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7.5.11 Smoking Hot

July 4th may be my favorite holiday. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with freedom. It's a chance to celebrate the founding of this country which, though seriously flawed and in grand decline, is still the place I choose to call home above all others. This year, we also raised a glass to gay marriage in New York! What a day. It dawned clear and warm after days of torrential rains and lightning storms. G had to stand outside in the downpour for hours the day before to smoke the first half of the 60 pounds of pork we served to the hoard of hungry revelers. It was nothing short of heroic. Gin cocktails were sucked down, pickles were scarfed, ice cream sandwiches demolished. Groups congregated in the screened-in porch, on the lawn and front patio, and even in the house. Dogs frolicked and begged. Screams of laughter rang out, joints were passed and kids got purple popsicle juice everywhere. In short, a great party. 
Tagged — pulled pork
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7.6.10 Up in Smoke

Low and slow, that's how we cook it. Our two 12-pound Boston butts from Dickson's, rubbed with a heady mix of chile powder, cumin, brown sugar, salt and cayenne, were on the smoker by 10am the morning of the 4th. G actually prefers smoking on the Weber, because it retains the heat much better, but ours is just not big enough to accommodate all that pig. Several hours of smoking over hickory and apple wood chips, a couple in the oven, an hour to rest and then G and Philip were up to their elbows chopping barbecue. I almost fell flat on my face in the kitchen, the floor was so slippery.

After they pulled and chopped the smoky, fatty pork, I doused it with an Eastern North Carolina hot sauce made from vinegar, Tabasco and red pepper flakes. It's an irresistible combination: salty, tangy, spicy, smoky richness. Then this gets piled on a cheap, soft potato roll, smothered in pickles (dill or bread-&-butter, your choice), with perhaps an extra dash of hot sauce, and you've got some authentic barbecue. A high-falutin' roll is not welcome; you need something that breaks down easily and sops up all that juice. And though we don't generally do white flour in our house, this is a worthy exception.
Tagged — pulled pork