Monday, May 31, 2010

Slow-roasted pork

We spent all day Saturday at the lake park just outside of town, with quite possibly two of the coolest people I've ever met, and their four kids. The mom is my girls' piano teacher, and I swear, I have not often met such a truly kind and friendly person in my life. She's one of those rare people you encounter, whom you connect with instantly and hit it off famously, and I adore her. She invited us to join them to the lake on Saturday, and we happily agreed. Making friends here in Syracuse has been a slow process. I'm an extreme extrovert, but have still had trouble connecting with kindred spirits. I think I've found them, at last. She and her husband and I talked nonstop for the five hours we were at the lake, about Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Theology, and so much more. We discovered that we're strikingly similar in so many ways that it's almost unbelievable. It's been a long time since I've met a couple who enjoy deep thinking and deep discussion as much as Brad and I do, and it absolutely delighted me. I'm so happy to have met them!

We spent the day talking while the kids played in the lake and the sand, then we strolled over to a BBQ pit and built up a fire for grilling. I had slowly simmered some country style ribs all morning before we left, then drowned them in Dinosaur BBQ sauce -- from Dinosaur BBQ, an enchanting biker bar BBQ joint here in town, which incidentally was voted best BBQ in America last year -- and brought them along for lunch. I know that grilling purists scorn the parboiling of ribs, but I haven't found a better way to prepare ribs, so I use it. They were tender, succulent and absolutely falling apart after a quick jaunt on the grill.

All this is to say that Meg devoured an astonishing amount of ribs at the lake, then, in the spirit of BBQ, begged me to make a pork roast for pulled pork sandwiches on Monday. We swung by the grocery store on our way home from a AAA minor league baseball game Sunday evening, and to my surprise and delight, I found a 9.5 lb pork roast for just $11! Score! It was bone-in, and I was sure it would be mostly bone, but I still couldn't beat that price, so I paid for it and back home we went.

I put it in the oven at noon today. Now, I think pork is the perfect meat. I cringe when I see people doctoring pork up with all kinds of spices, rubs, marinades, fruits, and so forth. Pork is beautiful just the way it is, and needs little to no embellishment, in my humble opinion. So I heated my oven to 250, dumped the pork on a rack in a roasting pan, and stuck it in the oven. No salt, no spices, no rubs, no nuthin'. And I walked away and left it there for six and a half hours. We even left and went shopping for two hours in the middle of the afternoon.

I pulled it out of the oven at 6:30 this evening, and I swooned all over the damn place. It was gorgeous. I wish I had taken a picture. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture, but I couldn't wait to tear into it. Meg pulled up a foot stool and hovered next to me as I used a couple forks to tear it apart, and she snatched pieces whenever she could get away with it. I shredded that sucker to bits, and ended up with 12 cups of shredded pork. 12 cups! There was only one tiny bone in the entire thing, and virtually no fat. It was amazing!

I took about a cup and a half and tossed it in BBQ sauce, then served it on hamburger buns with fresh corn on the cob. Meg didn't want BBQ sauce, though, being a pork purist after my own heart, and just ate hers plain on a bun. Words can't describe how delicious this pork was. As I said, I didn't season it at all before roasting, and it needed nothing after roasting, either. No salt...nothing. It was pure, unadulterated heaven on a bun.

The remaining 12+ cups are in the fridge now. I've been mulling over what to do with all the leftovers, and so far have decided on pork tacos, cuban sandwiches, and pulled pork nachos.

What would you do with it?


sara said...

Oh my. Really NO seasons?? I have to try this.

Pork Enchiladas?

Kelley said...

Oven fried shredded pork chimichangas. Mmmm. Love your site, found it on accident and have been drooling ever since.