We’re a smoking couple and, by that, I don’t mean that we smoke cigarettes or revel in our looks, I promise. By smoking, I mean that we spend much of the summer, and I do mean *much* of the summer, slowly cooking all sorts of local meats with wet wood in different types of vessels under a low fire.
We have two smokers. Our wood-powered smoker requires constant temperature regulation and thus a regular feed of dry wood (for the fire) and wet wood (for the flavor). The other smoker is gas-driven; we use it when we need to smoke extra large hunks of meat for 24+ hours and prefer to sleep rather than stoke the fire non-stop.
Both smokers have to be used outside and well… It’s cold outside. It’s way too cold to smoke. And nearly impossible to enjoy the case of icy beer one absolutely must enjoy when smoking on a hot summer day. But the hubby really, truly wanted to cook up some pulled pork and had never done it inside, in our oven. So I promised to make the sides and dessert, if he tackled the meat.
After pouring through the barbecue books by his personal masters – Steven Raichlen and Mike Mills – the hubby ventured over to the Food Network for a recipe better suited to the oven. He stumbled upon these Tyler Florence recipes and, with a sneer (because what does Tyler Florence know about barbecue?!), he decided to give them a shot. Frankly, Tyler has 10 Google pages’ worth of barbecue content, so I don’t know what I’m talking about. But it’s still just plain odd to make a Tyler Florence recipe when there’s so many other recipes at your disposal. We gave it a shot anyway. We made both the pulled pork and the cider-vinegar barbecue sauce and here’s what we have to say about them: Yum.
Yum. Yum. Yum. We were impressed. Truly impressed. Tyler hit it out of the park with these easy recipes. And he even neglected to recommend setting a pile of veggies under the pork. A rack of veggies would have made it so the bottom of the pork didn’t burn into a caramelized mess. Thank goodness he left out that step, because there’s nothing better than a sliver of burnt pork or, as some of us call it, burnt ends. Nothing better, people. As far as I’m concerned, when I write my book about the best foods enjoyed burnt, a hunk of black, caramelized, flavorful pork will be on the cover.
The one thing I will recommend is to strain the barbecue sauce. It’s a lumpy mess in the pot – and I’m not sure who to blame for that, Tyler or the hubby – but it’s nothing a quick strain didn’t fix easily. Lots more photos below… including a shot of our complete meal which included a sweet potato gratin (thanks to a great recipe at food52.com). Dessert was a luscious caramel pudding (thanks to Deb at Smitten Kitchen).