There is nothing new about braising with beer. In fact, it should be the standard. Beer, as with all alcohol, is a natural meat tenderizer but it’s the flavors of the beer that make for braise meat that has a truly special taste. Micro brews are known for more intense flavor profiles and will always produce a vastly superior product when cooking than a micro brew. Craft beer is truly that, a craft. I have had a soft spot for Rogue brewery for years. Rogue is beer lovers beer, and dedicated to the art of the craft. Actual real life people making really good beer. If you live on the West Coast, this Portland Oregon brewery’s beer is probably at your local grocery store. It’s one of the few great craft beers that I have a fairly easy time getting my hands on. In fact, the very first time I decided to cook with beer (I made a chocolate beer cake), I used Rouge’s Chocolate Stout. I do believe that I owe Rogue for my fascination with cooking with beer.
What does braising mean? What a good question. Braising just means to sear meat at a very high heat and then cook it slowly at a low heat until cooked through. I used another amazing craft beer for this recipe. Rogue’s Chipolte Ale:
Beer Braised Pulled Pork
2 tbs kosher salt (yep, kosher salt on pork)
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs ground cummin
1 tbs black pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dry mustard powder
3.5 lb Pork butt (It’s acctually the pigs shoulder, and sometimes called that. The actual butt is called Ham. I grew up on a bit of a pig farms so I know this stuff)
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
44 fl ounces (2 bottles) Rogue’s Chipotle Ale beer
Start by mixing the the rub ingredients together in a small bowl until combined, set aside.
Take out your pork and stab 6, 2 inch deep holes fairly evenly spaced through the meat. Push a clove of garlic into each hole until no longer visible.
Rub the entire surface of the meat with the rub you just made, using it all.
In a large enamel, cast iron pot (like a Le Creuset), heat the olive oil until very hot. Sear all surfaces of the meat, even the sides, until browned. The entire process will probably take about 10-15 minutes.
Then pour your delicious Rogue Chipotle ale over the meat (have a few sips, it’s really good beer), cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning the meat over about every 30 minutes, until the meat is tender and falling apart.
Once the meat is finished, remove from the pot and allow to cool. Use two forks to shred into small, stringy pieces.
I used this meat in three ways, on italian bread as a delicious sandwich, over rice and beans, and in a burrito. Other ideas for pulled pork include:
Pulled pork nachos
Pulled pork sliders
Pulled pork tacos
Pulled pork enchiladas
Pulled pork flatbread pizza
Pulled pork hand pies
Seriously, you could go all Bubba Gump about this and it would be endless. There is no shortage of uses for Pulled Pork.