adapted from Kevin & Amanda
4-7 pound pork roast
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add 1 Tbsp if you like it spicy)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix all ingredients together well and store in an air tight container.
Cover it and set it aside.Now for the brine – A brine solution gives the meat the extra moisture it needs for a long, slow cooking process so you don’t end up with tough, dried out meat.
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 qts cold water
3 tbsp dry rub mix
2 bay leaves
Add salt to cold water and stir very well until all the salt is completely dissolved. Then add the brown sugar and dry rub and stir well to combine.
Rinse the pork shoulder in cold water and place in a 2 gallon ziploc bag (or a container big enough so the shoulder is completely covered in brine solution). Carefully pour in the brine solution.
Add two dried bay leaves.
Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but no longer than 24 hours.Then at least 8 hours later…
Preheat oven to 225, remove the pork roast from the brine solution and place in the roasting pan
that is bigger than the shoulder by at least a inch in length and width and at least 3 inches deep. Sprinkle dry rub onto the surface of the roast and massage in such that it adheres to the surface. Coat all sides.
Make sure the fat layer on the roast is facing up before cooking! Place baking pan uncovered in a 225 degree oven on the middle rack. Insert a probe thermometer into the center or thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone. Monitor the temperature throughout cooking (a digital thermometer with an alarm function is the easiest way to do this). Do not remove from the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches 200 degrees. When the shoulder has reached 200 degrees, shut off the oven and let the roast cool for a couple of hours before removing from the oven. If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices) then cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the cooling period. When the temperature drops to 170 degrees or slightly lower, remove from oven.
Place on a large, clean work surface such as a cutting board, and remove the large sheet of crusted fat on the top. Pull apart with two forks, it will pull apart very easily.
Mix with your favorite BBQ sauce and serve on toasted buns.
Two of my faves are:
*After the roast is pulled apart I freeze part of it for later meals.