I started meal planning a lot more this summer, which made my life a lot easier to handle. Now that I have to cook for two people, I can’t procrastinate and just seamless. The beau always wants something home cooked instead of brown bagged so I have been cooking a lot more. One of the techniques I learned from my mom is to make foods that can stretch throughout the week.
A few weeks ago I was craving pork tacos and though it would have been easier to go buy tacos from the Mexican restaurant around the block, I went to Key Food and bought a pork shoulder to cook for dinner. The one trick to making beer braised pulled pork easy is to allot enough time, for me that means about 3.5 to 4 hours of slow cooking time to allow the meat to break down and get tender. I usually make my own rubs from spices I already have in my kitchen and for this pulled pork, I opted for a garam Masala type spice rub and some beer. Read on for the recipe below.
Though a dutch oven like a 6-quart Le Creuset, Staub or Lodge enameled cast iron pot would be perfect for this dish, I found that my trusty Cuisinart 4-quart saucepan was good enough for this dish. The lid seals the pot and locks in flavor. The pot is also oven safe so I was able to pop it in the oven and let the pork shoulder cook for about 4 hours.
- 1-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup cumin seeds
- 1/3 cup coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 1 dried red chile
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon Slap Yo Mama
- 1 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- 4 to 5 pound pork shoulder, bone-in
- 5 tablespoons Spice Mix (see column 1)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 12-ounce Yuengling beer (a basic lager works well)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Trim the pork shoulder of any thick layers of fat. Rub the pork with the spice mixture, getting into crevices and on the sides. Allow the pork to sit for about 60 minutes in refrigerator.
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the pork on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pot. Add the onions, garlic and bay leaves to pan and gently stir for 5 minutes until translucent. Add beer. Bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to bring up any browned bits.
Return the pork to the pot. Cover and put in the oven for 3.5 to 4 hours, checking once or twice, until the meat is extremely tender and pulls away from the bone easily. Shred the pork in the pot, using tongs to separate the meat from the fat.
You can make pulled pork tacos with them, barbecue sandwiches and more.