Southern BBQ is such a great thing, really a food group all its own in most of the south eastern states. Since no one has the same recipe for their BBQ, I’ve made my own variation of the classic, with pretty good results. Boston Pork Butts (the butcher’s name for a pork shoulder…hmm) is well seasoned with brown sugar, salt and spices and slow cooked in Coca-Cola (what’s more American than that). Once the meat falls apart, I take the leftover Coke/Pork Juice goodness and reduce it until it’s syrupy. Add a little ketchup and you have the perfect sweet, tangy BBQ sauce. A toasted pub bun, bread & butter pickles, Walla Walla sweet onions, a little shredded pork and Coca-cola BBQ all work together to make something pretty special.
We love to make this at home, and seldom have leftovers when we do. It’s a great main dish to serve when you have company, as you can make is all ahead of time, leaving you more time to spend with your guests and less time cooking in the kitchen.
1 Boneless Pork Shoulder
2 Tbl Blackening Spice (BBQ rub would work fine too)
2 Tbl Salt
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbl Worcestershire
3/4 tsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1 Tbl Garlic, minced
4 cups Coke
For the sauce:
3 ½ cups ketchup
Salt (to taste)
1. Season pork shoulder on all sides with rib rub. Place in stock pot or other high sided pan.
2. Combine salt, brown sugar, worcestershire, hot sauce, garlic and coke. Whisk to dissolve sugar.
3. Pour coke mixture into pan.
4. Cover with parchment and foil and braise at 325F for 4 hours. The pork should be ‘fall apart’ tender.
5. Transfer pork to other pan. Reserve liquid to make Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce.
6. Before pork cools completely, coarsely shred pork into medium size chunks. It will be a lot easier if you do this before the pork is refrigerated.
7. Using the liquid from above, skim fat and reduce over medium-high heat by half.
8. Combine reduced liquid with ketchup. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.
9. Combine meat with sauce and serve on your favorite bun. We like to add bread and butter pickles, thinly sliced onion and our favorite southern slaw to this sandwich.
For more great BBQ tips and recipes, make sure to check out my Dare to Cook: Barbecue & Grilling DVD.