Skier’s Dinner

If you’re not fussing with a smoker*, pulled pork can be one of the most low-maintenance/high-reward foods out there.  Pork shoulder is cheap and readily available, and while it tastes amazing with just salt and pepper, you can also endlessly customize the rub and/or sauce flavors.  It’s pretty wonderful to come back from a day of work or play to have this little piggy waiting for you in the oven– barely holding himself together until you come in with a fork and he gratefully and deliciously falls apart.

To make this toothsome grub:  The night before, rub the shoulder (usually Boston Butt cut, which contains a blade bone) with whatever spices you feel like rubbing it with, wrap it up and let it mellow in the fridge overnight.  (For my rub this time, I used plenty of fresh ground black pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, chili powder, brown sugar, dried oregano, and salt. I had chipotles in adobo on hand, so I minced a couple of those up and threw them in the rub too.)

The next morning, place the meat in a roasting pan, splash a bit of liquid on the bottom (white wine, red wine, apple cider, water) and cover tightly with parchment, then foil. Slide into a 225°F oven.  Read a good book, go for a hike, teach your child to ride a bike, watch a couple of movies, do a puzzle, go skiing, etc.

Check the pork after six hours or so.  Nudge it with a fork.  Does the meat slide off like a shreddy succulent avalanche?  It’s ready.  (If not, give it a another hour and poke again.  You pretty much cannot overcook this cut of meat.)  Pull it apart, discard the blade bone, and mix in the accumulated pan juices with the meat.  Serve on a soft bun with coleslaw, or serve alone, or throw on a pizza with fire-roasted poblanos, or eat it directly from the pan with your fingers because you are alone in your kitchen and you can…


*This is of course not to say that smoked pulled pork isn’t one of the best things ever, because it is.  But for the purposes of the extreme LM-ness of this article’s recipe, I am staying super simple.