So my friend EJ got a new roommate; as a result we decided to welcome Bloomillions to SF with a little gathering of food and drink. EJ’s initial plan was to run a taco bar but then I suggest we BBQ also. I hadn’t bbq’ed any pork in at least two years and was wanting to rock it pretty hard. I decided to make a move on it around the middle of the week, problem was finding a pork shoulder that still had the skin. I called around to some butcher shops but most of them had already gotten their meat orders in so it was too late. Finally Thursday I talked to the dudes over at La Gallinita, they came through in the clutch putting in a last minute order for a Friday pick up. I should have known better than to call around to all the fancy spots thinking they’d have some last minute shit, I’m not some old rich lady from pacific heights who plans meals a week in a advance. If rap music has taught me anything it’s to holler at my people cause Mexicans got the product. That or listen to my friend Lydia who told me that fucking Food Co has a shit ton of pork shoulders with skin just chilling in the meat aisle, like 13-14 pounders for the low low. But fuck Lydia, she didn’t know that until the day after I’d bought the meat.
Anyways I brought it home Friday afternoon, threw it in the freezer because I had to mob out to my wife’s happy hour/birthday party. But after that shit we came home, dropped off her records and I slapped together a brine for this bastard.
If you look at the center of the picture below you can see some tubes still attached to the shoulder. I like to think of those as crunchy fun bits.
The brine wasn’t anything too crazy, 16oz of salt, 16 oz of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 2/3 cups of black pepper, and then I just threw is handfuls of anise seed, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, rosemary, paprika, garlic powder and two sticks of cinnamon. Threw the shoulder in and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The photo below is before I put any of the spices in but you get the idea.
The next morning I took it out, cleaned the brine off and threw it in a plastic bag. Thuggy picked me up and we headed to Safeway for charcoal and hickory chips. Then over to his apartment where I set up his neighbors grill to cook this fucker. We were using your standard Weber so I fired up the coals and then moved them all to one side. I piled some fresh coals on top and flatted it out so I could set this pie tray of soaked wood chips on top. The other tray is there to catch all the drippings so they didn’t all fall below to his downstairs neighbor’s back door.
Because we are efficient we didn’t have any of the supplies for the sauce so while Thuggy and Bloom ran to cop beers and food I just rubbed this thing in salt and pepper before throwing it on the grill. I figured fuck it, I was going to be mopping with sauce every half hour so if I didn’t get any on in the beginning it wasn’t going to hurt.
skin side down
Because we only use the finest cooking tools I’m using a meat thermometer to guess the internal temperature of the grill. I was shooting for the 250 range. I’ve done it lower but considering we didn’t get started as early as intended I had to get this thing going at a higher temp to get it done at a some what reasonable time.
After Thuggy got back with my supplies I made a sauce. I decided to go with some North Carolina Lexington style sauce based on this recipe. I didn’t use as much ketchup as the recipe asked for and I threw in some El Pato hot sauce which is tomato based, not on that vinegar tip like Franks/Tabasco. I don’t really fuck with vinegar hot sauces, that shit just taste so fucking weak to me. I don’t hate it but I prefer tomato joints. The sauce wasn’t crazy runny like vinegar and pepper South Carolina sauces I’ve messed with before. It was just thick enough to brush over the pork and hold, like a very very light oil. The plan was to mop the shoulder every half hour with the sauce and then turn the shoulder every 1 – 1.5 hours. Below was after the first flip and application of sauce.
I flipped it again and applied more sauce
After a few hours it started coming together really fucking nice. The problem with using a Weber this size is keeping the heat going. I’d load coals and wood chips through the sides, sometimes fanning them enough to flame up and before covering it again and letting the temperature drop back down. I soaked the shit out of my wood chips so I got a lot of use out of them. I didn’t have to add too many coals either which was nice. I’ve done this with a 14″ grill and loading coals every few hours fucking sucks because your temperatures are all over and shit just isn’t consistent enough, cooking time gets totally fucked.
This is around the point were it was time to take this bitch off and let it rest in the oven. I put it in the oven because I didn’t want people trying to nibble on it while it rested.
After a while I couldn’t help myself and had to tear off a piece. Fuck it man, I made the motherfucker!
This is the first slice of the meat, I didn’t notice at the time but in the photo the skin at the top of the cut out looks mainey as fuck. That shit was like pork bubble gum, you could chew on that skin all fucking day, it was hella good but yeah that bitch was not going to break down easily.
As for taking this thing apart at first I started shredding but figured it would be less greasy if I used a knife to just tear all the meat off.
This is the shoulder with half of the skin removed. As you can see underneath that skin is an awesome layer of fat. That shit mixed up with the meat was fucking lovely, shit just melts away. It might not be healthy but fuck it, that shit good for you.
pork skin, the crosshatch on it was applied before putting this thing on the grill.
pot full of pulled/chopped pork.
the remains of the shoulder.
Toasted up some buns and made some coleslaw. The slaw was easy. I just shredded some cabbage, carrots, threw in carrots, cilantro and leftover sauce. Toss that shit to coat and you’re good. Just assemble a sandwich and consume.
I spent about 7.5 hours on this thing all together but it was totally worth it. I fucking love barbecue, San Francisco doesn’t have a lot of champ options so you’re better off just manning up and going for self.
Here are some retarded photos of things that happened while doing this like I wore fucking bbq’ed pork skin on my goddamn face.
Audrey was put in charge of decorating
The idea behind these cannibal pigs is that they are actually images that are painted on the side of La Gallinitas butcher shop.
I don’t know where all the budlight came from, apparently neither does Eddie K