A bit of pulled pork every day helps keep the recession at bay…

February 12, 2009


Last week I ate pulled pork every day for lunch (toasted potato roll, Mt. Olive bread and butter pickles, mayo, pork). Yes, every day. Yes, all week.

But before you start pointing fingers and calling me an uncreative glutton (jealous much?), know this… there is a recession on, and I was just eating the most awesome, economical leftovers that we had in our fridge. That, and I’m eight-plus months pregnant.

“Pulled pork every day? Really?” you gasp in wonder. “Can it be true? Can it be healthy? Can it really be that good? And can I please, please have some?”

Yes, you can have some. If you make this recipe, there will be plenty to go around — and trust me, you won’t get tired of eating delicious, fork-tender and succulent pulled pork until it is all finger-lickin’ gone.

My husband has made pulled pork before, but it’s never turned out so damn tasty. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always devoured it — it’s just the speed and duration of my consumption of it that changes.) This pork, lovingly coated with sugar, salt and spices, and sunning itself in a warm oven for nine hours… it just comes out happy. And it spreads its happy joyfulness when you fork in each delicious bite. I knew it was the real deal when I saw my husband brandishing two forks, and I saw the long, pink strands of wonderful porkiness just falling off the bone into a fragrant heap of steaming awesomeness. Yes, it’s that good.

The first night I had it, it was scrumptious in warm flour tortillas, dolloped with fresh salsa and sour cream and sprinkled with cheese. But that’s a bit complex to replicate for lunch. So for its remaining time in our fridge, it got tossed down sandwich style… and sometimes just forked right into the maw.

In any case, I’m eager for you to make it, friends, so you can tell me what other wonderful leftover concoctions can be had from delicious pulled pork. (In fact, I saw a recipe recently for pulled pork served on pitas with tsatsiki sauce…. any takers?)

So now I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Pulled pork is delicious. This pulled pork is fabulous. Won’t you eat it every day too?


And now, the husband’s take…

I’m not sure there is anything better than meat cooked for a long time. Two of my favorite recent recipes are a previous pork shoulder braised in Belgian ale and beef short ribs braised in red wine and beef stock. The flavors created by those intense periods spent at low temperatures makes me think my foot probably good after about 5 hours at between 250F-275F. But, I like my foot so that is just silly… right?

Anyway I digress. This recipe is another Sunday stay-at-home special. In my mind, this is the perfect recipe for just a lazy day. The kind where you don’t get out of your pajamas until mid-afternoon, and that’s only to take a shower and put on another set of pajamas — not that I would ever have a day like that.

The best part is that it isn’t a lot of work. Yes, it is a huge time commitment, but not work. Each step takes about ten to fifteen minutes if you work slowly. As a result, you can spend most of your time doing anything else. Even if you don’t baste the shoulder like I suggest in the recipe, it’s not that big of an issue — so you could even do cook this overnight while you sleep. That way it’s great for a noon tip-off or party. In addition, this makes the ultimate leftovers. While we show it with salsa on a tortilla, you pretty much can do anything with it — for example, great, great sandwiches.

This is also a relatively inexpensive cut of meat. If you buy a typical supermarket shoulder, you can get this for about $15 dollars here in DC. You can easily serve a party of eight or more with it. Or have a tremendous amount of leftovers if you make it for your family. This means awesome packed lunches the rest of the week. So this is your very own recession special.

So with time and a little bit of money, you get a truly awesome result… if I don’t say so myself. Now, what about that foot thing?


Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
7 lbs. pork shoulder (bone in)
1 cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup salt
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. cayenne

1. To make the rub, thoroughly mix together the brown sugar, salt, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes and cayenne.

2. Pat dry the pork shoulder and then liberally apply the rub to all sides. Place in a leak-proof container. Cover and refrigerate for as long as 24 hours, or as little as overnight. It will give up a cup or more of liquid so make sure your container is big enough to prevent spillage.

3. Remove the shoulder from refrigerator, brush off any excess or caked on rub. Move to a clean roasting pan with the fat side up.

4. Heat the oven to 275F. Place in the oven and let roast for 9 to 10 hours. Yes, I’m serious about it taking that long. After about 3 hours, there will be enough fat rendered to allow you to baste the shoulder every 1 to 2 hours. With a large spoon simply pour the rendered fat over the shoulder.

5. You will know it’s ready because the outside of the shoulder is extremely dark, nearly burned looking. The pork should pull easily from the bone and the fat/skin on the top should be nearly crispy.

6. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 30 min. Using a pair of forks or very clean hands pull the pork away from the bone. This should be very easy to do.

7. Serve one of several ways. Here we served it on a tortilla and topped with fresh salsa (recipe below). Another favorite for us is on a toasted potato roll and with a couple sweet pickles. This serves great leftovers.

Simple Fresh Salsa
1 pint grape tomatoes (diced)
1 cup cilantro (diced)
1 jalapeno (diced very fine)
1 lime (juice)
½ large onion (diced)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine the  tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and jalapeno in a bowl and mix thoroughly. You can de-seed the jalapeno if you are heat adverse, or substitute a serrano pepper if you like a little more kick.

2. Add the lime juice and olive oil and mix. Salt to taste.



  1. This sounds great and is perfect for a recession proof meal – one that can last a couple days! We have been doing a series on eating organically & shopping at Wholefoods but geared towards the recession/depression!

  2. Well I think that you (or your husband) did a decent job preparing that pork shoulder.

    However, I am a bit insulted that you feel that pulled pork is a “recession” dish.

    Most of us Southen’ folks love and respect pulled pork as a ‘special treat’ with or without a financial downturn.

    But, I suppose that you ‘yuppy’ types (are you blogging from New Yawk City?) have a different take on our food.

    Whatever, your post was interesting, well photographed, and appreciated.

    Just do NOT insert your comments that we Carolina folks might consider to be condescending.

  3. Beautiful, mouth-watering photos!

  4. Wow! This looks great. I’m a blogger from Alexandria, Va too and enjoy your blog. Your photos are great!

  5. I totally made some of this, recipe changed a tiny bit, today in my slow cooker! The house smells amazing!

  6. Hey DocChuck,

    Your comments are way off base. It’s her blog and she can write whatever she wishes. You do not have to read it. Your comments do not effect the fact that this dish is cheap -comparably- and will last a long time. How exactly is this offensive?

  7. Doc Chuck, personally, we do not think using the term recession case is derogatory. To us, its a sign that when things are tight, we all need to maximize our dollar. Here, a pork shoulder can easily feed eight or more or provide multiple meals for a week. This is good any time, but especially when some folks are trying to ‘pinch a penny.’

    In addition, I was born in Chapel Hill, NC. Both my wife and I went to college down in NC. Much of my family, including my father, makes their homes all over Eastern North Carolina. My all time favorite barbeque joint is Wilber’s in Goldsboro, NC. I think I can do a fairly accurate dissertation on the difference between Eastern, Western and South Carolina forms of the barbeque. Much less the greater debates found in larger regional differences between Texas, Memphis, Kansas City and the Carolinas.

    Finally, while we live in northern Virginia, my wife and I are frequent visitors to barbeque events all over–including, the Big Apple Block Party in NYC. That one is actually great because Danny Meyer brings so many great folks from around the country to the event, who we would otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to visit.

    So any insult was never intended. We are actually passionate about barbeque and pork shoulder. We are simply trying to give people a way to enjoy it easily in their own home, and show them how much they can get for so little.

    And thank you Jim.

  8. This looks absolutely delicious!

  9. I’ve got my butt cooking slowly in the oven and my cabbage for the cole slaw salting and draining. Homemade buns in the freezer ready for a feast for my family tonight. So far it smells divine and I’ll admit I was a bit doubtful about the simple rub ingredients but the taste I snuck right after mixing it was just right.

    We live in the triangle (NC) but are transplants from further south (me Florida, husband Georgia) and we’re not necessarily crazy about eastern carolina bbq. So this rub is just the ticket with a little extra tomato based bbq sauce mopped on top right before dolloping with coleslaw on the bun.

  10. awesome recipe. I made mine this weekend (http://palatememoirs.blogspot.com/2009/02/shoulder.html). As noted in my post, I think I’ll cook it less next time (can’t get shoulders that big in our little Brooklyn butcher shop!), but I think my results were pretty similar. We’ve been eating cuban sandwiches for lunch every day this week. Thanks so much for the tip!!

  11. Mm mm. That would be just the thing I would want to eat for a week of lunches, maybe supper too!

  12. I plan on making this today. Can you tell me, did you use regular or kosher salt in the 3/4 cup? I don’t want it to turn out too salty! Thanks.

    Christinaemason at hotmail dot com

  13. By the way, have you had carnitas? Another economical way to treat a big honkin’ piece of pork. Super delicious. If you’re interested, I have a recipe here: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/pork-carnitas/

    Sounds more labor-intensive than it is…mostly passive cooking time.

  14. Thanks for the useful tips – especially important in these recessive times – its essential to have wholesome food on the table. God Bless You. And yes the Salas looks simple indeed! Cheerio…

  15. I love slow cooked meat and pajama days.

    Can’t wait to try this!

  16. Ilove pernil!!!

  17. What are you doing with the juice from the marinade?

  18. Your pictures are making my mouth water!! It looks so delicious! You did the South proud!

  19. This is one of the best (if not the very best) pork recipes I have ever made..thank you SO much!!!!

  20. Hi there, I’ve spoken with Sara who posted your recipe on the pulled pork, only she cooked in her crockpot. We’ve selected her version of the dish to be featured on our website, but before she gives us the recipe, she wanted to make sure it was ok with you. Please contact me back…april@gowithimg.com. Thank you

  21. My first encounter with pulled pork was at Canada’s largest rib festival last year in Burlington Ontario and we (wife and girls) have been counting down the days to the next event (1st weekend in sept). I think I’ll be giving your recipe a try this week. Thx for sharing.

  22. Hi there! Just wanted to let you know that we made this recipe this past Sunday and it was FABULOUS. We are still delighting in the leftovers (making sandwiches with potato rolls!) but we initially made pork tacos with homemade tortillas and your fresh salsa recipe. Out of this world comfort food! Thanks for posting this and keep those recipes coming!

  23. […] kamerorna är utan batteri. Så då får det bli såhär och på en höft. Rätt mycket taget från här. Förutom att jag marinerade då. Får se hur det […]

  24. I love the pics. Every recipe I’ve pulled on pork shoulder does not have the time you have to cook. 10 hours seems perfect to me. Every other recipe has something like 7hrs at a higher temp.

    BUT, is it suppose to be covered or not?


  25. Just went in the oven (12:30 AM) Can’t wait to dig in tomorrow for the games! Thanks for the great recipe & pics!

  26. PS: bought a 7.5 lb shoulder earlier this week for $0.89/lb. In a restaurant, the meat alone costs at least $8/lb, so making it yourself is a huge $aver. Thanks again…

  27. […] Roasted Pulled Pork Adapted from My Husband Cooks Serves […]

  28. This looks amazing!! Be sure to post restaurant reviews at http://tinyurl.com/26okadh !!

  29. Made this today for our family and it is really a keeper of a recipe. Close to smoked flavor done indoors and no mess. We are not lovers of really hot food so I omitted the red pepper and cayenne and everyone loved it.

    Thanks. I’ll never do a pork shoulder in my crockpot again!

  30. Keep on topic folks!

  31. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easyThe overall look of your web site is excellent, as well as the content!

  32. What if my shoulder is only 2 lbs..??..?? Do I still need the full 10 hours of cooking time?

  33. Hello, my name is Kenya and I found your recipe a few days ago. Your pictures are very motivating. This was my first time making slow cooked pork ever and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the end result. I don’t own a digital camera, but please believe me when I tell you that my finished product looked exactly like yours. The meat was incredibly moist, and I will enjoy my pulled pork with tortillas. I didn’t make your salsa, I will the next time I make this dish, but I have no doubt in my mind that it’s just as fabulous as your pork. I even shared your recipe with a friend who made this for family this weekend. Thank you for posting this– it’s a keeper in my book! 🙂

  34. […] (recipe from My Husband Cooks) […]

  35. I really like your rub. For years i have been making pulled pork and injecting it with 1tbs brown sugar, 1 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1 tsp red Pepper flakes, and 2 tsp celery seed. With your rub my 5lb shoulder was perfect (190 degrees) in 12 hours at 225.

    It is amazing the amount of flavor the rub brought to the pork, i usually dont rub but will from now on.

  36. […] our standard pork shoulder recipe, found on the great but sadly derelict blog, My Husband […]

  37. I made this months ago and it came out REALLY salty with 3/4 cup of salt (I used regular instead of kosher). I’m making it again this weekend but only using 1/4 cup of salt.

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