Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pulled Pork

I had never smoked. I'd heard it's addictive, that once you start you never stop. Supposedly it relaxes you, makes you feel good. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I'm talking about smoking on a grill.

At the time we were working on a project in English class pertaining to the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I hope you've read it, it's an interesting novel, but if you haven't it's basically about a group of boys stranded on an island, who go crazy and hunt pigs and paint their faces and such. Our project consisted of choosing 6 smaller projects from a list of about 12. One of the options was to make up your own project related to the novel. At once I thought about food, but then hesitated. The previous week we had been asked to write our thoughts down about a specific chapter. When it was my turn to present to the class, I showed a picture of a pig on a spit and described it "a large Berkshire hog, roasting over an open flame, the meat cooking evenly as it roasts on the spit, and the fat slowly rendering out to produce wonderfully crispy crackling." My deviance from the topic (yet wonderful imagery) produced a stern look from the teacher. What would she think if I tried to relate smoking a pork shoulder to the novel?

"You know how they cook pig for food in Lord of the Flies, well, could I bring you a pulled pork sandwich as a project?" She excitedly obliged! Great!
I bought a pork shoulder the previous day then spent 8 hours on Sunday changing wood chips, making barbecue sauce, and allowing the hickory smoke to permeate my nostrils as my shoulder cooked down to tenderness. During the last 2 hours I basted the shoulder with a "mop" of white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Finally I pulled it out, let it cool, then tossed the fork aside and pulled it apart with my fingers. I tossed the meat with some barbecue sauce, heaped it on a hamburger bun, then brought it in to school the next day for one happy teacher.

1 comment:

MadFud said...

As a teacher myelf, you would have gotten a A+ for fantastic efforts!! Very creative!!