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Hickory Smoked Pork Shoulder with Carolina BBQ Sauce,
Crackling Cream Biscuits and Spicy Yellow Corn
Serves 6-8 people
Pork shoulder (Start a day ahead or early in the day)
1 each, 7-8 pound pork shoulder.
Remove bone if present and trim the meat that surrounds it. Reserve the meat (about 1 pound) and the bone (for the sauce) and dice meat into a 1/2 inch dice. Reserve for the cracklings.
4 tablesponns (split quantity)
2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
Mix the spices together. Rub the entire shoulder with 3/4 of the spice mixture and let it rest for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
Reserve the other 1/4 of the rub.
Place the shoulder in a grill or smoker with hickory chips or chunks that is preheated to 265 degrees and has smoke present. Place the pork indirectly over the heat source and smoke for 5-7 hours or until the shoulder reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees for sliced pork shoulder and 190 degrees internal temperature for pulled pork shoulder. If you are using wood chips and a grill, the chips should be soaked and applied every 40 minutes or so.
When the shoulder has reached the desired temperature, remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight or use within a couple hours.
1 pound pork shoulder trimmings from above
1 quart vegetable or peanut oil
2 teaspoons dry rub
Preheat the oil in a large pot to 260 degrees. Gradually add the pork trimmings carefully and increase the temperature of the oil to about 290 degrees. Allow the pork to cook for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally. The oil will first be cloudy and will clarify itself as the cracklings become close to being cooked. They should be deep brown in color and firm. The point is to have all of the moisture cooked out of them. Remove the pork cracklings from the oil and place on absorbent paper. Season immediately with the remaining shoulder rub and then place in a food processor with the steel blade and process until the pork cracklings are shredded. Spread again on absorbent paper and allow to air dry for 30 minutes.
*The cracklings can be kept for up to two weeks in a container in the refrigerator.
Carolina Barbecue Sauce
2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seeds, yellow
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 each, smoked neck bones or ham hocks
In a sauce pot, combine all of the ingredients. Place over medium heat and allow to cook slowly for 30-40 minutes. Remove any foam that may appear on the surface of the sauce as it cooks and discard it. Check seasoning. Remove the smoked products and allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Check seasoning and hold warm for service or refrigerate for future use.
Crackling Cream Biscuits
24 each, 1 inch biscuits
2 1/2 cups White Lily self-rising flour
2 cups heavy cream (split quantity)
3 tablespoons of the cracklings from above
3 tablespoons whole butter, melted
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the measured flour in a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the cream (the additional cream is to brush the top of the biscuit dough) until it starts to come together and is a wet sticky dough. Add the cracklings and work together for a minute or so. Place on a lightly floured surface and press or roll out to less than 1/2 inch thick. Brush the tops of the biscuit dough with the remaining cream. Sprinkle the cracklings and kosher salt over and gently press them into the dough. Cut with a 1 inch biscuit cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and cook until golden brown 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter and reserve in a warm area.
1 tablespoon light olive oil
2 ears of corn (cooked, cooled and removed from the cob)
2 tablespoons cracklings
dry rub to taste
Heat the oil in a pan and add the corn kernels and allow for the kernels to caramelize over medium heat. Add the pork cracklings and season with the spice rub. Reserve.
To prepare the dish:
Warm the pork in a small amount of the sauce and season. Place a nice pile on the center of the plate and place 3 of the crackling cream biscuits around. Drizzle with more of the sauce and then sprinkle with the corn and crackling mixture.