For the last seven years, our group of friends has ventured into the woods for Family Camp. This barbecue has become a firm part of that tradition. My family arrives at camp early to get the meat cooking by noon. As the other families arrive, they are greeted with the wonderful smoky, vinegary pork aroma. Everyone pitches in to get tents set up and kitchen and party zones arranged, and by 6:00 we all sit down to a hearty barbecue dinner. There are rarely any leftovers.
(Adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen)
Cut pork roast into large chunks. This makes it easier to handle, plus allows the seasoning to get on more surface area.
Mix rub ingredients together. If you can't find smoked cayenne flakes, add red pepper flakes and smoked paprika to taste.
Coat meat chunks with rub mix. There should be no rub mix left over.
If preparing in advance, place seasoned pork in zipper bags and freeze. Cooking liquid can also be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
Mix cooking liquid ingredients. Keep some extra apple juice on hand to add to the pot if the liquid gets low.
Place thawed pork in large cast iron dutch oven and pour in the cooking liquid. Cover. (If you prepared your meat ahead of time and froze it, make sure to take it out of the freezer in time for it to be completely thawed before cooking! Very important!)
Place the Dutch oven over a bed of hot charcoal and cover the lid with additional hot charcoal. If you're good with getting the temperature right with charcoal, aim for 350 degrees. I haven't had much luck with this, so I just keep adding hot coals both top and bottom.
Allow to cook for about 5-6 hours. Be sure to keep replenishing the charcoal as it burns low. Check the meat occasionally and turn the pieces so that it all gets a chance to simmer in the liquid. Add apple juice as necessary - don't let it go dry!
Meat should easily fall off bones and tear apart with a fork when it is done. Remove from pot to a large bowl and shred with forks. We like to mix in some of the cooking liquid before serving.
Serve on buns with your favorite slaw and sauce. I recommend the Herb Barbecue Sauce I posted.