Recipe Blog: Hector Nicou – The BBQ School Pitmaster
One of my absolute favourite things to cook on the BBQ is the humble pork shoulder, thats why I found it fitting to put this up as my very first blog post. It’s an affordable cut that will feed a crowd and make leftovers for days and leftovers freeze exceptional well in zip lock bags. This makes for killer midweek meals thrown into tacos, wraps, enchiladas, nachos or even a mexican style salad. As an added bonus, its also super forgiving and the only hard part is letting it cook for 11 hours! Perfect for a long summer day cook with some friends or family and a few cold beers ( who can still remember those days pre-Covid ?!?)
What you will need
- 4 kg Bone in Pork Shoulder
- This will serve 10 with plenty to spare.
- The BBQ Company Signature Spice (recipe on site)
- Apple juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Your favourite bbq sauce/ vinegar mop sauce
Our base BBQ rub
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 3 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 4 tsp ground rock salt
- 3 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Prepping the Kamado:
Set your Kamado Joe divide and conquer system for low and slow smoking and fill with premium lumpwood charcoal and light it up. Allow the coals to catch before adding a good 4 or 5 chunks of apple wood scattered around the coals and placing the whole accessory rack into the Kamado. Close the lid and keep an eye on the temperature, we are aiming for around 260 degrees f or around 125 c for the whole cook.
- Prepping the shoulder is quite important as if bought whole and not done by your butcher, there will be quite a thick fat cap and the rind. You want to remove the rind completely and trim most of the fat off – leave a thin layer as this will render in cooking and add flavour. If there is a bone at the bottom of the shoulder, simply run your knife down the side and follow the rib bones until you cleanly remove this – more meat showing = more smoke flavour on the meat. If you are confident in your butchering skills do it yourself as you are then in charge of how much fat to trim etc, if not just ask you butcher to do all the hard work for you. Up top is a quick video of how i trimmed mine up.
- Rub the whole shoulder with mustard and evenly apply the rub with a spice shaker – go heavy, its a big cut of meat. Let is rest and once the rub has set ( the shoulder will have a wet look to it after around 20 minutes) its ready for the Kamado Joe.
- Place a drip pan filled with water on the plates below the grates and place the shoulder over the drip tray. The shoulder will need at least 6-8 hours on the smoke uncovered. We like to cook ours for around 4 hours before we take a first peak and start spritzing with a mix of Apple cider vinegar and apple juice – we used a 2/3 apple juice to 1/3 apple cider mix. Keep spritzing the meat every hour or so to ensure the bark doesn’t get too crunchy.
- This is where your intuition comes in and you need to look at the meats barkn and color and decide if you want to take the meat further and darker or wrap – a good way we tell is when the thin fat cap on the top has split a little and the meat is a dark rich colour. Once you are happy ( normally at the 7 hour mark) lay the shoulder on doubled up tinfoil and give it a good spritz with the apple mix – this is the last time you will see it before its done. Cover and ensure you wrap it well enough to keep all juices in – this is the time for the shoulder and tenderise. We cook the shoulder covered for another 5 hours for a total cook time of approximately 11 hours.
- Once pulled off the Kamado, rest for at least an hour still covered. Once rested, place in a deep roasting pan and open up the foil, there should still be plenty of juice coming off the meat, don’t lose this as its flavour. Remove all foil, wiggle the large shoulder bone out and pull the pork into the juices.
- From here you can add your favourite bbq sauce or vinegar sauce, we like to use a good quality bbq sauce and add apple cider vinegar to it or make our own bbq sauce with an apple cider base. We love the tang and kick you get with the cider vinegar.
And thats about as easy as it gets folks, tender, juicy, full of flavor. This went straight into some soft and hard shell tacos with all the trimmings. If you are in the Surrey area, please come join us this summer for one of our BBQ classes, we would love to share some BBQ knowledge, some great BBQ and a few cold beers.