Chef's Recipes

Smoky pork shoulder with Lexington barbecue sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for smoky pork shoulder with Lexington barbecue sauce by Rockwell & Sons, Melbourne.

By Casey Wall
  • Serves 10 - 12
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 12 hrs cooking plus brining, resting
Smoky pork shoulder with Lexington barbecue sauce
Smoky pork shoulder with Lexington barbecue sauce

"Hush puppies and red slaw (also called barbecue slaw) are traditional sides for a Lexington-style barbecue," says Wall. "We've simplified the cooking procedure and added a spice rub to mimic the time over hickory and oak coals. Nothing beats meat cooked over coals, but this comes close." Begin this recipe two days ahead to brine the pork.

Ingredients

  • 420 gm fine sea salt
  • 4 kg Boston butt, skin off (see note)
Spice mix
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • 35 gm smoked paprika
  • 35 gm fine sea salt
  • 25 gm brown sugar
  • 20 gm freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 gm each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 9 gm ancho chilli powder
Lexington-style barbecue sauce
  • 750 ml (3 cups) apple cider vinegar
  • 310 ml (1¼ cups) Heinz tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Method

Main
  • 1
    Stir salt and 6 litres cold water in a large non-reactive container to dissolve, place pork in brine, ensuring it’s submerged, cover and refrigerate for 36 hours.
  • 2
    For spice mix, combine ingredients in a bowl, mix well and set aside.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 110C. Remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels, then score the top in a shallow cross-hatch pattern. Rub spice mixture thoroughly all over pork, massaging it into the meat, then place pork in a large roasting pan and roast until the internal temperature reaches 93C and meat is very tender (10-12 hours). Cover with foil and rest (30 minutes to 1 hour).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for Lexington-style barbecue sauce, simmer all ingredients, 125ml water, 1 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat for flavours to develop (5 minutes), then transfer to a sterile container and refrigerate until required. Barbecue sauce will keep for 2 months. Makes about 1 litre.
  • 5
    To serve, coarsely tear the meat into pieces (discard cartilage and blood vessels). Roughly run a knife once or twice across the meat to cut up the longer bits of muscle fibre and season with barbecue sauce to taste and some of the pan juices. Serve hot with hush puppies and Lexington red slaw. Leftover pork can be refrigerated for 2 days and used in sandwiches or wrapped in foil (drizzle with a little Lexington barbecue sauce first) and rewarmed in a moderate oven.

Notes

Note Boston butt is the top half of a pork shoulder and a common cut in the US. Order in advance here, though - your butcher will need to get a whole shoulder and halve it at the blade bone.
Drink Suggestion: Patrick Sullivan “Raz Ultra” Shiraz, or Fletcher “The Minion” Nebbiolo 2012, Victoria. Drink suggestion by Manu Potoi