Diner style braised pork with smoked spices

By Christine Cushing
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Pulled pork is the perfect dish to serve up to your guests on game night! We've even got a recipe on how to make your own smoked spice blend. This is a recipe you'll want to make for every special occasion.

Tip: With or without a bbq, you can get that smoky, low and slow pulled pork flavour with these simple steps. To create your own spice blend, briefly smoke ingredients on the stove top or BBQ then sprinkle that mixture on the pork before braising. For a shortcut you can just buy a prepared Montreal smoked meat spice blend and go straight to the meat cooking step.

SERVES
6
 TO
8
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

Smoked spice blend

  • ½ cup apple or maple wood chips (125 millilitres)
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns (7.5 millilitres)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds (7 millilitres)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (3.5 millilitres)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (5 millilitres)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (5 millilitres)
  • ½ teaspoon allspice berries (5 millilitres)
  • 1 small ancho chile
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (15 millilitres)

Pulled pork

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (1350 grams)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons apple butter (25 millilitres)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (25 millilitres)
  • 1 cup water (250 millilitres)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (15 millilitres)

Directions

Smoked spice blend

  1. To smoke the spices, arrange wood chips on the bottom of a cast iron skillet on high until they start to smoke. Put a rack on top of that and combine all the spices with ancho chile in a small aluminum container. 
  2. Place on the rack and cover the whole pan securely with foil. Reduce heat to low and smoke for 10-20 minutes but no longer.  
  3. Remove from heat and let stand a couple of minutes before carefully opening lid. Grind in mortar and pestle or electric grinder. Add the salt.

Pulled pork

  1. In a small roasting or baking dish, arrange sliced onions and two cloves of garlic. Place pork into pan. Combine the apple butter, vinegar, water and tomato paste and stir to blend. 
  2. Pour mixture over pork and sprinkle with spices. Making sure to cover on all sides.
  3. Liquid should not completely cover meat. Cover with lid or foil securely to steam.
  4. Braise pork at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for two-and-a-half to three hours, until very tender, checking every hour to see progress.

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