When we lived in Fairfax we’d often visit family about two hours south in Richmond, VA. We always tried to plan our trips for Saturdays so that we could stop off at our favorite BBQ joint, Allmans, in Fredericksburg (the halfway point) on the drive back for dinner. Allmans is closed Sundays.
This recipe is nowhere close theirs; we don’t have a smoker for start (and I’m a Yankee). But we find that it does the trick for us over here in the UK. While I’m limited to the oven, there are a few things I do to achieve a similar result. I start by using a this spice rub recipe, and specifically use smoked paprika to mimic some of the flavor generated by the burning wood. I try to apply the rub about two days ahead, but have also applied it only a few hours before cooking. To achieve something similar to a bark on the pork, I sear it before it goes into the oven, in the secret braising liquid (a can of Dr. Pepper, if you don’t have Dr Pepper you can use a regular Coke or Root Beer).
I’ve found that when I use the oven to make pulled pork about 1.5 hours per pound of meat at 275° Fahrenheit is the right cooking time. [But always check about 3/4 of the way through the calculated time since every oven and roast is different.] The pork should reach an internal temperature of 190° Fahrenheit. At that point the connective tissue will break down and the meat will flake apart with just a fork.
In bbq circles, sauce is a sensitive subject. Should it be tomato based, vinegar based, mustard based, or is it necessary at all? I leave that you your own choosing and serve the pulled pork un-sauced with a bottle on hand for people to use as they wish.
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Apply the spice rub to the pork. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for two days. [Honestly, if you can only get the rub on there for a few hours it will be fine.]
Here is what you will need:
Heat oil in the dutch oven and sear on all sides. About 4 minutes per side.
Chop onions into large chunks.
Remove the pork and add onions. Saute onions for a few minutes before adding the Dr Pepper and saute for a few more minutes.
Return pork to the pot. Cover and place in the preheated oven.
Roast for 1.5 hours per pound. I turn the pork halfway through the cooking time, and check for doneness 3/4 of the way through the time. [Every oven and roast is different.]
When done (internal temp of 190° Fahrenheit and meat that easily flakes), allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and use a fork to break apart.
Construct your pulled pork sandwich as you desire.
Those Dr. Pepper simmered onions make a nice addition to your pulled pork sandwich or as a side dish of their own 😉
- 3-4 lb boneless pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup of spice rub
- 4 onions
- 4 tbsp of oil
- 1 can of Dr Pepper
- Rub the spice rub all over the pork shoulder. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for up to two days.
- Preheat oven to 275° Fahrenheit.
- Chop the onions into large chunks.
- Heat oil in a dutch oven on high heat. Sear the pork on all sides, about 4 minutes per side.
- Place the pork on a plate. Put the onions into the pot and simmer for two minutes before adding the Dr. Pepper and simmer two more minutes.
- Place pork on top of the onions. Cover. And place in oven to for appropriate amount of time. [1.5 hours per pound] Flip pork halfway through the time. Check for doneness 3/4 of the way through. The internal temp should be 190° Fahrenheit and the meat will flake apart.
- Let the meat rest for 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and shred with a fork.
- Serve on a bun with the braised onions and some bbq sauce.