BBQ Pork Sundae

Divide 2 cups warm baked beans evenly among 4 small bowl, mugs, or jars; top each with 1/2 cup coleslaw, 1/4 pound warm shredded barbecued pork and sauce.  Serve with a dill pickle wedge.

Low-and-Slow Pulled Pork

Start with the right cut of meat. Most barbecue restaurants use whole pork shoulders, but theyre rarely available in grocery stores. If you find a whole shoulder, use it. Otherwise, we recommend a Boston butt, which is half of the shoulder, the other half being the picnic shoulder. If needed, trim the fat back to about 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle meat generously with rub, massaging it into the meat. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Smoking a large piece of meat takes a long time, so you'll need to get an early start. Prepare your smoker or grill until the temperature reaches 250°. Take the meat out of the refrigerator, and let it sit for about 30 to 45 minutes. Having the pork at room temperature is very important, because if you put it on the smoker cold, the outer portion will burn.

Smoke is one of the main ingredients of good barbecue. Soak hickory wood chips (or any other hardwood chips used for barbecuing) in water overnight. This prevents them from burning. The chips smolder, producing smoke that flavors the meat during the cooking process.  The smoke also lends a pink color to the outer inch or so of the flesh, creating what is called a smoke ring. A handful of wood chips should be added to the fire every 30 minutes or so. The more you add, the stronger flavor of smoke you get.

Place meat on the smoker fat side down. After two hours, turn the meat over so it is fat side up. Total cook time will be 11/2 hours per pound. Maintain the temperature in the smoker between 225° and 250°. Use a pit thermometer for an accurate reading .  If the smoker temperature is hotter than 250°, the meat will cook too quickly; any lower than 225°, and the meat will not get done. Every time wood chips or charcoal is added, spritz the meat with apple juice from a spray bottle. This will add moisture and a fruity background flavor during cooking.

Remove the meat from the smoker with two hours remaining, and place on heavy-duty aluminum foil. Spritz generously with apple juice, and tightly seal foil around pork. Place meat back on the smoker, and cook for two hours more. Using an instant-read meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat, being careful not to touch bone with the tip of the thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 195°, the pork is ready. Cooking the meat beyond the USDA guideline of 160° renders out the fat and tenderizes the meat.

Remove the meat from the smoker, and let it cool for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove foil after it has cooled enough to handle. Remove the bones, which will easily pull away. Begin pulling, or shredding, the meat with two large forks, and place in a large baking dish or pan. Remove and discard any remaining fat.

Add the vinegar-based sauce of your choice to pulled pork, and toss.  This is a popular way to serve pulled pork in most regions. If you prefer, serve with additional sauce.

Barbecue Rub:
Makes about 3 cups
Prep: 10 min.

Ingredients:
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated garlic
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup paprika
2 tablespoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Method:
Stir together all ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Thick-And-Robust Barbecue Sauce
Makes 1 1/4 cups
Prep: 10 min., Cook: 40 min.
The first nationally branded barbecue sauces were likely based on a Kansas City-style sauce like this one--thick, tomatoes, and sweet, with just a hint of hot.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Dash of ground red pepper

Method:
Stir together all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 40 minutes.

Divide sauce into separate containers for basting and servings at the table. (Basting brushes used on raw food should not be dipped into table sauce.) Use as a basting sauce during the last 10 minutes of cooking for steak, pork, burgers, or chicken. Discard any remaining basting sauce, and refrigerate any leftover table sauce.

Cabbage, Carrot and Bell Pepper Coleslaw
Makes 12 servings
Prep: 15 min., Chill: 4 hr..

Ingredients
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 medium-size green cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons grated onion

Method:
Stir together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Add cabbage, carrots, and remaining ingredients to bowl, and toss to coat. Cover and chill 3 to 4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Easy Baked Beans
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Prep: 10 min., Cook: 4 min., Bake: 45 min.

Ingredients:
4 bacon slices
1 (28-ounce) can pork and beans
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sorghum syrup
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Method:
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir together beans and next 6 ingredients in a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish. Top with bacon slices.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes.