Last week, we bravely ventured to Pathmark. I say “bravely” because Pathmark, while cheap and the only supermarket near us, is usually a complete and utter disaster. On any given day, no more than four check-out lanes are open, and the cashiers move at the speed of molasses in January. Inevitably, we end up in a line at least ten people deep, and each of those ten people has a full-sized shopping cart overflowing with huge flats of ground beef, family-sized boxes of Cheerios, and bottles of canola oil so large I can’t imagine ever finishing them. As we scouted for a shopping basket1 on our most recent excursion, some guys entered and one said to the other, “You might as well go ahead and get in line while I shop. This is Pathmark.”
In any event, we braved Pathmark last week and came across a whole pork shoulder on sale. We lugged the thing home, and then we spent some time hunting for recipes that didn’t require a grill, a smoker, or both. We finally found a recipe for oven-roasted pulled pork, and so we set about making it. It was certainly a time-consuming process – the pork had to marinate in the spice rub overnight, then cook for six hours, and then it took me an hour to shred the whole thing – but it was actually pretty easy.
me “pulling” the pork
I have a few recipe notes, just in case anyone is inspired to try this at home:
☆ We used smoked paprika in the rub, and I think it really gave it a nice flavor.
☆ The sauce in the Tyler Florence recipe linked above is really mustardy. Consider yourself warned. I like mustard more than most people (so much that, when I make sandwiches, I often both put mustard on the sandwich and use it for dipping), and I think the sauce has too much mustard in it. Because of this, I didn’t toss the sauce with the pork, and I tried a bottled Trader Joe’s barbecue sauce on some pork. It was all right, but a little sweet. I’m still looking for a winner.
☆ The recipe calls for a spicy coleslaw, but the recipe listed is mayo-based. We’re not fans of mayo-based coleslaw, so I made Mark Bittman’s spicy no-mayo coleslaw instead.
I am impressed with our ability to make such delicious pulled pork! Of course, we now have such a quantity of pulled pork that we will be eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the foreseeable future.
1 That’s another fun thing about Pathmark. The entire store has about fifteen shopping carts (and I seem to always be in line behind all of them) and maybe thirty shopping baskets. I have no idea how anyone ever gets a cart; I think you must really stalk the exit. The baskets are more accessible, but they are still hidden all around the front of the store, and I usually have to crawl under someone’s cart while they wait in line to find one. It’s part of the Pathmark charm.