December 04, 2012

Aaron's Pork Rub

Pulled Pork & Pickled Red Onions

In mid-October, we had the pleasure of attending the wedding of our super hip friends, Sarah and Aaron, at a neighborhood pizzeria & wine bar in Chicago. Sarah is an interior designer and Aaron a purveyor of all things pork. Inspiration abounds when spending time with them. Their wedding was befitting to their personalities and wedding guests received the gift of Aaron's killer pork rub and rib rub. 

Pulled Pork

With an eye toward opening his own rib joint one day, Aaron is tight-lipped about his rub recipes. The good news is that there is no shortage of dry rub recipes on the internet, each claiming an edge over the next. Look for a balance of sweet, salt & spices, for heat and depth. Counter intuitive to its namesake, the dry rub prevents slow cooked pork from drying and ensures it is tender and juicy. 

When making pulled pork, I opt for the shoulder cut. Cover the pork with the dry rub and gently massage the rub into the meat, let sit overnight. In the morning pop the pork into a slow cooker, feel free to add 1/2 cup water. 6-8 hours later you have the makings of a glorious meal. As the pork finishes, use a fork to pull the pork apart & separate into bite sized chunks. Mix pork with the juice in the bottom of the slow cooker - feel free to pour off excess liquid & remove and discard any large fat chunks. Continue to cook for up to 1 hour, until the juices are absorbed.  

Pickled Red Onions

2 red onions
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp salt
2 cups water
star anise, bay leaves, whole cloves, whole black & white pepper corns (optional)

1. thinly slice the red onions

2. whisk together vinegar, honey, salt & water

3. heat vinegar mixture over low heat & add onions and optional ingredients, as desired. cook until onions soften & become uniform in color (hot pink!)

4. serve onions over pulled pork in a warmed corn tortilla. garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro.

5. leftover onions will keep in the fridge for several weeks. 

In the spirit of the season, both dry rubs and pickled red onions could make for very special homemade gifts for any foodies in your gift exchange circles. Williams-Sonoma agrarian line sells any basics & accessories you may need to package homemade canned & bottled gifts. 

No comments:

Post a Comment