The Daley Question

Pulled pork 101

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Pulled pork

Pulled pork, whether served topped with slaw on a bun or on white bread, is a satisfying dish that's best cooked "low and slow." (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune / October 12, 2009)

1.Put the pork in a sturdy pan. Pierce holes in the flesh and add slivers of garlic. Rub the skin with salt and freshly ground pepper. Move the pan to the lower part of a 275-degree oven. Mix equal amounts water and vinegar. Start basting after the first hour, and baste occasionally. Cook 6 hours and check the temperature; it should register 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. If necessary, cook 1 more hour. Take care not to cover meat in the oven, as it will make the skin chewy. Do not baste the last hour.

2.Remove from oven and let rest up to 10 minutes. Carve the meat off the bone in big pieces, either reserving the crispy skin or including it in the large pieces of the meat. Tease and tear apart the meat with fingers, two forks or two knives into edible pieces, or chop roughly. Serve hot, with barbecue sauce and coleslaw, on loaf bread or buns.

For the vinegar barbecue sauce: Mix 3 cups cider vinegar, 1 cup tomato sauce or ketchup, 1/2 to 1 cup light or dark brown sugar and 1 teaspoon to 1/2 cup hot sauce or red pepper flakes (err on the side of caution with hot sauce) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cook 10 minutes.

Black BBQ sauce

Makes: About 3 cups

A recipe from "Smoke & Pickles" by Chef Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia restaurant in Louisville, Ky. His recipe is a mix of Asian and Southern flavors and ingredients. Black bean paste is available at most supermarkets and Asian groceries.

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 pound onions, chopped

5 garlic cloves, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeds and all)

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup each: bourbon, dark coffee, cola, ketchup

1/4 cup each: soy sauce, balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons each: molasses, Worcestershire sauce, black bean paste

1 tablespoon dry mustard

2 teaspoons each: ground allspice, freshly-ground black pepper, cayenne

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup Asian sesame oil

1.Melt the butter with the olive oil in a Dutch oven over low heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers and raisins. Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to brown and caramelize on the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan but adding the bourbon, coffee and cola. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half.

2.Add the ketchup, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce and black bean paste and simmer over low heat about 5 minutes. Add the mustard, allspice, black pepper, cayenne and smoked paprika and simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool for about 15 minutes.

3.Transfer the sauce to a blender, add the lime juice and sesame oil, and puree on high until you achieve a thick sauce. Taste; adjust seasonings. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate; bring to room temperature when ready to use.

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley

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