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In the winter, I'm all about citrus. Everything from my Mulled Wine to my Hefeweizens have orange sections floatin' around in 'em and lemon or lime zest sneak in or on top of all my recipes. It also seems that I go through about a case of the Cutie mandarins once a week and I get giddy at the sight of really nice grapefruits at the market. If I were an Otter Pop, I would be Sir Isaac Lime... I think you get the point about how much I love citrus.
When the idea of a Planked Pulled Pork Sandwich was presented to me, I said "Ooooh, with orange barbecue sauce. Let's do it." So, I off I went to the store to get supplies, but I first had to do a bit of research. What part of the pig does the pulled pork come from? The correct answer is- it depends on where you are from. Like the prefect pork rib, there is much debate over how to get to the perfect pulled pork. Some prefer to use the pork butt, while others swear the only way to achieve perfection is with the shoulder. I can't say that I have a strong opinion either way, so I went with the shoulder because pork butt cuts usually come in 5 lbs. parcels or more. I was only feeding two people.
Ok, off to the store...
1 Outdoor Gourmet Large Maple Grilling Plank
2 1/2 lb Pork Front Shoulder
1 19 oz bottle of North Idaho's Backhills Barbecue Sauce: Sweet and Sour
The Zest of 2 Oranges
4 cups cabbage (red or green)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sweet pickle chips
1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Taylor-Made Whole Wheat Hoagie Roll
(Store-bought bread or rolls will work splendidly- I just have a talented baker on staff, so why not have fresh-baked bread?)
1 cups all-purpose white bread flour
3 cups Mountain Wheat Bronze Chief Traditional Whole Wheat made from hard red spring wheat.
1 Tbs. Yeast (We were doing this at 5,000 ft. so if you higher or lower use more or less.
2 tbs. fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
First: Grab your crock pot, pork and BBQ Sauce. I used North Idaho's Backhills Barbecue Sauce- not only am I a sucker for anything local, but the name got me too. We are pretty backhills 'round these parts and this sauce was everything one would want out of a BBQ Sauce. I just added a healthy bit of orange zest to keep to my citrus-y theme. I digress... anyway! Set your meat in the crock pot, smother with BBQ sauce, set your crock pot to low and forget about it for the next 4-5 hours.
Note: Depending on the crock-iness of your crock pot, this may take more or less time. You want your pork cooked, but not falling. That will come when you finish it on the plank.
Next: Slice and dice your cabbage slaw makings, add orange juice and vinegar, and allow to mull in the fridge. About this time would be a good opportunity to get your Outdoor Gourmet Maple Grilling Plank soaking in water and check to see if you have charcoal or propane.
Then: The hoagie roll making... Our Outdoor Gourmet Baker is a Montana native and prefers to use wheat from Montana Wheat. www.wheatmontana.com
1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water add.
2. Beat 4 cups flour and salt until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.
3. Turn onto a floured board or stone. Knead until smooth and elastic for about 6-8 minutes.
4. Place in a greased bowl turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
5. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured board, divide into 18 pieces.
6. Shape into an oval. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheets.
7. With scissors cut a 1/4-inch slash across the top of each. Cover and let rise 20 minutes.
8. Bake at 400° for 13-18 minutes until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Next: Preheat grill to medium-low. Place cedar grilling plank on grill then after 5 minutes, flip the grillling plank. This is especially good to do when working with the hardwoods because it help prevent cupping.
Place pork shoulder on grilling plank and close lid. Allow to smoke in grill for 15 to 20 minutes. Have a spray bottle handy in case the grilling plank catches fire.
Finally: Remove grilling plank and pork shoulder from grill and let pork rest for 10 minutes. Place cooling pork in bowl and "pull" with forks. This is why they call it pulled pork- the meat should easily pull away into nice shredded meat. Chill over night or serve hot! Enjoy!