Bryan Voltaggio’s Pulled Pork Recipe
1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbs. kosher salt
2 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbs. dried English mustard
2 tsp. ground fennel seed
2 tsp. garlic powder or onion powder
1 pork shoulder, 3 to 4 lb.
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup water
Soft white dinner rolls for serving
Cowtown barbecue sauce for serving
In a bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, thyme, coriander, dried mustard, fennel and garlic powder. Score a diamond pattern on the fatty side of the pork. Insert the knife tip into the pork to create 6 small pockets, spacing them evenly. Insert 1 garlic clove into each pocket. Generously rub the pork on all sides with 6 to 8 Tbs. of the spice mixture; reserve the remaining mixture. Wrap the pork with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Remove the plastic wrap from the pork. Place the pork, fat side up, in the oven-safe insert of a slow cooker. Transfer to the oven and roast until the top of the pork starts to crisp, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base and add the apple juice and water. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions, turning the pork occasionally, until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork, 6 to 7 hours.
Transfer the pork to a deep bowl. Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart into large shreds or, using a cleaver, chop it into large chunks. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Using a handheld smoking gun, smoke with 2 to 3 chambers of applewood chips. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
Strain the cooking sauce into a bowl. Ladle 1/2 to 3/4 cup sauce over the pork. Stir in 1 to 2 tsp. of the reserved spice mixture. Serve immediately with rolls and barbecue sauce. Serves 6 to 8.
Recipe by Chef Bryan Voltaggio, inspired by Danny Edwards Blvd. BBQ, Kansas City, MO.