This recipe for superb pulled pork was created by Chef Nathan Berg of Native Bay Restaurant and Lounge in Chippewa Falls.  Many thanks to Lucy Saunders for including it in her terrific recipe book, The Best of American Beer & Food (2007, Brewers Publications).  Simply named Bock-Braised Pork Shoulder, we’ve rechristened it Grand Slam Pulled Pork Carnitas for baseball season.  Definitely, if you want to win friends and influence people during a pre-game tailgate, serve this recipe.  You can either serve it in pulled pork sandwiches or use our variation, Pulled Pork Carnitas.

Beer Pairing Suggestion: Sprecher Black Bavarian, Sprecher Mai Bock, or Sprecher Dopple Bock

Bock-Braised Pork Shoulder

1 cp flour4-5 pounds pork shoulder (about 3″ thick); note: can substitute pork butt

4 tablespoons grapeseed (or safflower oil)

1 lg yellow onion, halved and sliced thick

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped

4 cups pork or beef stock

36 ounces Sprecher Dopple Bock

10 black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon truffle oil

1. Preheat oven to 200F (unless using crock pot; see Note in step 2).  Place flour in a shallow pan or plate, and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Dredge both sides of shoulder roasts in seasoned flour, and shake to remove excess.

2. Heat oil in large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Sear all sides of the pork until brown and crispy.  Place the onion, carrots, and celery in the bottom of a deep casserole or Dutch oven, and place meat on top.  Add stock and beer until meat and vegetables are fully submerged, and add peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.  Cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil (to prevent meat from drying out and burning) and place in oven.  Bake at least 6 hours.  Note: You can also use a slow cooker or crock pot set on low).

3. Remove pan from oven and remove lid, taking care not to let steam hit your face or hands.  Taste a small piece of pork and check its texture.  It should be falling straight off the bone or coming apart easily when pulled.  If the meat isn’t fully tender, return to pan or slow cooker for another 1 to 2 hours.

4. Remove meat from liquid, set it on a plate or in a shallow pan, and place it in the refrigerator to cool slightly.  In the meantime, strain cooking pan juices and place in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a roiling boil on the stovetop.  Reduce liquids by 70%, to about 2 cups.  When fully reduced, taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and sherry vinegar.

5. When cool enough to handle, pick through the pork to remove all bones and as much of the fat as possible.  To finish, combine pork and sauce in a large saucepan and heat until warmed throughout.  Stir in truffle oil just before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings

For Carnitas:

8-10 Flour Tortillas (if using large ones; more if using smaller tortillas)

Shredded Cheese

Favorite Salsa

Guacamole

1. Heat both sides of each tortilla in skillet.  Tortillas are ready when they begin to puff.

2. Remove from skillet and set aside or in warming oven.

3. Place tortilla on plate, add some cheese, then pork, then cheese.  Roll up and serve as is or with salsa and guacamole.