estimate) of hot coals to grill every hour and add more hickory chips each time. Baste the pork with vinegar sauce once an hour. Check the temperature now and then to make sure the grill is staying between 250 F and 300 F. When pork reaches 180 F (use a meat thermometer) your pork can come off the grill and rest for at least 10 minutes.
Pull the pork with 2 forks, pile on a sandwich bun (I used white potato rolls) and pour a couple of tablespoons of vinegar sauce on top. Top the whole thing off with coleslaw and EAT IT UP!