Sunday, June 08, 2008

Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book: Championship Pork Shoulder and the Big Apple BBQ

I have missed barbecue. I haven't even attempted to buy or eat any while in New Jersey, because I know for a fact that I will be disappointed. So I have stayed far away, and I have been trying to pretend that I don't know how good barbecue really is. But all my hard work was completely undone when the Big Apple BBQ came to town. The pitmasters rolled in with their smokers and sauce mops, and I couldn't stay away.

I had to rush over to Chris Lilly's tent to get some smoked chopped pork. Chris Lilly's pork may just be the most amazing pork I have ever eaten. It's smokey and richly, deeply pork. It's pig the way it was always meant to be. It's no wonder the man has won 10 World BBQ Championships. Too bad his restaurant is in Decatur, Alabama. Actually, that may be a good thing. I might be 400 pounds if it was within driving distance.

To sum up: It is now apparent to me that I can never be a vegetarian.

Big Bob Gibson's Championship Pork Shoulder
Adapted from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book by Chris Lilly

Dry Rub:
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ tablespoon dark brown sugar
2¼ teaspoons garlic salt
2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon black pepper

¾ cup apple juice
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Vinegar Mop:
1¾ cup apple cider vinegar
⅛ cup cayenne pepper
½ tablespoon kosher salt
2 slices of lemon

2 pork butts, about 7 pounds each, or 1 whole pork shoulder, 16-18 pounds

In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the dry rub. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the injection. Using a meat syringe, inject the pork evenly at 1-inch intervals from the top side, using the entire injection solution. Dry the outside of the meat with paper towels and apply an even coating of the dry rub all over, patting it down so the rub adheres. Wrap the pork in foil and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.

Mix all the ingredients for the vinegar mop in a small bowl. Set aside.

Remove the pork from the fridge while you start the smoker. Smoke the pork shoulder at 225°F until the meat reaches 195°F, about 14 to 16 hours. In the last few hours, baste the meat with the vinegar mop ever hour.

Remove the pork from the smoker and let rest for 30 minutes. Pull the pork, removing any and discarding any visible fat. Sprinkle on some of the leftover vinegar mop, mixing with your hands to incorporate, then serve immediately.

Memphis-Style Championship Red Sauce
Adapted from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book by Chris Lilly

1¼ cups ketchup
1 cup water
¾ cup vinegar
¾ cup tomato paste
¾ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup corn syrup
½ cup pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons molasses
4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon applesauce
1½ teaspoons soy sauce
1½ teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon onion powder
¾ teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon white pepper
⅛ teaspoon celery seed
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Let cool; transfer to a jar and store, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 4 cups

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