Applewood Pork Shoulder
I was able to leave the house and by ONE ingredient, on special too at my local butcher. One boneless pork shoulder please! Everything else, I was able to find at home. Applewood? Check. Spices? Check. Oil? Check! Coals? Check. The perfect combination for a beautiful barbecue pork, and a salad, that will be published in a couple days time. I did mine on a Weber, but you can do it on gas. Just put the wood chips in a metal smoke box. But the aim here is low and slow, about four hours.
2kg Skin-on Pork Shoulder, de-boned
Applewood Chips, soaked in water
3 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1 Teaspoon Spicy Pimenton
2 Tablespoons of Garlic Paste
2 Teaspoons Coriander flakes
2 Teaspoons of Dried Oregano
1 Apple, Cut into half-centimeters rings
2 Tablespoons of Rice Bran Oil
We're aiming to make two different pastes here, one for the direct heat, one for the indirect heat. So to start, mix the pimenton and paprika together in a small cup or bowl with a tablespoon of rice bran oil and a pinch of salt. Mix it with the oil into a paste.
In another cup, mix the coriander, oregano and garlic paste with a tablespoon of rice bran oil. Get it so it's a loose paste, then stir in some salt.
Take the pork shoulder. Now a bit about this lump of pork - depending on the butcher will determine whether the skin is fully attached or not, (my guy butchered it a bit, and it was hanging on by a thread). If it's well attached, slice through each side, just under the fat and into the meat, so it's only attached by the corners.
Brush your pastes on. The green, garlicky paste goes on the top half and underneath the fat cap, and the paprika mix goes on the bottom half. Around the side of the meat, blend the two pastes together a bit. Take the apple rings and gently poke them under the fat cap. They'll let out their juices and sweeten everything up!
Final prep, dry the skin with a paper towel. Lightly rub with oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Get the barbecue going as you normally do. We're aiming to keep the meat off indirect heat for the first 40 minutes to get maximum infusion of the applewood smoke.
Once the coals are ready, put the applewood chips on directly on the coals, or on the flame if you're using smokebox/gas. Put the meat away from the direct heat then close the lid. Smoke it out for the first forty, then open the vents and move over the direct heat. Try and keep the temperature down around 160C, for about four hours. In the last half hour, move away from direct heat then over so it's skin side down. This will develop your crackling.
Increase the temperature to 200 right at the end to get a nice crust. Do this for about fifteen minutes.
Carve, then serve.