South Carolina Style Pulled Pork
1 recipe South Carolina mustard sauce (see below)
8 pounds bone-in-pork roast, preferable Boston butt
1 cup wood chips, preferably hickory
Vegetable oil for coating the grate
2 cups barbecue sauce (see Ina’s recipe below)
South Carolina Mustard Sauce:
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons table salt
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
Homemade Barbecue Sauce:
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup tomato paste (10 ounces)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
Massage mustard sauce into the meat. Wrap the meat tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days. (The sauce was really thin and liquid-y so after dumping about half on the meat and realizing “massaging” was just not going to happen, I threw the meat and the sauce into a ziplock bag, shook it up and made sure it was coated then threw it in the fridge for the three day marinating marathon.)
At least one hour prior to cooking, remove the roast from the refrigerator and unwrap, placing the meat and the marinating juices into a disposable 9×13 disposable aluminum pan and let it come to room temperature. (As I mentioned above, my pans were a bit flimsy so I doubled up.) Soak the wood chips in cold water to cover for 1 hour and drain.
Meanwhile, light a large chimney starter filled halfway with charcoal (about 3 quarts) and allow to burn until the coals are partially covered with a layer of ash. Build a modified two-level fire by arranging all the coals over half of the grill, leaving the other half empty. Open the bottom grill vents completely. Place the wood chips on the coals. Set the cooking grate in place, cover and heat the grate until hot, about 5 minutes. Use a grill brush to scrape the cooking grate clean. Sip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding the wad with tongs, oil the cooking grate.
Set the aluminum pan with the roast on the grate opposite the coals. Open the grill lid vents three-quarters of the way and cover, making sure the vent is above the meat to draw smoke through the grill. Cook, adding about eight briquettes every hour or so to maintain an average temperature of 275°F for three hours. (When I added coals, I also basted the marinade over the roast to ensure moistness.)
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325°F. Wrap the pan holding the roast, being careful not to spill the marinating liquid, with heavy duty aluminum foil to cover completely. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours.
Carefully slide the foil-wrapped pan with the roast into a brown paper bag. Crimp the end shut. Let rest for 1 hour. (I found it easiest to lay the paper bag open on its side and slide the roast in, instead of dropping it downward, then folding the opening up and taping it shut.)
While roast is resting, prepare barbecue sauce. If wanting true South Carolina style barbecue sauce, make the marinade above. If wanting a thicker, tangier sauce with a hot finish, I highly recommend Ina’s barbecue sauce below. It’s a bit of an ingredient dump with 11 of 13 items being from jars and bottles, but with flavors so loud and clamoring for your taste-buds’ attention, you won’t regret it.
In a large sauce pan on low heat, saute onions and garlic with the oil until the onions are translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in fridge. Makes about 6 cups.
Keeping: This sauce freezes excellently. I made a big batch last fall and froze it, pulling it out for the pulled pork. I re-heated in a sauce pan on low heat until hot.
Once pork has rested, transfer the roast to a carving board and dispose of the marinade liquid and pan. When cool enough to handle, separate the roast into sections, removing fat if desired, and tear the meat into shreds with your fingers (forks work just as well without your fingers getting messy). Place the shredded meat in a large bowl. Toss with 1 cup of the barbecue sauce, adding more to taste. Serve, passing the remaining sauce separately.