We slowed down life if only for a moment, when we looked up from our screens, stepped outdoors, and savored nature’s good work. Jackson Hole was our home on the range for a flash-by weekend made possible by the kindness of some old friends and some new.
Maybe it was the backdrop of the Grand Teton mountains or the smog-free Wyoming air or that we worked up an appetite the size of an elk, but our al fresco chuckwagon lunch centered around a extraordinary pulled pork sandwich that was beyond anything I deserved.
And yet I thought I deserved more, sothose fine folks at Solace Cabin, the lunchtime caterers, were willing to share their secret and oh so savory pulled pork recipe with us.
Like life in Jackson Hole, this one is for your slow days or at least your fast days where you start the cooking early. Long, slow cooking that’s worth every moment. Where homemade pulled pork sandwiches pay off in crunchtime, is that we can freeze all of i t… the barbequed pork, the sauce, and the tangy dressing…and pull it out for an anytime indulgence.
The story gets even better, I’ve done the calculations on calories and these pulled pork sandwiches with fat cut off and topped on a whole wheat bun, come out to a digestible 300 calories. Add some cabbage slaw that’s big on vinegar flavor low on oil and you got yourself a insanely amazing meal for a party or a party of one.
The basic recipe includes a smoky sweet barbeque sauce used in slow roasting the pork shoulder (butt or picnic cut) and also for mixing into the pulled pork. Then you whip up. as David from Solace Cabin refers to it, a final sauce, but to me it’s a dressing or mop flavor steeped in citrus acids and hints of brown sugar – the icing on the cake. This is the real key to David’s recipe because the acids tenderize and seep into the meat without being loaded in calories. The flavor is out of this world.
As if our chuckwagon feast wasn’t enough, we were given a collection of Solace Cabin’s meat rubsfor a taste of the ol’ west at home. I’ll be honest, my collection of packaged spices is as abundant as my unmanaged digital photo file, so I thought of these rubs as just fine canisters of something to sprinkle on a chicken breast when I remember to, but then one day I’ll pass them along to make room for my next paprika varietal. But, these spice sets are different and I’ve used them over and over. Like the barbeque recipe, David has worked in some unexpected flavors that in combination enhance without overwhelming the protein. These will make for some fine holiday gifts too. So check them out and check out a few travel photos…oh yeah, here are pics of the Wyoming scenery – hurry look at them before they get lost in my digital photo file.
suckling at the tetons
preptime: 20-30 minutes
cooktime: 5-7 hours depending on the size of your cut of meat
pulling pork time: 20-30 minutes
8-9 lb pork butt (shoulder or picnic cut)
1/3 c onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
2/3 t ground cumin
1/2 t celery salt
4 c ketchup + 1 c ketchup for final sauce (yes that’s right)
2/3 c pineapple juice
1 t liquid smoke (essential for low cal barbeque sauce)
1/4 c sherry (I used white wine)
1/6 c worcestershire sauce + 2 1/2 t for final sauce
2/3 c brown sugar + 1/3 c brown sugar for final sauce
1 T honey
2 t chipotle tabasco
1 T + 1 t lemon juice
2 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
2 T salt
1 3/4 t ground black pepper
1 1/4 t granulated garlic
- Make the cooking sauce by combining: onions, crushed garlic, cumin, celery salt, 4 cups ketchup, pineapple juice, liquid smoke, sherry, 1/6 c worcestershire sauce, 2/3 c brown sugar, honey and chipotle tabasco sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 275º (convection roast if you have it).
- Trim the fat from the meat and then cover it in half of the sauce.
- Wrap tightly in foil and roast for 5-7 hours. Better to allow ample time for cooking because you can always let it cool before pulling. Note: I roasted 2 cuts and needed about 8 hours before it “fell off the bone.”
- While meat is roasting, make the final sauce by combining: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, 1 c ketchup, 2 1/2 t worcestershire sauce, 1/3 c brown sugar and granulated garlic.
- Taste final sauce, adding brown sugar or salt as necessary. According to David it should be “tangy and sharp but not sour.”
- After the meat falls off the bone and is ready for eating, using two forks or your fingers, shred the pork into pieces.
- Mix some of the barbeque sauce and final sauce into the meat to taste. Do not more than you prefer because there’s no taking it out once you start.
- Serve with both sauces.
- Use a slowcooker, still long cooking, but needs less tending.
- Pressure cooker is your best bet for speeding up slow cooking.
- Make sauces in advance.
- Freeze everything and then reheat for last minute meals.
recipe slightly adapted from Solace Cabin caterers and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com