Monday, December 27, 2010
I finally found an easy way to pull pork. I was looking online and saw Bear Paws. Really simple looking product, but I thought they would be worth a shot, so I bought a set. After all, pulling pork shoulder or butt can be a pain in the . . . well . . . you know.
For the record, I'm from North Carolina barbecue country where we smoke pork shoulders or whole hog low and slow and then CHOP it. I often hear people talk about our NC pulled pork, but really it's chopped pork.
I can chop pork, but it takes a lot of space, time, and sharp knives. Much more labor intensive than pulling, although pulling has been a pretty big job previously too - until I got the Bear Paws.
Bear Paws honestly look too simple to be effective. They are just heavy duty plastic with hand holes and then claw type ends (and I am forever calling them Bear Claws instead of Bear Paws). The claws aren't exactly sharp although they are pointed. The Bear Paws do, however, work great.
Here is Jimmy pulling the barbecue pork shoulder my Mom had for Christmas. She always cuts small amounts at a time, and it takes some time and she has to keep stopping her meal to cut a little more pork to go on the buns. So, she was real impressed with the Bear Claws and how quick and easy the whole shoulder was ready.
I know what I am putting on her birthday or Christmas list for next year. Shhhhh! Let's keep that a secret.
Here is the BBQ shoulder pulled with the Bear Claws. The pork can be pulled more for smaller pieces, but we liked it kind of chunky. And, anyone who wanted the pork shoulder pulled finer could grab the Bear Claws and do a little more pulling. It really took very little muscle to do the pulling, so these work well for various ages and strengths.
Here's the North Carolina pork sandwich on my dinner plate. To be more traditional, I'd have North Carolina red barbecue slaw on there, but I'm not a huge slaw fan so usually pass on the slaw. Most people do like the barbecue slaw, since it does add a nice contrast on flavors and textures. I'd say to give it a try. The slaw is good on there - just not my thing.