I know why you’re all here. It’s not my wit and charm or my rapid-fire sense of humor.
No it’s not, stop lying to me.
You’re all a bunch of pigs and you read that title and your little pig brains went all “PORN!” and you clicked right on in here. Pigs, all of you. That’s exactly what this post is about . . .
More specifically, pork, and how porking is done in the great State of North Carolina, because nobody porks like North Carolina.
It’s a recipe, ya’ll.
A recipe the way a man would write a recipe if men wrote recipes, but they don’t write recipes because we are men. This is just what it would look like if we did.
Anybody that has been to North Carolina for any length of time has at some point or another, been invited to a good ole fashion North Carolina “Pig Pickin'”. It is a many years old tradition of friends and family gathering together for an entire day (and often into the night) filled with food, beverages, “Bless your heart’s” and “over yonder’s”. Your typical Pig Pickin’ menu is going to look something like this:
- cole slaw
- ‘tater salad
- corn bread
- Holy Mother of God Sweet Ice-T
- multiple kegs of Budweiser
- corn on the cob
- collard greens
- Brunswick stew
- banana pudding
- hush puppies
Clearly there is one item I’ve left off that list. That’s because at a Pig Pickin’, that item is a given. It’s understood. Hell, it’s the name of the event. The pig. By pig, I mean one of a kind, only in North Carolina, pulled pork barbecue. In the literal sense, because it is going to be pulled right off the pig. The pig that is the centerpiece of the event. A pig that was more than likely, alive and well 48 hours prior to the event.
The pig is showcased at the center of the event, on a portable grill. Do not misunderstand what I mean by “portable”. By “portable grill” I mean it needs to be towed in on a goddamn trailer on the back of a Ford F250 with a lift kit, a gun rack and a rebel flag waving from a 38 foot fiberglass pole.
The entire pig is then placed on the grill to cook for many, many hours. I don’t mean all the pieces of the pig. I mean the WHOLE DAMN PIG.
To be very clear, that second picture isn’t entirely accurate, because at a real, traditional Pig Pickin’, no self-respectin’ Southern man is gonna cook that pig on a gas grill. Hell no! A real pig-cookin’ man is gonna set some shit on fire. There’s gonna be real wood at the bottom of that grill. None of that damn charcoal either. Wood, chopped by the Southern Man himself and seasoned with Southern Man sweat and possibly blood if cousin Earl was a little drunk when he was usin’ the chainsaw.
It takes as long to get the fire settled and transformed into the perfect coals as it does to cook the pig. Preparations for a true Pig Pickin’ will actually start 2 or even 3 days before the event.
It is very much worth the effort, because the end result is, in my opinion (and soon to be yours), the BEST pulled pork barbecue in all the world.
If Jesus himself were to resurrect yet again, He’s gonna do it at a North Carolina Pig Pickin’ and renounce that whole “Jews can’t eat pork” bullshit.
Four years ago, I moved away from North Carolina and I no longer had access to the Pork of the Gods. This made me sad. In North Carolina, there are whole restaurant chains dedicated to the Holy pig meat, numerous mom & pop joints that have mastered the craft and if you’re local, there is even a map published to help you find them.
Leaving North Carolina means you can’t have North Carolina Pork Barbecue anymore. Between losing that and access to Country Ham, I was devastated.
. . . but I prevailed. I searched and researched and tested and tried and experienced much disappointment, until the answer was finally found. A recipe for North Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue that nearly cloned the barbecue that I used to get at one of the fine chain restaurants back home called Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbecue. All I needed was a crock pot, a pork butt a few ingredients and some Southern food love.
I’m gonna share it with you.
You can thank me later.
I was also conversing with Denise via text while making this, so you already know this is going to go slightly (read: horribly) awry.
I found this on food.com, but I’m going to interpret this for you man-style. You won’t be disappointed.
North Carolina style Pulled Pork Barbecue
What you will need:
- 5 quart crock pot
- 2 Onions (quartered)
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika (“smoked” is important here)
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 pork butt (4 – 6 pounds should do)
- Unlimited access to “Freebird” (Play it LOUD)
Here’s a little help.
For the sauce:
- 1 cup of cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Now let’s get started with the cookin’!!
First thing you wanna do is take them 2 big ole onions and quarter ’em. That means four chunks of onion from each onion for a total of eight chunks. Then put the pieces into the crock pot.
Looks like you got a little somethin’ in your eye there, Sparky. Take a minute to get that out. It’s probably just a little man-sweat or somethin’. Happens to the best of us.
Now that you have the easy part out of the way, let’s get to rubbin’ your meat like a pro.
Mix together the brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Mix it all up real good.
Now take that mixture and rub it all over your pork butt. Rub it in real good. Get it all up in there. Rub it in to all the crevices. Be a little bit rough with it. If it doesn’t start turnin’ red, you ain’t doin’ it right. Really get it in there.
When you have your meat thoroughly and completely rubbed, drop it in the crock pot with the onions. Make sure your meat hits the bottom of the crock pot, so you’ll need to adjust the onions a bit to make it happen. It’s very important that your meat hit bottom so it gets all the right juices. While it’s cooking.
Now that your meat is all ready, it’s time to bring on the sauce. Get a bowl and combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic salt and cayenne pepper and mix it all up real good. This sauce is the key to your perfect North Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue and some of it will be kept to the side to pour on your finished barbecue as a condiment, so knowing that, I generally double the recipe for the sauce, and because I also like mine pretty spicy, I double the cayenne pepper and the crushed red pepper too.
One you have that mixture, you’re almost done. Take about 1/3 of the mixture and pour it over your meat in the crock pot. I felt it was important to emphasize your meat in the crock pot. Any other interpretation of that sentence may prove painful and I am not responsible for your stupidity. Save the remaining mixture and put it in the refrigerator. You’ll need that tomorrow.
Your meat is now ready to cook. Put the lid on the crock pot, turn it on Low and leave it alone for 10 to 12 hours. (10 hours if your meat is on the smaller end of the scale, 12 hours on the bigger end) As I discovered today, 14 hours if the power goes out for 2 hours during the night.
[This recipe also says that you can cook it for 4 hours on High, and it does work, but it just doesn’t come out the same. I prefer the longer cook time to let the flavors cook through completely.]
Now, you’ve got 10 to 12 hours to kill, so whaddya do?
Clean the kitchen, you idiot!! My God, it’s like you don’t even know me!!
Alright, so we’ll assume 12 hours has passed and it’s time to cross the finish line. Carefully take your meat out of the crock pot and put it into a big bowl. It will fall apart, that’s what it’s supposed to do. Just the meat. Throw away the onions. Just put ’em in the trash, they have outlived their usefulness.
Now grab a couple of forks and shred the hell out of your meat. While doing so, add some of the juice from the crock pot and a large portion of the leftover sauce that you put in the refrigerator. Shred and shred. Your completed and ready to eat creation should look like this:
How you eat it is entirely up to you. If you’re anything like me, you’ll eat it just like this and likely right out of the bowl with your fingers like I did, sometimes dunking it into the extra spicy sauce that I have set off to the side. One of the other most popular ways to eat it is on a hamburger bun with a slice of cheese and some cole slaw. However you choose to eat it, it’s guaranteed to be the best pork you’ve ever had. Barbecue. Pork barbecue.
By the way, kids, if you are planning on making this recipe, send me pics and tell me how it went and how everybody liked it!! Better yet, I want to hear about those of you who tried it that live in another country. C’mon England, hook a brother up!!
The Tweet of the Day my friends, comes from Beth! Remember her? From the post? About her vag? Well guess what she got in the mail yesterday?
— Beth Teliho (@beth_teliho) November 14, 2014
Took me a minute to find, but if you look real close you can see that she got her flask. Cleavage, then just look up. You’ll find it.