Today’s pulled pork recipe, the second in two days, is Everything Rub-inspired Pulled Pork. You’ve probably heard of Everything Rub if you’ve been around the Glover Gardens blog for a while, as it followed in the footsteps of several other spice rubs created and shared here. Everything Rub was originally born to perfect our recipe for ribs.
But this versatile spice mix immediately proved capable of much, much more, so it got its own post.
Because it was so versatile, Everything Rub became the basis for a second Glover Gardens pulled pork recipe (and lots of other yumminess), which until now was just scribbled on grocery list paper, like its predecessor, the Zippy Southwest Pulled Pork.
This particular recipe for pulled pork was the last dish I made in the old Glover Gardens kitchen, before the remodel and eradication of the outdated pink tile. We froze the deliciousness from the recipe that I was starting in the picture below in multiple containers and pulled them out for home-cooking during the 4+ month remodel ‘siege’. It was definitely comfort food!
The pulled pork with Everything Rub and accompanying Honey-Chipotle barbeque sauce is a delectable spicy-sweet, piquant dish. And what’s really cool is that it’s super easy! I like to make it the day before I need it, to allow time for cooling the liquids, removing the fat and reducing what’s left of the liquids to add back to the pork mixture after pulling for a true flavor boost, and then adding the barbeque sauce.
Everything Rub Pulled Pork with Honey-Chipotle BBQ Sauce
Makes about 10-12 servings, takes about 10-20 minutes to prep, elapsed time is ~8 hours (unless you go for the preferred overnight chill)
- 4-5 lbs. boneless Boston pork butt (fat trimmed or not)
- 1½ – 2 tbsp. Everything Rub spice mix (you could substitute your favorite chipotle / spicy-sweet seasoning blend, but I wouldn’t recommend it)
- 2 poblano peppers, sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced or chopped
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 10-14 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes or tomatoes and green chiles (like Rotel)
- 1 c. beer, wine, chicken stock or Dr. Pepper
- Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup catsup
- 2 tbsp of the Everything Rub
Get out your slow cooker and plug it in somewhere out of the way so it won’t tempt kitchen passers-by to open the lid. Spread the Everything Rub on all sides of the meat and put it in the slow cooker, then add the rest of the ingredients, pouring the liquid around the edges. Cover and cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
When the cooking time has elapsed, remove the lid and let it cool slightly, then remove the meat from the liquids, putting it in a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and add them to the meat or put in a separate bowl. Pour the liquids into a medium bowl and put it in the refrigerator to cool. (This will solidify the fat and allow you to easily remove it later.)
Once the pork has cooled slightly (but is still warm) “pull” it into shreds by using two forks to pull in different directions (see the pictures in the Join Me in the Kitchen section below). If the vegetables are in a separate bowl, chop them and add back to the meat; if you left them with the meat, mush any large pieces (like carrots) so that they distribute well. Stir, then cover and chill until ready to serve (or overnight).
Make the sauce at any time during the cooking period or before you reheat the pork and add the liquids (which is the next step). Put all ingredients for the sauce in a small, heavy saucepan, heat to a boil and then reduce to a moderate simmer, cooking until reduced and thickened (this can take up to a half hour or more). Note: this step can also be done in a microwave in a large Pyrex measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl: Heat on high for 3+ minutes, then check if it is thickened and reduced, and add more time, if necessary.
Once the fat and liquids have separated (easier if you left it overnight), remove and discard the fat and add the jelled juice from the meat to a saucepan, then boil until it is reduced to about ½ to ¾ cup. Warm the meat at medium heat in a large pan on the stove with the reduced liquid, which will make it taste much richer, and about 3/4 cup of the sauce (or to taste), reserving the rest to serve on the side.
At this point, you have your Everything Rub-inspired pulled pork, which is a canvas out of which you can create many culinary works of art. Since it already had barbeque sauce, it’s ready for use as a filling for sliders or pulled pork sandwiches. Or you can use it in a variety of other ways.
The liquid in the recipe can be beer, wine, chicken stock or Dr. Pepper, but never water. Never, ever water. I systematically save the last dregs of wine or old beer that someone has brought to a party that didn’t get drunk for recipes like this. A dark beer is really good, or a hefty red wine, or any white. I’d go with Dr. Pepper over chicken stock, but stock is just fine if that’s all you’ve got. Dr. Pepper adds more sweetness, so you’d probably want to consider going lighter on the barbeque sauce.
For the tomatoes, I prefer the ones with green chiles, like Rotel. But you can also just use petite diced tomatoes. Or, part of a can of petite diced tomatoes and their liquid, and a 4 oz. can of chiles. If you want your pork to be kick-it-up-a-notch spicy, use the Hot version of Rotel or green chiles.
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are really, really important in the barbeque sauce. This complements the dried chipotle powder in the Everything Rub. If you decide to use a store-bought barbeque sauce instead of making this (easy) recipe, be sure to get a chipotle-flavored one. And if you’re doing that, you could go all creative and get a chipotle raspberry or some other out-of-the-box concoction. But I really don’t think you should. This sauce is easy and super-good. Here’s a label in case you make extra!
Join Me in the (Old) Kitchen
Serving Suggestions: Cool Things with Pulled Pork
The typical pulled pork presentation is sandwiches or sliders – nothing wrong with that! But there are so many other things you can do with pulled pork – check out this list of cool things we do with leftover pulled pork from the previous post. And I just found a new one today, potato skins with pulled pork! Check out this post from “Foodie Fox”, who’s sharing game day favorites from Memphis: click here.
Here’s one way I served this pulled pork – to myself, as very simple tacos. Yum! Having this deliciousness on hand transformed a weekday lunch for one to a celebration. Imagine what it can do for dinner!
Let us know if you make the Everything Rub Pulled Pork with Honey-Chipotle BBQ Sauce, and what you do with it.
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