Maple Spice Rubbed Smoked Pulled Pork
This smoked pulled pork takes several hours to make, but will also last several meals (maybe!). Right now we are obeying our governor’s order to stay home, so it feels especially satisfying to spend so much time creating something this delicious. I use a very simple Weber Grill, charcoal and water soaked apple chips. The Chipotle Maple Barbecue Sauce can be used in other meals, as can the Maple Sugar Hamburger Buns. While the trio of pork, barbecue sauce and hamburger buns all include maple, the combination is neither too sweet nor overpowering. In fact, it is comfort food at its best! Enjoy!
3 Pound Pork Shoulder
5 tablespoons Smoked Paprika Maple Spice Rub
The day before you plan to smoke the pork shoulder, rub the spice blend all over it. Refrigerate and remove about an hour before you plan to put it on the smoker. I use a large amount of charcoal and once it’s quite hot, cover it with water soaked apple chips (3-4 large handfuls). Put the pork in a disposable tinfoil pan and then cover tightly with tented foil. Leave a little space between foil and the top of the roast, but fold the foil tightly around the pan. Put the pan on the top grill grate, cover the grill and shut down all vents to within 1/4 inch. Check the grill every 1 1/2 hour. It should maintain a heat of roughly 275-300 degrees with a nice consistent smoke. If it gets too cool, open the grates a bit. If the chips begin to dry and burn, throw in a few more handfuls. Check the roast after 4 1/2-5 hours. It should be tender and pull apart easily. Remove from the grill and put into a clean dish. Cover tightly with foil until you’re ready to shred the meat and mix with barbecue sauce.
Maple Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup granulated maple sugar
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo (use 2 if your family prefers less spice)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup apple cider or hard cider
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor, blend together the crushed tomatoes, chipotle peppers and 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce. Add this mixture and all other ingredients to a sauce pan. Simmer until the mixture has reduced by one half (about 30-40 minutes).
Mix half of the barbecue sauce in with the shredded pork. Serve extra sauce on the side for those who like a truly messy sandwich!
Maple Sugar Hamburger Buns
- 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated maple sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let it sit about 5 minutes until you see it begin to froth, so you know the yeast is active. Mix in the maple sugar and then the butter and egg. Add 3 cups of flour and mix well until a soft dough forms. Knead until the dough is smooth. Add more flour as necessary. Place in clean, greased bowl, cover and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour). Remove the dough and knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to form a hamburger sized disc. Leave discs on a greased cookie sheet for an hour to rise. If desired, brush buns with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until nicely browned.
Split the warm buns in half and stuff with the pulled pork and any other desired vegetables (onions, peppers, shredded lettuce)