Pork shoulder is beloved for good reason: it's cheap, forgiving, and it can feed an army. Those reasons alone make it a winner of a cut in my book. It's also barbecue spice-ready, too, as you'll see here. And when that version is paired with a homemade, garden-fresh condiment, it comes mighty close to being my personal version of heaven on earth.
Why this recipe works:
- By adding smoked paprika to the spice rub, the pork is infused with smoky flavor without a smoker or grill.
- Rhubarb adds fruity and tart flavors to the ketchup, without making it taste cloying or jam-like.
Note: Store any remaining spice rub in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to three months, using it liberally on chicken, ribs and burgers.
- Yield:Serves 10
- Active time: 40 minutes
- Total time:5 1/2 hours
- For the Ketchup:
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 1/2 cups yellow onions
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the Spice Rub:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- For the Pork:
- 1 boneless pork shoulder (about 4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup beer
For the Ketchup: Place ketchup ingredients in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is tender, about 20 minutes. Puree using a blender or immersion blender, until slightly chunky or smooth, depending on preference. Let cool, then ladle into jars, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.
For the Spice Rub: Make the spice rub by stirring together all spice rub ingredients in a small bowl.
For the Pork: Rub pork shoulder with olive oil, sprinkle generously with spice rub and rub into meat. Set pork shoulder in roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Baste pork with pan juices, then continue to cook, basting every 30 minutes, until fall-apart tender inside and crispy-brown outside, about 4 to 5 hours. Transfer pork to cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices and set roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Using forks, pull pork apart in hunks and place on a platter. Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately, passing rhubarb ketchup alongside.