Over at ALa's she had a food discovery post. In the comments, she challenged her readers to cook an area specialty, cook, e-mail it to her and she'd post it. Well, I had been planning on smoking some pork butt and was going to e-mail it, but I decided to go ahead and post it here.
While pulled pork is not a Memphis-only specialty, this area has had put its own twist on the meal.
So here's the butt about to come off the grill. This is the one area where I wasn't able to really able to prepare the meat the way it should be done for true Memphis style BBQ. The three elements for good Memphis BBQ are time, hardwood smoke, and sauce. I gave plenty of smoke and have the sauce, but with my grill I can't keep the heat low enough and seal the environment off well enough to get the length of time I need for complete smoke penetration. Instead of a 10-to-13-hour cook time, I get a 4-to-5-hour cook time.
In the near future, I'll be putting together a flower pot smoker a la Alton Brown.
Here it is fresh off the grill ready to rest for an hour or so.
After cooling down a bit, get a couple of forks (or just use your fingers) and start to pull the meat apart. This is where the faster cooking time is really evident. The outer crust is a bit harder and the smoke flavor doesn't quite penetrate all the way into the core. But it's still very good.
And this is the execution phase. True Memphis style calls for you to add the BBQ sauce only at the end and the sandwich should be covered generously with slaw. I like my slaw dry, but that's me.
So, although I could have gone to Rendezvous or Interstate, sometimes I like taking things into my own hands. Happy Father's Day to all you other daddies out there.