Author Notes: This is the canonical recipe for Memphis-centric barbecue, which is the best in the world. Every cook has his/her own dry rub; this is mine. It's best cooked on a pit over hardwood coals for 18 hours (for a whole shoulder; 12 for Boston butts), started at 180 degrees and gradually working up to 250. I adapted it for the oven several years ago when it was below freezing and I wanted barbecue and did NOT want to fire up the pit. It lacks the smoky flavor, but it still puts most barbecue to shame. - Kayb
Food52 Review: This recipe yields some of the best barbecued pork we've ever tasted. After a few low and slow hours in the oven, the roast comes out super moist, sweet-spicy, peppery and crispy. The rub is balanced and really penetrates the meat, leaving a nice, pink ring around the outside edge. The sauce has just the right amount of tomato-y tartness for balance. We found this to be an embarrassingly easy way to get barbecue flavor without having to go outside, or do much work at all. - Emily - A&M
- 3 tablespoons each of kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, and coriander
- 1 1/2 tablespoon each of ground ginger, dry mustard, and celery seed
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons each ground thyme and dried oregano, crumbled
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil
- 5-6 pounds Boston butt roast or half pork shoulder
- 4 tablespoons ketchup or tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- hot sauce to taste
- Mix the spices, herbs and sugar in a small bowl until thoroughly blended. Set aside 6 tablespoons of the mixture, and use as much as needed to heavily coat the pork roast. You may have rub left over; it keeps well in an airtight container and does wonders for any kind of pork or chicken. Wrap the roast tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, remove roast from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Place in a rack in roasting pan in 200 degree oven for an hour.
- In a small saucepan, blend reserved 6 tbsp. dry rub mix, vinegar, water, tomato paste or ketchup, and worcestershire sauce. Add hot sauce to taste (a dash or two is good).
- Once pork has cooked for an hour, baste with sauce every 30 minutes for 1 1/2 hours. After a total of 2 1/2 hours, increase heat to 250, and continue to baste every 30 minutes for another 1 1/2 hours. Raise heat to 300 and continue to baste every 30 minutes for another hour to hour and a half, or until the bone in the pork wiggles freely.
- When bone wiggles freely and meat is pull-apart tender, remove from oven and tent with foil; allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. Serve by pulling chunks of meat from bone. Should, to be authentic, be served with vinegar cole slaw and baked beans; bread is optional, but roasted corn on the cob is nice. And gallons of iced tea and lots of cold beer.
- If you want a sauce to serve on the side, take remaining basting sauce (or make more), add another 4 tbsp tomato paste, and simmer until it reaches the desired thickness.